Futures Research Practitioner
Tanja Hichert is a South African futures research practitioner with specialised skills in scenario planning, facilitating strategic conversations and horizon scanning. She has business background, having spent 15 years mostly in the field of strategic planning, working for multi-national corporations. Her consultancy now supplies strategy futures services to South African and international clients in a wide range of industries including FMCG, media, banking, insurance, mining and utilities. She has developed particular techniques and expertise in applying scenario planning to risk management and also trains risk managers in this regard. Her public sector work, in association with the SA Institute for International Affairs, (Africa’s top-rated think tank) includes projects on, amongst others, sub-Saharan trade agreement futures and the future of agriculture in Africa. Tanja also conducts workshops for government institutions, amongst others on the future of transport, the future of migration and has trained the Joint Command of the SA National Defence Force on applying complexity thinking to decision-making. In addition to managing Hichert & Associates, Tanja is a senior research associate at the University of Stellenbosch’s Institute for Futures Research (IFR). Tanja lectures to M.Phil (Future Studies) students, MBA students, and conducts scanning and scenario planning training workshops for public and private sector members of the institute.
In her private capacity she serves as a director of the South African node of the Millennium Project (a global participatory futures research think tank) and helped organise the first African Futures Conference which brought together futurists, scholars, business planners, and policy makers from all over the continent. She was actively involved in founding the Foresight for Development platform, which aims to collect the work of, and connect African futures and foresight practitioners. In this capacity she produced a monthly scanning newsletter covering weak signals and early signs of change in the region for the Rockefeller Foundation. She also serves as a member of a global Foresight Experts Working Group for GFAR (Global Forum for Agricultural Research) and is a Board member of the Association of Professional Futurists (APF). Tanja recently co-organised the APF’s first Africa gathering on the theme “Anticipation, complexity and future” in conjunction with the Stellenbosch-based Centre for Studies in Complexity.
She is based close to Cape Town and works all over the world.