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Taking 50 years of foresight forward!

On 25 April 2024 the Institute for Futures Research (IFR) celebrated its 50-year anniversary since its launch in 1974.

During the early 1970s the notion of establishing a facility for futures studies at Stellenbosch University came to the fore and the Unit for Futures Research (UFR) was officially launched by the Rector, Prof JN de Villiers, on 25 April 1974 as a research unit within the Bureau for Economic Research (BER). The speakers at the launch meeting included Dr Alexander King, the former Director-General of Scientific Affairs of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and a Deputy Chairman of the Club of Rome.

Today, the unit is known as the Institute for Futures Research (IFR) and is headed up by its first female director Doris Viljoen.

We have planned various activities to celebrate this milestone during the course of 2024. This is what you can look forward to:

1. Celebrating our 50-year anniversary with staff at Stellenbosch Business School

Cake cutting on 50th
Where there's a celebration, there must be cake. On 25 April 2024, the Institute for Futures Research celebrated its 50-year anniversary with faculty and staff of the Stellenbosch Business School! Here is to the next 50 years! Click here to see more.

2. Listening to our '50things' podcast series

IFR 50th lable Maroon

Listen here

Welcome to '50things,' a podcast series celebrating our 50th anniversary. In each episode, we dive deep into the milestones, innovations, and people that have shaped our journey and the world around us.

3. Compiling a research report on the futures of wastewater management in SA

Your thinking on how to manage wastewater going forward?
The futures of water is a topic of great concern, especially for South Africa. However, the futures of wastewater management are often forgotten and can play a significant role in the futures of water in general. To help mark the milestone of our 50-year anniversary, the IFR aims to release a research report on the futures of wastewater management. We therefore invite you to think with us about the possible and plausible futures of this key issue.

For more information or if you want to form part of the research process contact [email protected].

4. Presenting a masterclass as part of the IFR's 50-year celebrations

Date:               Thursday, 17 October 2024

Venue:            Stellenbosch Business School

More information to follow soon.


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