Rafael Ramirez is Director of the Oxford Scenarios Programme and the University of Oxford’s first Professor of Practice at the Saїd Business School and Green Templeton College, Oxford University. He is one of the world’s leading experts on scenario planning, having developed the Oxford Scenarios Planning Approach with colleagues Angela Wilkinson and Kees van der Heijden. He has also been one of the first scholars to develop theories on the aesthetics of business and organisation; theories that help to clarify how scenario planning can be rendered more effective. He is also Academic Director of the Oxford Networked Strategy Lab.
Rafael was Visiting Professor of Scenarios and Corporate Strategy at Shell International from 2000 to 2003, from 2008 to 2010 was Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Strategic Foresight, and since 2016 is an advisor to Strategy 50. As Director of the Oxford Scenarios Programme he leads one of the most highly respected programmes on the subject in the world.
The programme was established in 2004 and has so far taught some 500 participants from all continents and walks of life, including senior professionals in government, academia, civil society, and business. The programme educates people to make sense, reframe issues, and re-perceive options in challenging and turbulent environments. It encourages them to engage stakeholders to co-produce plausible alternative views, forge common ground, and develop actionable new strategy.
As is apparent in the ‘research’ tab, Rafael has written a large number of published papers, books and chapters. A proven innovator, Rafael co-authored the first major journal articles attacking the ‘value chain’ view of value production (with R. Normann), published in the Harvard Business Review in 1993. This pioneering research provided an early conceptualisation of value creation as designed in what has become since the ‘social economy / business ecology / web interaction era and which is explored and updated in the Lab. This he further developed in a paper in the Strategic Management Review (1999) on value co-production, which is the subject of his next book, expected in 2016. His 7th book, Strategic Reframing: The Oxford Scenario Planning Approach, co-authored with Angela Wilkinson, with Oxford University Press in 2016; the 8th book, Strategy for a Networked World, co-authored with Ulf Mannervik, was published by Imperial College Press in December 2016
As a researcher, consultant and management educator, Rafael has worked in some 35 countries, with many corporations, governmental and inter-governmental organisations, trade union federations, NGO's and professional associations. These include; Air Liquide, Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris, AT&T, Axa, BHP, BMW, The Canadian Labour Congress, Diabetes UK, EDF, the European Patent Office, the European Roundtable of Industrialists, Eurotunnel, the Financial Conduct Authority, HP, the IMF, the NYC Department of Juvenile Justice, Nissan Europe, O2, Rolls-Royce, Scottish Water, Standard Chartered Bank, Statoil, Suez International, Trenitalia, the United European Gastroenterologists; UNDP, Wärtsilä, and the World Economic Forum.
Rafael holds a PhD from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and Master’s degrees from the University of Oxford and from the Environmental Studies Faculty at York University in Toronto. He was Tenured Professor of Management in HEC-Paris until 2009. He also has held positions in the Wharton School, and at the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations - CNRS in Paris.
Rafael co-hosts the Oxford Futures Forum -which has so far convened four times- to explore different theoretical frameworks with which to explore scenario planning.
Rafael speaks English, Spanish and French fluently.
As a researcher, consultant and management educator, Rafael has worked in more than 25 countries with range of organisations including dozens of companies, governmental and inter-governmental organisations, trade union federations, NGOs, and professional associations. He has collaborated with governmental planning departments in many settings including Singapore, South Africa, the Caribbean and the United Arab Emirates. As Director of the Oxford Scenarios Programme he has taught and advised current and future leaders in government and business. When he oversaw the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Strategic Foresight, Rafael worked with the heads of the world’s leading companies, consultancies, and governments in dialogues on futures.
Rafael has designed, prepared, and run board strategy away days, advised and coached senior executives, provided consultation to innovation and strategy directors and CEOs, and been invited as keynote speaker to numerous conferences, such as the British Society of Chief Librarian’s annual seminar and the International Society for Systems Sciences. He is a Member of the Editorial Boards of Prospective and Stratégie, and of Organizational Aesthetics.
Rafael is Director of the Oxford Scenarios Programme and also teaches on the Consulting and Coaching for Change programme for executives. He is passionate about using theory and scholarship to improve the quality of practice among senior managers. Rafael’s teaching style emphasises critical reflection, use of theory, and practical application. He encourages programme participants to test out the tools, methodological criteria and conceptual principles in the safety of an Oxford classroom. With his guidance students practice, learn from mistakes, and apply their newfound knowledge and skills long after they leave the programme. Ramirez encourages students to keep in touch after graduating and is happy to provide post-programme support.
In addition to executive education programmes, Rafael has co-hosted three Oxford Futures Forum events in 2005, 2008, and 2011. He and other faculty members –notably Angela Wilkinson - have also established a world-leading futures library at Egrove Park.
Rafael Ramirez teaches:
This intensive four and a half day programme underpins the principles of scenario thinking to enhance the quality of scenario planning practices. The principles of engaging with the future are articulated through both practical methods, techniques, tools and theory, to enhance understanding of the practical.
Theoretically informed and practically grounded, this programme equips senior executives to deal with change in organisations and the challenge it poses for individuals. The approach is multidisciplinary, linking the social sciences and management theory to practical situations. It also draws upon relevant concepts from psychology, psychoanalysis, anthropology, sociology, philosophy and more. Consulting and Coaching for Change is run jointly with the HEC School of Management, Paris. The programme is built around six four-day modules alternating between Oxford and Paris.
Saïd Business School
Executive Education Centre