Keynote Speakers

Laura Forlano

Laura Forlano, a Fulbright award-winning and National Science Foundation funded scholar, is a writer, social scientist and design researcher. She is an Associate Professor of Design at the Institute of Design and Affiliated Faculty in the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology where she is Director of the Critical Futures Lab. Forlano’s research is focused on the aesthetics and politics at the intersection between design and emerging technologies. Over the past ten years, she has studied the materialities and futures of socio-technical systems such as autonomous vehicles and smart cities; 3D printing, local manufacturing and innovation ecosystems; automation, distributed labor practices and the future of work; and, computational fashion, smart textiles and wearable medical technologies. She is an editor of three books: Bauhaus Futures (MIT Press 2019), digitalSTS (Princeton University Press 2019) and From Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen (MIT Press 2011). She received her Ph.D. in communications from Columbia University.

Aarathi Krishnan

Aarathi Krishnan specializes in strategic and applied foresight for the humanitarian and development sector. A seasoned expert globally, she works at the intersection of humanitarian and development futures, strategic foresight, and anticipatory institutional transformation. She is currently the Strategic Foresight Advisor for UNDP, where she is designing the integration of a systems approach to foresight across the Asia Pacific Bureau to build anticipatory capacities, decision making and programmatic offers to see, manage and respond to short and long term risk signals, policies and investments so that development futures can be flourishing for all. In addition, she is also an Affiliate at Berkman Klein Centre for Internet and Society at Harvard University as well as a 2020-21 and 2021-22 Technology and Human Rights Fellow at the Harvard Carr Centre for Technology and Human Rights. The focus of her research is on Foresight and Decolonial Tech Ethics in Humanitarian Tech Governance Previously she has supported a range of international humanitarian organisations on embedding institutional foresight and global strategy to drive institutional and systems transformation, including the UN Resident Coordinators, UNV, the World Bank, UNHCR, MSF, ICRC and IFRC . Twitter: @akrishnan23 and

Shermon Cruz

Shermon Cruz is the founder, executive director, and chief futurist of the Center for Engaged Foresight, a futures innovation and strategic foresight hub operating globally based in Manila. 

He is currently the Chair of the Millennium Project Philippines Node (MP), UNESCO Chair Candidate on Anticipatory Governance and Regenerative Cities, Northwestern University, Co-founder of the Asia Pacific Futures Network and Chairperson of the Association of Professional Futurists.

Deji Bryce Olukotun

Deji Bryce Olukotun is the author of two novels and his fiction has appeared in five different book collections. His novel After the Flare won the 2018 Philip K. Dick special citation, and was chosen as one of the best books of 2017 by The Guardian, The Washington Post,,, Kirkus Reviews, among others. His short story Between the Dark and the Dark, published in Lightspeed, was selected by editor Diana Gabaldon for Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). He currently works for the audio technology company Sonos and he is a Future Tense Fellow at New America.

Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti

Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti holds a Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change, at the Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She is also the interim director of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. Drawing on different critiques of colonialism and human exceptionalism, her research examines the interface between historical, systemic and on-going forms of violence, and the material and existential dimensions of unsustainability within modernity. Vanessa is one of the founding members of the Gesturing Decolonial Futures Collective ( and the author of “Hospicing Modernity: Facing humanity’s wrongs and the implications for social activism”.

Chief Ninawa Inu Huni Kui

Chief Ninawa Inu Huni Kui is a hereditary Chief and also elected president of the Federation of the Huni Kui people of Acre. He represents more than to 16,000 people, in 118 villages, along 7 rivers of the Amazon basin. Chief Ninawa is a sharp critic of false solutions to the climate crisis and a strong advocate for placing Indigenous voices and rights at the center of the climate agenda.

Heila Lotz-Sisitka

Heila Lotz-Sisitka is a Distinguished Professor at Rhodes University, and holds a Tier 1 South African National Research Foundation Chair in Transformative Social Learning and Green Skills Learning Pathways at Rhodes University in South Africa. Her research interests include critical research methodologies, transformative environmental learning, agency, and education system transformation.