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International Certified Future Strategist – Part 2

  • Crete
  • 28 October 2018 - 1 November 2018

Ulf Boman is a partner and future strategist at Kairos Future. He has been with the company since 1998.

Since the mid 1990’s, Ulf has worked in the field of future and strategy for numerous clients in Sweden and internationally. Ulf often acts as facilitator and process leader for clients in their aim at preparing for the future. The projects encompass trend and scenario analysis, visioning, and strategy development. The clients Ulf works with include both private and public sector.

Ulf has worked extensively with national and international scenario projects, with regional and local development, and – not least – studies of the future work, future workplace, work environment, and leadership. Ulf also teaches future studies and methodology within the framework of Kairos Academy. He is also a popular speaker on different topics (see video from TEDx at

Ulf is project manager for the development of the International Certified Futurist, a program sponsored by the European Commission.

Philippe Vandebroeck is partner, systems thinker and scenario planner at the Belgium-based futures consultancy, shiftN.  

Philippe co-founded shiftN more than 15 years ago - and it has been a very special ride, allowing him to work with exceptional people all over the world on some of the most intractable problems our societies are facing.

What drives Philippe first and foremost, is a profound love for 'clarity in complexity'. In his work he leverages the powerful synergies of systems thinking with respectful dialogue and with the creative power of design.  Not surprisingly, Philippe has an eclectic background. He started out as an bioengineer. His love for thinking and music led him onwards to take on a masters degree in philosophy. More recently, he added to his portfolio a Masters of Human Settlements, providing him with new tools and ideas to tackle the complex interrelationships between space and other dimensions of human society.   

After his engineering studies, Philippe joined the Royal Shell Group where he worked as a researcher and internal statistical consultant in the chemicals business. After five years, in 1994, he decided to establish what has grown into shiftN.

In the early years of his path as a scenario planner and systems thinker, Philippe worked as a professional associated to the Global Business Network. Since then, he has enjoyed the privilege of working with some of the most gifted systems thinkers and futurists of our times.

Jari Puhakka is partner, managing director, and strategy consultant at Capful. His basic education is M.Sc. (Chem. Eng.) followed by an MBA. Jari joined Capful in 2005 after having worked some twenty years in multinational biotechnology and food industry conglomerates as well as in a start-up company.

Development, improvement, and business results drive Jari. He is an experienced internal change agent as well as a business management consultant specializing in scenario planning and strategy consultation. He has in-depth experience in planning, leading and managing the full range of scenario-based strategy projects in various industries, companies, regions, and public sector organizations.

Jari’s key competencies and toolbox include anticipation and understanding the business environment change, creation of alternative future scenarios, strategic analysis of an organization, creation and assessment of strategic alternatives, formulation of strategy, and finally planning and execution of strategy implementation programmes, processes and follow-up plans. 

Stavros Mantzanakis has over 20 years of managerial experience in companies and institutions.  He is the CEO, founding Partner and Head of the Innovation at Emetris SA, a business consulting company specializing in Futures Studies, Strategic, Business and Financial planning, and Innovation.

Stavros served as General Director of Thermi S.A. for 2.5 years, an innovation incubator based in Thessaloniki, Greece, which supports innovation start ups and is one of the largest incubators in South-East Europe.

Since 2010, Stavros has been working on his PhD research: “Participative Regional Strategic Foresight”.  He also holds an MBA in International Finance, an Executive Masters on “Digital Cities” and a Bachelor in Business Administration.

His lecturing experience includes: Tutoring Undergraduate Students and a number of on job training and seminars for SME’s employees, on Strategic and Foresight, Business plan decision analysis. His experience also includes a Project Management position in a construction company in New York, U.S.A.

Stavros has participated in compilation of projects in different countries (Armenia, China, Albania, FYROM, Jordan). He speaks Greek fluently and English.  He is a professional member of World Future Society, a Member of Chamber of Economics in Greece and holds a second Level Hellenic State Degree certification for 'Strategic Competence'.

Ben Lee is Programme Director at Shared Intelligence.  He has has 20 years of experience in central and local government, and public policy consultancy in the UK.

Ben is an experienced facilitator, project manager, and researcher with specialisms in learning and knowledge-sharing programmes, communities of practice, and innovative methods for stakeholder engagement. He is also very experienced in capacity development with public sector senior managers and politicians.

Ben has led national futures and innovation projects relating to libraries and culture, for national and local government. He also leads national learning and knowledge sharing programmes for managers in NGOs and public agencies, and for leaders of community projects.

Ben has a degree in applied social science, and began his career in the UK Civil Service and local government in London.

We have chosen Crete for the second part of this International Certified Future Strategist program as Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, although it retains its own distinct local cultural traits.  Once the centre of the Minoan civilisation, the earliest known civilisation in Europe, Crete has survived into the future.

Cretans are truly remarkable. In spite of adversities going back fifty centuries, they have managed to preserve their national characteristics and their clear language intact: bravery mixed with a sense of independence, vivid intelligence, fervent imagination; language full of imagery, spontaneous and simplicity; love for every kind of adventure; and an irresistible urge to be free. It is a fertile land, which has been giving birth to the worthiest people in democracy, sciences and letters.

The culture and character of Cretans are quite unique. Influenced by the different conquerors in the course of their history, Cretans are culturally multidimensional and never fail to impress their visitors. Hospitable, joyous, vigorous, traditional and modern, they will be glad and proud to show you around, urge you to taste all (and there are truly many) their local products, and tell you stories and myths about their island.