Dr Morné Mostert, Director of the Institute for Futures Research (IFR) in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, is set to engage with prominent scientists and other eminent global thought leaders from around the world after he was accepted as a full member of the renowned international think-tank, the Club of Rome (CoR).
CoR was created in 1968 to unite an international network of leading thinkers from various disciplines who share a concern for the future of humanity. It is the first truly global think tank, encompassing views from academia, business, government and civil society. Members are required to contribute to critical international projects, such as climate change and planetary emergency initiatives, reclaiming and reframing economics and the role of the youth.
Mostert observed in his acceptance that “there has never been an epoch in which higher-order intellectual modalities, such as futures-based systemic and strategic long-term thinking, and their urgent execution, were as essential for human survival as they are today".
He said that his membership represents recognition of the thought leadership role that IFR plays worldwide, and explained that the IFR was established as a result of the launch of the first report of the CoR, Limits to Growth, in 1972. This report is considered a classic in the sustainability movement and the first study to question the viability of continued growth in the human ecological footprint.
“The intention (with IFR) was always to establish an institute to study the longer-term implications for business."
He said his first order of business as a CoR member will be to focus on the role of business in the organisation's current international projects and in relation to the long-term outlook for Africa.
“With the Coronavirus now dominating global discourse, I am also focused on working on a sense-making framework for business based on the behaviour of epidemics."
Mostert thanked EMS Faculty Dean Prof Ingrid Woolard for her commitment in positioning IFR and USB on the global stage.
“I hope to represent the university with distinction on this prestigious international platform," he said. “The vision of SU includes striving to become globally recognised as excellent. This global recognition is a demonstration of that strategic intent."
This is not the first collaboration with CoR. Last year, IFR co-hosted the global think-tank's annual global summit at Spier Wine Estate in Stellenbosch. On that occasion, Mostert presented a public lecture on African futures.