DIT Director is New Secretary-General of World Futures Studies Federation
The General Assembly of the World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF) has elected Professor John Ratcliffe, Director of the Faculty of the Built Environment at DIT, as Secretary General of the Federation for a four-year term. During Professor Ratcliffe's term of office the organisational headquarters for the Federation will be based in The Futures Academy at DIT. Ms Ela Krawczyk, senior researcher at the Academy, will assume the responsibilities of Assistant Secretary-General.
Professor Ratcliffe said he was very pleased to have been asked to take on the role and said DIT would contribute significantly to the further development of WFSF. "WFSF is the leading global professional body for 'futurists' - it provides a forum for encouraging the stimulation, exchange and examination of ideas, visions and plans for alternative long-term futures through innovative interdisciplinary analysis and critique. Over the next four years we will be focussing on three major areas of activity - establishing regional chapters around the globe; the formation of Professional clubs to explore specific topics; and the promotion of education and training courses in futures methodology."
Founded in Paris in 1973 WFSF membership comprises some 500 individuals and institutions in over 80 countries sharing a mission to promote futures education and research. It is classified as a Category II Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) with the United Nations and has formal consultative status with UNESCO.
DIT is rapidly becoming recognised as a centre of excellence in the global futures studies network. Established in January 2003 it has already gained a commendable reputation in the fields of sustainable urban development, territorial planning and city competitiveness. The principal aims of The Futures Academy are to:
- Build a network of people from diverse backgrounds who are committed towards the future of business, government and society in Ireland.
- Identify the 'key drivers of change' that might impact on the future of sustainable development in Ireland.
- Test policies directed towards evolving a sustainable future.
- Provide executive training and trans-disciplinary education in the concepts, methods and techniques of futures studies.
- Develop a more imaginative approach for decision makers and practitioners involved in forward planning that ultimately will lead to more effective and successful solutions.
The latest study by the Futures Academy, Imagineering Ireland, is due to be published in October 2005.