Tanja Hichert

An analysis of visions of radically alternative “good” futures for southern Africa

In the rapidly changing and uncertain world of the Anthropocene, positive visions of the future could play a crucial role in catalysing deep social-ecological transformations to help guide humanity towards more sustainable and equitable futures. This talk presents the outcomes from a novel visioning process designed to elicit creative and inspirational future scenarios for southern Africa. The approach based scenario development on “seeds of good Anthropocenes”, i.e. existing initiatives or technologies that represent current, local-scale innovations for sustainability. A selection of seeds was used to create four distinct, positive visions in a participatory workshop process. The narratives presented here describe worlds that have undergone a more significant paradigm shift towards shared human values and stewardship of resources than is explored in most other ambient narratives for the region. These “Good Anthropocene” scenarios therefore demonstrate more radical, unimagined ways of thinking about sustainability futures on the African continent and beyond.


Tanja Hichert is an experienced professional futurist who has maintained a link with academic Futures Studies in her career as a practitioner specialising in: scenario planning, horizon scanning, risk management and facilitating strategic conversations that provide clarity and direction for organisations and institutions faced with complexity and uncertainty. She has extensive experience applying Futures Studies to ‘development issues’ in the ‘emerging world’, together with a solid track record in business strategy. Tanja teaches post-graduate students and serves on boards of Futures organisations. Her passion is expanding and building the practical application of Future Studies on the African continent. Where opportunity allows, she loves innovative and experimental approaches, and working at the intersection of complex issues. Tanja lives near Cape Town, South Africa, and works all over the world.

Email address: Tanja@hichert.co.za

Project website: http://www0.sun.ac.za/cst/news/pushing-boundaries-to-create-positive-visions-of-the-future-for-southern-africa/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TanjaHichert

Other links: https://goodanthropocenes.net/