An overview of our history
In the 1970s, a group of concerned citizens raised the possibility of creating a facility for Futures Studies at Stellenbosch University, and in 1974 the Unit for Futures Research (UFR) was established as part of the Bureau for Economic Research at the university. In 1976 the UFR published the first strategic overview of the South African business environment for its associates. This was titled A Review of Some Long-term Trends in South Africa. During 1984 the unit was reconstituted into the fully-fledged Institute for Futures Research (IFR), and published its first Business Futures publication. Since then, the IFR focused on providing relevant information to decision-makers, and facilitating thinking sessions where senior leaders imagine multiple plausible futures.
The IFR is the first and only Futures Institute of its kind on the African continent.
The core purpose of the Institute for Futures Research is to equip and assist individuals and organisations with tools of good judgement and strategic foresight. We do this by providing global-impact research services for innovative long-range decision-making, in Africa, which allows for opportunity sensing and risk mitigation.