Mitch Ilbury

Keynote Speaker and Future Thinker - Cape Town
Mitch Ilbury

 

Mitch holds an honours degree in Philosophy from the University of Cape Town and a master’s degree in Intelligence and International Security from King’s College London, and has studied Game Theory at the National University of Singapore.

Mitch Ilbury is a director of Mindofafox, a firm that provides services in the field of scenario planning to a broad range of clients across a diverse range of industries. He is also the founder of the education technology company, Growing Foxes, which assists schools and other institutions to teach the skills of futures thinking to tens of thousands of learners across multiple continents.

Mitch is the designer and facilitator of the African Union’s Emerging Leaders Programme, which he has delivered in Addis Ababa for the last three years. He also led a multi-stakeholder team that developed the South African Development Community’s (SADC) Scenarios for the SADC Vision 2050 Strategic Development Plan.

Most recently, Mitch co-authored a book with Clem Sunter titled Thinking the Future: New Perspectives from the Shoulders of Giants, published by Penguin Random House in July 2021. He also contributed a chapter to Fake News: A Roadmap, a book published by NATO’s Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, which was adopted as evidence in the UK Parliamentary Inquiry into Disinformation and Fake News.

Strategic Facilitation:

Mitch Ilbury is a dynamic facilitator that has led strategic conversations at various levels within businesses across diverse industries. He balances the nuance of deep reflection with practical application, to ensure facilitated sessions are both rich and effective. He draws on extensive research and insights generated at the coal-face of strategic decision-making with boards and executive teams, as well as a globally unique provenance of legendary scenario planners, from Herman Khan to Pierre Wack to Clem Sunter and Chantell Ilbury.

Talks:

Thinking the Future

How do you make sense of the future? It’s a daunting task, but one that is becoming ever more important in our rapidly changing, uncertain world.

We can look to flashy trend analyses or bold predictive forecasts, but such methods often miss those big strategy-invalidating tipping points that shape the future, and they provide little in the way of building an ongoing capacity to think the future more effectively. Put simply, we become reliant on the forecasts of others while we have to own the decisions we make.

This talk empowers you to think the future for yourself. It covers a contextual grounding in the key foundational principles to good futures thinking. You’ll come away with a broad understanding of the do’s and don’ts when thinking the future, and an awareness of the common cognitive traps that trip up even the most astute leaders.

Inspired by his book, co-authored with Clem Sunter, to be published by Penguin in July 2021, scenario specialist Mitch Ilbury explores seminal concept’s thought-up by some of history’s greatest thinkers, and translates their insight into a practical blueprint you can use to more effectively think the future for yourself.

Growing Foxes: The Skills Needed for the Next 50 Years

In this talk, Mitch sketches some scenarios of how the world may evolve over the next 50 years. He then uses these scenarios to underline what skills will be required to not only survive, but thrive. Finally, he outlines practical steps of how we can go about developing these skills in young people.

Mitch is uniquely placed to deliver this talk due to his robust academic and practical grounding in the effective use of scenarios and his entrepreneurial experience of building an online education company that has engaged thousands of young people – both learners and emerging professionals - across Africa, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Effective Decision-Making in the Face of Uncertainty

Effective decision-making is difficult at the best of times. In increasingly uncertain times, we need to be particularly sensitive to the processes behind our decision-making to ensure they meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving context.

In this talk, Mitch identifies key lessons that can be learnt from the field of intelligence - where important decisions are made every day on rapidly changing, partial information - and applies them to decision-making in the business context.

 

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