Diverse Futures Team

Organized by volunteers for the Association of Professional Futurists

Diverse Futures is an idea that catalyzed us into the organizing committee for Futures Festival ’18. Chaired by the unstoppable Prateeksha Singh, we came together because we share an abiding and active commitment to diversity, inclusion, and plurality.

Toronto, Ontario is our academic base – and it is one of the most diverse cities in the world, so we were naturally destined as the hosting locale for a discussion on Diverse Futures. We also came together because of the OCADU Strategic Foresight and Innovation (SFI) Master of Design (MDes) program. We are graduates and students of the OCADU MDes, SFI, located in Toronto, Ontario. Moreover, we represent the SFI’s Designed Diversity approach, so how could we not look to diverse futures for our Futures Festival ’18 inspiration?

Designed Diversity is an intentional act of designing the diversity of our cohorts, faculty, curriculum content and its delivery. This practice is rooted in the recognition that in order to be innovative and to solve complex problems you need to maximize diversity in every dimension. It shifts the discourse about diversity from a moral/ethical imperative to a fundamental requirement for the success of any organization in innovation and renewal.

– Nabil Harfoush, Associate Professor, OCADU

Prateeksha Singh

Entrepreneur/Artist/Design Researcher. Chair, 2018 Futures Festival
Prateeksha Singh
Founder, Mpathy Consulting. Chair, Futures Festival '18

Prateeksha Singh works at the intersection of design thinking + systems + foresight. She collaboratively explores creative ways to engage with diverse voices on social issues and drive impact. Her freelance work (solo and collaborative) spans facilitated sessions, workshops, experiential installations and written articles – she is also a black & white film photographer.

She is on the board of the Association of Professional Futurists. She is also a licensed U.S. CPA. Additionally, she is currently completing her Master of Design, Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCADU. Her professional experience spans corporate, non-profit, start-up, social enterprise, government, and academia. Prateeksha has lived in eight countries. Hence, her diverse experience informs her richly textured projects.

Twitter: @mpathyDesigns

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/prateeksha5/

Association of Professional Futurists
Board Member

Medina Abdelkader

Diverse Futures Organizer
Medina Abdelkader
Design Strategist

Medina Abdelkader is a design strategist working with small organizations and teams looking to build novel offerings or expand into new markets, therefore she works at the intersection of research and operations. Her work draws on social neuroscience, uncertainty, diversity, and bias. She works with partners at various stages of their journey to conduct research. As a result, they can clearly find and frame problems, research, develop and execute strategy, and deliver projects.

Medina has an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Communication Studies, and also a Masters of Design, Strategic Foresight and Innovation. Currently, she is pursuing a Juris Doctor at the University of Victoria in B.C.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/medinaabdelkader/

Thesis: Only Human: Towards a neuroscience-based understanding of future-facing organizational culture

Graciela Guadarrama Baena

Diverse Futures Organizer
Graciela Guadarrama Baena
Design Researcher/Strategist/Futurist

Graciela Guadarrama Baena has lead diverse projects in product innovation – from consumer goods to medical equipment. Her projects are notable for a strong focus on design research and social innovation, and her work also encompasses both rural and urban environments. Graciela has experience conducting secondary as well as primary research by utilizing a variety of design, systems and foresight methods. She is an avid workshop facilitator, and recently co-facilitated a Civic Imagination workshop with Mayors across the US. As a result, the workshop utilized multiple futures thinking methodologies in a participatory, generative session. Graciela’s projects often vary in the expertise within the team and the industries themselves, which has shown her the many applications of design and the myriad faces of innovation.

Website: gracielagb.com

Twitter: @okanaga86

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gracielaguadarrama/

Amy Hosotsuji

Diverse Futures Organizer
Amy Hosotsuji
Founder, The Futures Network

Amy Hosotsuji is the founder of The Futures Network for changemakers, activists, artists, designers, futurists, scientists, and others. The Futures Network is a space to convene, share and discuss respective, diverse visions for the future. Amy is also Coordinator, Innovation and Electoral Transformation at Elections Ontario. Previously, she worked in community development and youth social-entrepreneurship. She was a network coordinator, facilitator, and an equity and organizational development consultant for six years. She also loves singing!

Website: www.futuresnetwork.org

Twitter: @hoso2g

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amyhosotsuji/

Christine McGlade

Diverse Futures Organizer
Christine McGlade
Founder, Analytical Engine Interactive Inc.

Christine McGlade has been working in service design, facilitating, coaching and educating for over 15 years in Toronto, Canada. Her company, Analytical Engine Interactive Inc., works with the public sector, educational, and charitable organizations on transformation projects. She is also a professor at Centennial College and OCADU in Technology Development Tools and Information Design. Christine is a recent graduate from OCADU’s Master of Design program, Strategic Foresight and Innovation.

Christine designs facilitations, games and role play experiences that help participants build consensus, collaborate, and problem solve in new ways using “open source design” methodologies.

Website: https://www.analyticalengine.ca/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christine-mcglade-8356223/

Thesis: Three Horizons of AI: Towards a Theory of Change Model for Machine Learning

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Cheryl May

Diverse Futures Organizer
Cheryl May

Cheryl May is a social entrepreneur with a wide range of projects to her credit. She is a four-time executive director, company founder, writer, and designer. She has also worked with Artscape, MaRS, and Tides Canada on innovation and entrepreneurship projects. Presently, Cheryl is program advisor to Community Innovation Lab and the lead service designer for The Refinery, an accelerator for women entrepreneurs.

Cheryl led the development of the Pan-Canadian human services information system, 211, which currently serves 26 million Canadians. Consequently, she received the Ontario Federal Council Leadership through Collaboration Award, Showcase Ontario Diamond Award, and Head of the Public Service Award. The Government of Canada recognized her ongoing commitment to strengthening diverse communities and supporting anti-racism initiatives with an appointment to the board of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation in 2018. Her foresight work in this regard also includes Futures of Canadian Identities with Canadian Heritage.

She holds a Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from OCADU. As a result of her post-graduate research, Cheryl is commencing doctoral studies at London South Bank University. This work will undoubtedly encompass applying futures methodologies to her research on gender balance in for-benefit leadership.


Consulting website: https://www.cherylmayconsulting.com/

Project website: https://www.cherylmayproject.space/

Twitter: @MayRichings

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cherylmay/

Thesis: A New Model – The role of the for-benefit corporation in Canada