FUTURES UNLEARNED is moving online and you are all invited.

Initially designed as a week-long event to explore leadership in an age of uncertainty and disruption, it is evident that this topic is now more important than ever. This event will be a way to enable everyone to engage in the conversation.

Facilitated by Matthew Wright-Simon, Ecocreative and Kristin Alford, MOD. Director FUTURES UNLEARNED will explore some of the most stimulating and surprising leadership, innovation and visionary thinking.

An exceptional line up of guest speakers will be joining us for the conversation, including Brenton Caffin, Public Sector Innovator, Durkhanai Ayubi, Writer & Restauranteur, Rowena Morrow, Foresight Strategist, Noriko Wynn, Futures Research Leader and Bridgette Engeler, Foresight & Design Lecturer at Swinburne University.  You can read more about our event facilitators and speakers below.

To access the streamed videos please view the FUTURES UNLEARNED blog here.


Matthew Wright-Simon, Ecocreative

Matthew Wright-Simon’s work across the engagement spectrum (strategy, facilitation and communications) is built around strong values and design principles. Matthew has curated, designed, facilitated or emceed numerous major ideas, innovation and leadership conferences and dozens of strategic, codesign and consultation workshops and forums.

Alongside his consulting with Ecocreative, Matthew is also co-founder of Double Denim, a social enterprise focused on women’s homelessness, and a founding trustee of the microphilanthropy powerhouse, the Awesome Foundation in his hometown of Adelaide.

Recently Matthew was honoured with an Impact 25 Award from Pro Bono Australia, the only South Australian represented in the year’s cohort.




Kristin Alford, MOD. Director

Dr Kristin Alford is a futurist and the Director of MOD. at the University of South Australia. MOD. is an immersive museum of discovery, a place to be and be inspired. Kristin leads a team dedicated to creating dynamic, changing exhibitions showcasing the edge of knowledge and emerging technologies.

Prior to this role, Kristin was the founding director of foresight agency Bridge8, facilitating futures and engagement on water sustainability, nanotechnology, health, advanced manufacturing, clean technologies and climate futures for government, corporates and not-for-profits.

Kristin has had various careers in engineering, human resources, strategy and product development for companies including BHP Billiton, Ansett-Air New Zealand, the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria and Nanotechnology Victoria. She holds a PhD in process engineering and a Masters of Management in Strategic Foresight. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a Fellow of the Governor’s Leadership Foundation.



Brenton Caffin, Public Sector Innovator

Brenton is Executive Director of States of Change, helping governments around the world to build the next generation of public innovation.

Brenton is an innovative and strategic thinker and regularly presents to and advises national and global organisations on a wide range of issues relating to social and public sector innovation. He is a former board member of the global Social Innovation Exchange, the Adelaide Festival of Ideas and the Institute for Public Administration Australia.

Brenton was Nesta’s Executive Director of Global Innovation Partnerships, working at Nesta from 2013-2020 and remains a Nesta Fellow. Prior to Nesta, Brenton was the founding CEO of The Australian Centre for Social Innovation, and previously held executive positions with the South Australian Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Government Reform Commission and WorkCover.





Durkhanai Ayubi, Writer & Restauranteur

Durkhanai is an Afghan-born migrant to Australia. She is a restaurateur, running restaurants with an ethos of food as a means for sharing stories, breaking down barriers and reshaping narratives. She is also a writer, with opinion pieces in various publications nationwide.

Durkhanai is a Fellow of the Atlantic Fellowship – a global Fellowship based in Rhodes House, Oxford, which brings together changemakers from across the world with a shared vision of advancing fairer, healthier and more inclusive societies.

Her first book, Parwana: Recipes and Stories from an Afghan Kitchen, will be released 1 October 2020.






Rowena Morrow, Foresight Strategist

Rowena works with organisations to create a new future state based on innovation and foresight, through developing people with the ability to think robustly about the future and how they might respond to disruption. Rowena’s recent work in ‘hope theory’ reconceptualises hope as a method through which individuals actively pursue their goals.








Noriko Wynn, Futures Research Leader

Noriko is the Futures Research Leader at Aurecon, a global engineering and design consultancy. She is a foresight and innovation professional with past lives in environmental activism, science communication, advising governments on innovation and economic development, community engagement with indigenous groups, a social media start up and ecological and climate change research.

Noriko has a Masters in Strategic Foresight from Swinburne University of Technology, and qualifications in economics, french, politics, international studies, ecology and botany. Her corporate foresight work draws on all aspects of her career and studies, using multiple perspectives and lens to help her clients develop different perspectives on their futures. As part of this she has developed a Futures Research Playbook that codifies strategic foresight theory into accessible processes to scale the capability through the organisation.





Bridgette Engeler, Foresight & Design

Bridgette is a pracademic with 20 years’ experience in design and innovation. A senior lecturer at Swinburne University in Melbourne, she regularly collaborates with industry and organisations on futures-oriented projects and programs. Her work spans strategic and transformative design, speculative design, and experiential and critical futures, focusing on the potential of design and futures to tackle challenges intersecting people, community and systems.

Bridgette holds a BA, MA and Masters degree in Strategic Foresight and her PhD research explores anticipatory thinking and futures practise in design. Recent projects include a public participatory futures installation for Melbourne Knowledge Week 2019, the development of VR and AR wearables for people with early-onset dementia as part of Swinburne’s Future Self Living Lab, investigating the challenges of self-sovereign identity and a ‘digital wallet’, and exploring ways to use technology and new materials in designing devices to support sexual and reproductive health as part of the Burnet Institute’s Eve-M project.