Richard D Hames
Philosopher-activist, Author, Mentor and Strategic Foresight Practitioner
An Australian citizen, educated in the UK and Europe, and domiciled in Thailand, Richard 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.
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 catalyst 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 arm. In 1995 he started The Hames Group – part think-tank, design laboratory, and boutique strategy 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. As a mentor he has worked with Heads of State, cabinet ministers, entrepreneurs, and some of the world’s most highly regarded and innovative CEOs.
Richard is best known for pioneering Deep Design – a ground-breaking regenerative approach to 2nd-order change based on the integral nature of complex 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 co-designed with behavioural modeller 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 design, terrorism, taxation, trade, aid, neocolonialism, philanthropy, health care, social networks, political systems, energy, natural resource management, learning and the collapse of civilizations.
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 socio-political 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 Chinese state capitalism, public surveillance, cybersecurity, threats to the European Union, unregulated development of artificial general intelligence, 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 among the most erudite of futurists 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 role or status.
His most recent books include 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, published fortnightly on Substack, and The Virtual Activist, published daily on Patreon.
As an entrepreneur, knowledge designer, and highly credentialled public speaker, Richard has focused on projects ranging across all sectors of society – 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.
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.
- Australian Taxation Office
Richard Hames has challenged us beyond the boundaries of our comfort zones. Remarkable and provocative thinking.
-Future of Work Foundation
Entertaining, exciting and unforgettable. A formidable intellect at play.
-Palm Springs Pty Ltd
Over the years I have heard many of the world's top speakers and presenters. Richard rates up there with the best. His performance was inspiring, proactive, groundbreaking and most of all very real!
-Kreston Dormers Business Advisers
Richard's capacity to identify and weave together the major issues that are shaping our future world is extraordinary.
-Global Business Network
Richard's compelling summary of the issues facing the world today and his clear view of the dynamics of change is so sharp that it penetrates the fog of the dominant economic paradigm.