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Dr Richard

Entrepreneur, Strategic Futurist, Mentor & Author



Richard David Hames is a philosopher-activist, author, mentor and master of strategic foresight. Since April 2022 Richard has been Chief Strategist and Mentor to Eternus.

Working at the interface between organisations and society, Richard is considered to be among the world’s most influential intellectuals. He was recently referred to by Forbes Asia as 'one of the smartest people on the planet'.

An Australian citizen, educated in the UK and Europe, and domiciled in Thailand, he has been honoured with numerous awards including a French Government Scholarship, a Leverhulme European Fellowship, the Mondadori Professorial Fellowship and the inaugural Lord Attlee Fellowship. He has doctoral degrees in music, medicine and computer science.

In 1994 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and in 2004 a Fellow of the World Academy of Art & Science.
He is founder of the Centre for the Future and Chairman of the Asian Foresight Institute located in Bangkok.
After early careers in medicine, computer science, academia and the arts, Richard was appointed Group Chief Executive to AMI, a position that was to earn him an enviable reputation as a charismatic and highly effective leader of change through the transformation of an almost bankrupt business into one of Europe's most successful and dynamic media corporations.

His early international experience as a strategy consultant in the field of Total Quality Management was inspired by a close professional friendship with the legendary Dr. W Edwards Deming.
In 1993 Richard co-founded Global Business Network (Australia) and established ABN Learning, GBNA’s innovative consulting division. In 1995 he started The Hames Group - part think-tank, design laboratory, and advisory firm based in Chicago. He has been an adviser and leadership strategist to governments, institutions and multinational corporations in the USA, France, UK, UAE, China, Japan, South Africa, Singapore, Thailand, Brazil, Vietnam, and Australia.

He has been a personal mentor to Presidents, Heads of State, entrepreneurs, and some of the world’s most innovative CEOs.
Richard is best known for pioneering Deep Design - a ground-breaking approach to 2nd-order change based on the integral nature of complexity science and living systems. He is also admired for his passionate advocacy of real-time cybernetic and humanitarian models of governance. Richard’s methodologies, including Transformational Narrative, Systemic Acupuncture, and Strategic Navigation (the latter designed in collaboration with Marvin Oka), all apply generative learning principles to the strategic management of organizations in dynamically complex environments.

As a strategic foresight practitioner Richard has examined topics ranging from the future of conflict to microtechnology in everyday life, financial services, transport, urban development, terrorism, taxation, health care, social networks, political systems, energy, natural resource management and learning.

Richard was accurately predicting the impact of the climate crisis on business from as early as 1987. In 1998 he warned of the possibility of hijacked planes being flown into the World Trade Centre. In 2005 he described to a group of Wall Street bankers the patterns that led to a global financial crisis just three years later. He correctly anticipated the sociopolitical conditions that led to the Arab Spring, the release (and recent detention) of Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and the rise of Donald Trump. He is currently talking about the new capitalism in China, threats to the European Union, and the growing irrelevance of the Westphalian model of nation states.

Based purely on performance Richard, an elder statesman in the field of foresight, is considered by his peers to be the most accurate futurist in the world today.

A polymath, public speaker, and celebrated writer, Richard is author of the best-selling book, The Management Myth: Exploring the Essence of Future Organizations. His second book, Burying the 20th Century - New Paths to New Futures, was published in 1997. Richard contributed a chapter entitled, Requiem for the Nation State in Reforming the Public Sector (ed. C. Clark and D. Corbett, Allen & Unwin, 1999) and was a key contributor to Rewiring Organizations for the Connected Economy (Jossey-Bass Pfeiffer, Los Angeles, US. 2002). The Five Literacies of Global Leadership, published by John Wiley & Son in April 2007, was the result of ten years of research and presents the source code for an entirely new philosophy of leadership independent of performance.

His most recent books are Open Mind - Open Heart; Heresies: Essays on the Future of Humanity; The Unacceptable Gift: Fourteen Insights into Societal Transformation, and Contagion: Living with and through the Plague - which is a collection of essays on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Richard's writings can also be found online at The Hames Report Limited Edition, which is published weekly on Substack, and The Virtual Activist, published daily on Patreon.

As an entrepreneur and knowledge designer, Richard has focused on projects ranging across all sectors of the community, business and government - rethinking from first principles a number of the key concepts underpinning 250 years of industrial economism. An authority on the design of strategically relevant yet viable 'whole system' solutions for business and government in today's society, Richard has built an enviable reputation with a range of clients spanning the globe and in all sectors of the economy.

In each case, the group thoroughly enjoyed your work - as I always do - and you provided a veritable smorgasbord of concepts, thinking, and reference points for everyone to take back with them. Quite apart from the clarity of your thinking, you have a special gift for 'connecting' with groups, and the interactive components become a significant feature in themselves. Chris Aston-James, MD, Aston-James International

Congratulations to you. I thought that your leadership was stunning and your facilitation of such an open-ended event as a well as with such large numbers was skilful, masterful and very clever.

Gerry White, CEO,

Thank you for providing me with a response to that niggling old chestnut, "If you could sit next to anyone on a flight to London who would it be? Dr. Richard David Hames will be my answer from here on in! In fact I'd even do a stop over, about turn and return flight with him. Stimulating, challenging and relevant - what a way to begin a Monday morning.

An Executive at the ANZ

Motivating and enlightening…

Melanie McMillan, Director, TAC

Incredibly insightful, interesting and intellectually stimulating

Sally-Anne Friedlander, Boral Learning Services

Richard's capacity to identify and weave together the major issues that are shaping our future world is extraordinary.

Australian Institute of Training & Development

Richard Hames has, in a very significant way, helped us to reshape the Australian Taxation Office and lay the foundations for a new organization that is now so essential as we move into a huge tax reform process here in Australia.

Peter Simpson, 2nd Commissioner - ATO

It is a rare person who is able to transform our thinking by creating a fundamentally new vision of how things could work better. Richard Hames is one of those people.

Sir Norman Joyce, Chairman, AMI

Richard offers us a new management paradigm to lead us back to community as the foundation for sustainable prosperity and balance.

Charles Macek, Chairman - IOOF

Richard’s ideas are for anyone searching for new meanings in work. Marvelous!”

Dr Charles Hampden-Turner, University of Cambridge
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