Celebrating the Master of Strategic Foresight

the room is buzzing

Last year I noted that the Master of Strategic Foresight (MSF) — with which I’ve been involved since its inception at Swinburne in 2001 and into which I’ve taught for almost as long (through guest lectures firstly, then as a formal member of teaching staff from 2003) — was being shut down, and was to be taught out over the next year or so. My fellow foresight conspirator for much of that time, Peter Hayward (aka “Captain Foresight”), retired at the end of last year, but not before we were able to celebrate the fact that the MSF had existed at all. That was what we chose to call the “MSF Wake”.

The MSF Wake was held on the evening of Friday 25th November 2016 at the wonderful Kelvin Club in the Melbourne CBD (off Russell Street). We had around 150 people attend, a mixture of current and past students, as well as their partners, who were of course also invited to join us — since most partners of people doing the MSF tend to also “do” the course “by proxy”, as it were, it was wonderful to have them along, too.

We wanted to celebrate the MSF in style, so we made the event “Black Tie Optional” (i.e., “doll up to your heart’s content if you want to, but you don’t have to”). I even managed to convince The Captain to put on a dinner suit — photographic evidence of this admittedly outlandishly preposterous claim is attached below 😉

Lynne-JV-KarenRichard A. Sorcerer Slaughter, the Foundation Professor of Foresight at Swinburne and founder of the MSF program was also in attendance, and wrote his own reflections on the evening at his blog over at richardslaughter.com.au. As he notes there, it was a really very happy occasion, and continued long (and I mean long) after we had to vacate the ballroom at 11 pm. I think we were finally kicked out of the downstairs Bar around 1:15 am, although by that stage it was after far too many Martinis, so I am a bit hazy on the exact details (the adjacent image shows one of those far-too-many Martinis…). More images from the night can be found at the Kudo Board set up by MSF graduate (2015) Bec Mijat: https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/4OarbE7n

As the last futurist from the original MSF four-some, it falls largely to me to teach out the program, along with some guest lectures from various of our friends and guest lecturers from years past (as well as a guest spot or two from The Captain…). The new teaching year commenced last week with what is (almost certainly: I’m a Bayesian, after all 😉 ) the final intake of the foundational unit Foresight Knowledge & Methods 1. With this came the sheer fun of playing with introductory ideas about the future again after several years since I taught it last. I’ll have more to say in future posts about some of the key concepts we are covering in FKM1 (including Bayesian Inference, of course…).

Bthe fore-someut for now, here is a shot from the MSFwake of the Foresight Fore-some [sic] from left to right along with the caricatures which Bec and Dave had made of the four of us: Captain Foresight (Peter Hayward); Richard A. Sorcerer (Richard Slaughter); Madame To-Morrow (Rowena Morrow); and The Voroscope (me). A fun, fun night and a truly inexpressible joy to have been able to share it with so many of the MSF community, students, partners and other friends of the MSF. For more shots from the MSFwake, as well as remembrances from students of the MSF, head over to the MSF Kudoboard.

JV

Image credits: Top – SassNvibe (Facebook: @sassNvibe); Centre – Lynne Wintergerst (Twitter: @Twintergerst); Bottom – Bec Mijat (LinkedIn) using Richard’s camera.

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