In December 2018 the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas and UNESCO signed a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of a Research Chair in Futures Research. The Foresight and Tools Unit of PRAXI Network is leading the activities of the Chair.
The granting of a UNESCO Chair provides access to a global network of universities and research institutions. The network counts more than 700 institutions in 116 countries. The objective of the UNESCO Chairs programme is the promotion of international cooperation and networking among universities and research institutions in areas relevant to organization’s mandate namely education, science, culture and communication.
In many instances, UNESCO Chairs serve as intermediaries connecting research with community’s needs at a national and regional level for the design of policies having a positive social impact. UNESCO Chairs have also the potential to evolve into poles of excellence, especially when there is a lack of expertise, as it is the case with foresight in many countries in the Balkan region and the Mediterranean basin.
Dr Epaminondas Christofilopoulos is the Head of Foresight & Tools Unit in PRAXI Network and UNESCO Chairholder. Epaminondas has almost 10 years of experience in foresight and he is among the founding members of the Greek Node of Millenium Project. His research interests cover the future of the innovation landscape in China and the development of serious games for scenario exploration and long-term strategic planning. Epaminondas holds a PhD on the Use of Scenarios for Strategic Planning (VUZF, Bulgaria) and he is a certified Future Strategist from ICFS. Epaminondas is a member of Onassis Foundation Scholars’ Association.
Irianna Lianaki – Dedouli coordinates the Chair’s research development and training activities. Irianna is a PhD Candidate in Turku School of Economics and she holds a MA in International Studies and Diplomacy from School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her research focuses on futures literacy and intercultural communication. In the past, Irianna worked for UNESCO’s Foresight Unit and UNESCO’s Culture of Peace and Intercultural Dialogue Programme.