This week on People My Dog Would Like I had the pleasure of speaking with Professor Sohail Inayatullah, a leading political scientist and futurist who was awarded UNESCO’s first Chair of Future Studies. Inayatullah speaks globally addressing governments and large corporations on futures thinking, strategy development, innovation and bio-securities. He’s regarded by many of his peers as one of the leading “futurists” in the world. He’s Futurist in Residence at Tamkang University Taiwan, and an Associate at Melbourne Business School, Adjunct Professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast also heads up a number of Centres in Futures Thinking for other leading institutions across Asia. He co-hosts Metafuture, an educational think tank at Tamkang University that explores alternative and preferred futures and the worldviews and myths that underlie them.
In this episode we talk about his colourful upbringing, how it shaped him into the person he is today and also planted the seed for the work that takes him to all corners of the globe. Inayatullah has lived in Islamabad, Pakistan; Bloomington, Indiana; Flushing, New York; Geneva, Switzerland; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Honolulu, Hawaii; and currently resides in Mooloolaba, Australia. He’s been everywhere.
We talk about what futures thinking is, the future of work, UBI and the challenge we have today to address the issues of uncertainty in our economy, particularly so with education and learning. Disruption is the new normal and our systems are groaning under the need for new ways of thinking.
We talk at length about the power of metaphors and how, believing in the wrong one, can significantly control your attitude and behaviour which inevitably impacts your future. It seems strange to think the narrative you play out to yourself would have that kind of power over you, but evidence suggests the scripts we repeat to ourselves have such a huge impact on how we perceive the world and our place in it.
Hilariously he was chatting to me from his parent’s home in Lahore – a couple of his points really rang a bell….. if you listen you’ll understand what I mean! In fact bell ringing comes up regularly during the conversation 😉
If you or your organisation are interested in participating in workshops that are coming up in Australia, you can contact him directly or myself and I can direct you to the convener.