New Director appointed at the IFR: Doris Viljoen

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

23 March 2022


The Institute for Futures Research (IFR) was established in 1974 as the long-term arm of the Bureau for Economic Research at Stellenbosch University and is now located as a Research Centre within the Stellenbosch Business School. Furthermore, the IFR is the first and currently only Futures Institute of its kind on the African continent in terms of its link to the only academic degree programmes in Futures Studies in Africa.


The IFR has recently appointed Futures Studies Alumnus, Doris Viljoen, as its first female director. Doris has been part of the IFR team as a Senior Futurist since April 2017 and completed her MPhil in Futures Studies in 2016, receiving the MPhil in Futures Studies top student award.


Doris has specialised skills in environmental scanning, the application of foresight methodology, scenario planning as well as strategy development.  Before joining the IFR, Doris did consulting work on feasibility and location assessment studies for large capital projects. She has a wide range of research interests and is passionate about asking the right questions, searching for and finding relevant data as well as designing tools and techniques to facilitate thinking about plausible futures.


She is well versed in multiple scenario planning techniques and has facilitated decision making teams through scenario exercises on topics ranging from infrastructure planning, higher education, and downstream metals beneficiation to the future of work in South Africa. Doris also teaches on the both the Futures Studies academic programmes presented by the Stellenbosch Business School


We trust that the IFR will only grow from strength to strength under the leadership of Doris. For more information about the IFR’s foresight and futures thinking service offering visit


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