Futures Opportunity Ōtautahi Christchurch

This is a critical time for us to consider the alternative futures before us, to decide what futures we prefer and proactively navigate forward. The established disciplines of futures studies and foresight practices provide us with tools, skills, strategies and mindsets to help engage with the future and its uncertainties.


Think Beyond is sponsoring four  Ōtautahi Christchurch leaders to learn more about futures thinking and the world of strategic foresight. Are you interested?


Those selected will take part in an online programme called Become a Futurist: Futures 101 led by respected futurist Dr Sohail Inayatullah. Details of the programme can be found at

Futures studies seeks to help individuals and organizations better understand the processes of change so that wiser preferred futures can be created.

While the programme itself is self paced, you will be expected to connect with the other successful applicants on a regular basis and to consider ways in which your thinking might be used in our city. This conversation and connection will be led by Dr Cheryl Doig, a futurist based in Ōtautahi, Christchurch.

We are after people who are:

  • Committed to Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • Equity focused
  • Open to learning
  • Curious and brave
  • Self motivated
  • Action oriented
  • Open to collaboration/collective impact (we can’t do it alone!)
  • Passionate about Ōtautahi, Christchurch

What counts as a ‘leader’?

This isn’t about position but more about your desire to influence and your passion to make a positive difference. It is open to all who are beginning their journey in futures thinking. There is no specific industry group – diversity is a strength.

Why Ōtautahi, Christchurch?

This initiative is part of an overall desire to activate the city’s learning ecosystem and the work of Ako Ōtautahi, Learning City Christchurch. Cheryl is keen to nurture and support the growth of expertise in futures thinking and strategic foresight in our city.

What am I committing to?

  • Taking part in the programme over a three month period
  • Working with others selected to form a community of practice during this time
  • Using the knowledge and skills gained in your own environment

Note that the online programme is self paced so you can fit it in with your work and other commitments. We will come together over three months at regular intervals, probably for online catch ups, as a community of practice. We will negotiate times as a group.

What will I gain?

  • A greater understanding of futures thinking and strategic foresight, using the online programme developed by international expert Dr Sohail Inayatullah
  • A chance to connect with other like-minded individuals excited by future possibilities
  • The opportunity to explore ideas and actions with local futurist Dr Cheryl Doig

What will it cost?

Think Beyond is sponsoring the basic online course and providing the ongoing support for the group to interact. So no financial cost, just the benefit of your time.

(Note that if you wish to attain CFAR Certification this will be at your own cost.)

How do I apply?

Fill in the short google form

Applications close 9:00am Thursday 28 May 2020, with successful applicants being notified early in June. We will start together as a team in mid-June as negotiated together. Meetings will be held over Zoom initially on a weekly basis.

If you have other questions please connect and we will be in touch promptly.

Future of Learning

The Future of Learning is a national event bringing together educators, government, business and community organisations to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities of rapid technology change – to students, to staff and to organisations. We’re entering a period of rapid change and uncertainty, and our goal is to catalyse the systemic change needed to ensure we can adapt successfully.

We will be running the Future of Learning in 2020 on 28-29 September in Christchurch Ōtautahi, Register for our updates at

Learning City Christchurch

Our current project explores how Christchurch, Ōtautahi, can become a learning city. This involves connecting learning opportunities across the city – businesses, schools, tertiaries, communities – coming together to make a positive difference to our city. It’s connecting the dots of what is already happening, it’s grass roots initiatives, it’s about equity.

Visit the Learning City Christchurch Charitable Trust website to find out about events and how to get involved.

Learning City Christchurch

Destination Christchurch

In August 2019 I had the privilege of co-hosting a week long Edutour with Sydney colleague Anne Knock. Anne is an expert educator, learning designer, speaker and writer with a wealth of experience in running international study tours. There is so much happening in Christchurch, Ōtautahi so it was fabulous to be able to showcase some pretty amazing learning, innovation and collaboration.

Check out Anne’s blog post about the tour.

Westpac Women of Influence Finalist

Cheryl was a finalist in the Westpac Women of Influence Awards 2017, in the Innovation and Science Category. The Awards Dinner was held in Auckland on 7 September.