About Me

Find out more about me, my work and my values.

About Me
Me taking a break at a workshop in Manilla back when I had black hair

Since I discovered what foresight was in 1999 and worked in two universities to help use foresight in strategy development, I have helped many organisations in Australia and overseas to build their capacity to be futures ready. I now do this first by providing resources to help you reframe your thinking about futures,   ready to expand your thinking to expand and deepen your understanding of the present.

My background

I worked in universities for 28 years and loved it but, in the end, I left because my ‘foresight switch’ had been turned on. I wanted to use foresight in my work and I couldn't do that in universities as they existed then.

Read more about my personal journey in foresight in Chapter 2 of my book Foresight Infused Strategy: A How-To Guide for Using Foresight in Practice.

I launched my University Futures website first in 2006 and established Thinking Futures in 2007. ‘Thinking Futures’ is an abbreviation for ‘thinking about possible futures’ which is at the core of what I’ve done since then. I then rebranded Foresight Futures in 2020 and I continued to work with people who were open to generating new ways of thinking about futures, and to translate that thinking into more meaningful and useful action today. I started to move away from workshops, presentations and public speaking at this point.

Foresight in the Present is the culmination of my decision to close my Foresight Futures business in 2022 to focus on my writing, a decision that emerged during my PhD research (see below).

This decision was ultimately an easy one to make, particularly at this stage of my life, when I wanted to spend time doing what I loved (writing). My focus now will be on consolidating my writing and my online courses and that's it.

My values

  • Keeping an open mind - valuing different perspectives, seeking new ideas
  • Sharing what I know - making foresight and futures accessible
  • Going deep whenever possible - looking for the narratives shaping thinking and action in the present.
  • Maintaining hope for our futures - always
Sean Stratton UnSplash

My PhD

My PhD thesis explored how today's understanding of the Western university's possible futures is constrained by four contested ideas of the university - tacit cultural constructs that shape beliefs about the university's purpose and social legitimacy. The four ideas - Traditional, Managerial, Reframed and Dismissive - were applied to a range of possible future scenarios to identify ways in which current interpretations of the university's futures can expand and deepen. A new conceptual interpretation of 'the idea' and a 'conversations framework' to enable more open and collaborative explorations of the university's futures as an organisation were primary outcomes of the research.

I started the PhD many years ago on a totally different topic, and promised myself I would finish it, and I did. When I finally found the right topic, I had moved from university management to futures work but both areas were important to me so of course my research incorporated both.

If you are interested to find out more, click the red button to find out more.

Maree Conway
Melbourne Australia