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USC students’ futurist thinking is best in the world

13 Sep 2021

Three USC PhD students have gained international awards for their forward-thinking insights.

Russell Clemens, Liam Mayo and Kimberley Camrass were recently placed first, second and third respectively in the international Association of Professional Futurists 2021 PhD student recognition awards.

USC Dean of Graduate Research Professor Stephan Riek said this was an exceptional achievement for the students themselves and for the University.

“This is outstanding recognition of the research and critical thinking skills of our students, who were competing against some of the world’s leading emerging thinkers on global current trends and their implications in the future,” Professor Riek said.

“At a University level, these achievements help to highlight the globally significant, world-class teaching, research, citations and international outlook achieved by USC.”

The Association of Professional Futurists is a global community dedicated to promoting professional excellence and demonstrating the value of strategic foresight and futures studies for their clients or employers.

The students’ works were judged on their quality in terms of originality, content, and contribution to the field.

Russell Clemens, a semi-retired manager based in Western Australia, was awarded first prize for his article published in World Futures Review that applied a causal layered analysis to understand how population growth and dwindling fragmented natural habitats for elephants in Asia were leading to increasing conflict between humans and the wild animals.

Second prize was awarded to Liam Mayo, CEO of Sunshine Coast community services organisation Be, whose article in the Journal of Future Studies centred on the unique impacts digital culture is having on authority, knowledge, selfhood, reality and time.

Sustainability manager Kimberly Camrass from Clayfield was third for her work featured in Foresight, which explored the rhetoric around climate change and sustainability.

She proposed a new framework that draws on the field of regeneration and moves past simply trying to stop climate damage through sustainability initiatives to instead contributing to the ongoing repair and improvement of nature.

Kimberley’s article has also been nominated for the Association’s Most Significant Futures Works award, which identifies and rewards the work of professional futurists and others whose work illuminates aspects of the future.

The Association also shares these projects with the public to educate and inform, and to showcase examples of excellent futures work.

USC PhD candidate Liam Mayo

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