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Sohail Inayatullah

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Sohail Inayatullah
Born1958 (age 65–66)
Lahore, Pakistan
  • Author
  • futurist
  • keynote speaker
Known forCausal layered analysis
SpouseIvana Milojevic
AwardsHonorary Doctorate, Universiti Sains Malaysia
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Hawaiʻi
Academic work
  • UNESCO Chair in Futures Studies
  • Sejahtera Centre for Sustainability and Humanity
  • Professor of Futures Studies, College of Education, Tamkang University
Notable works
  • Macrohistroy and Macrohistorians (1997)
  • What Works: Case Studies in the Practice of Foresight (2015)
  • Understanding Sarkar (2002)
  • CLA Reader (2004)
  • CLA 2.0 (2015)
  • CLA 3.0 (2022)
WebsiteOfficial website

Sohail Inayatullah is a Pakistani-born Australian academic, futures studies researcher and a professor at the Graduate Institute of Futures Studies at Tamkang University in Taipei, Taiwan.[1][2][3]


Born in 1958 in Lahore, Pakistan, to a father who worked as a researcher for the United Nations and a Sufi mother, he grew up in numerous countries including the United States, Switzerland and Malaysia. His  main influences include James Dator, Johan Galtung, William Irwin Thompson and in particular P. R. Sarkar.[4]

Academic contributions[edit]

Inayatullah is most famous for introducing and pioneering the futures technique of causal layered analysis, that uses a four-layered approach to bring about transformative change.[5][6] He introduced the idea in a widely cited paper for Futures.[7] He also edited and wrote the introductory chapter for the Causal Layered Analysis (CLA) Reader.[8] He has described the idea for a popular audience in an article for The Futurist[5] and a TEDx talk.[9]

Inayatullah's work on CLA was examined in a book by Jose W. Ramos in 2003.[10] He also invented the method known as, the Futures Triangle,[11][12] the Integrated Scenario Method,[13] and with Ivana Milojevic, the Change Progression Scenario Method.[14]

Academic positions[edit]

In addition to his role at Tamkang University, Inayatullah is the UNESCO Chair in Futures Studies at the Sejahtera Centre for Sustainability and Humanity, IIUM, Malaysia[15] From 2016 to 2021, he was the UNESCO Chair in Futures Studies at USIM, Malaysia. He was also an adjunct professor at the Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism, Macquarie University, Sydney,[16] from 2011 to 2014 and adjunct professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast (Faculty of Social Sciences and the Arts) from 2001 to 2020.[2][17][18]

Role in journals and web publications[edit]

Inayatullah is co-editor (along with Jose Ramos, Anisah Abdullah, and Kuo-Hua Chen) of the Journal of Futures Studies, one of the top journals in futures studies.[19] He is on the editorial boards of Futures,[20] Journal of Foresight and Thought Leadership,[21] World Futures, Futures and Foresight Science,[22] World Futures Review [22] and foresight.[23]

Inayatullah is also the co-founder of educational think tank Metafuture.org along with Dr. Ivana Milojević.[24]

Other affiliations[edit]

Inayatullah is a member of the World Future Society and blogs at the Journal of Futures Studies website. He is also a Fellow of the World Futures Studies Federation.[25] He has also voiced his support for the Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, an organisation which campaigns for democratic reform in the United Nations.[26]


  1. ^ "專任師資". Tamkang University. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Sohail Inayatullah". School of International Futures. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  3. ^ Chaudhary, Puruesh (11 January 2015). "The Pakistani Nostradamus". Dawn. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  4. ^ José M. Ramos, From Critique to Cultural Recovery: Critical Futures Studies and Causal Layered Analysis, Australian Foresight Institute, Swinburne University of Technology, 2003, p. 34
  5. ^ a b Inayatullah, Sohail (January–February 2014). "Causal Layered Analysis Defined". The Futurist. 48 (1). World Future Society. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  6. ^ "Causal Layered Analysis". Scenarios for Sustainability Recipes. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  7. ^ Inayatullah, Sohail (October 1998). "Causal layered analysis: Poststructuralism as method" (PDF). Futures. 30 (8): 815–829. doi:10.1016/S0016-3287(98)00086-X. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  8. ^ "The Causal Layered Analysis (CLA) Reader: Theory and Case Studies of an Integrative and Transformative Methodology" (PDF). Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  9. ^ Inayatullah, Sohail (12 May 2013). "Causal Layered Analysis: Sohail Inayatullah at TEDxNoosa". Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  10. ^ Ramos, Jose W. (2003). "From critique to cultural recovery: critical futures studies and casual layered analysis". Australian Foresight Institute. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  11. ^ Inayatullah, Sohail (1 January 2008). "Six pillars: futures thinking for transforming". Foresight. 10 (1): 4–21. doi:10.1108/14636680810855991. ISSN 1463-6689.
  12. ^ Riedy, Chris (15 June 2017). "The futures triangle". Medium. Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  13. ^ Inayatullah, Sohail. "Futures Studies: Theories and Methods". OpenMind. Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  14. ^ "Asia-Pacific Futures in 2040 : raising ambitions for a healthy environment". ESCAP. Retrieved 14 December 2022.
  15. ^ "IIUM UNESCO Chair on Futures Studies: Anticipation for Sustainability and Wellbeing – International Islamic University Malaysia". www.iium.edu.my. Retrieved 19 October 2022.
  16. ^ "Sohail Inayatullah". Macquarie University. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  17. ^ "Professor receives global futurist award". 19 January 2011. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  18. ^ "Metafuture: About us". Metafuture. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  19. ^ "Editors". Journal of Futures Studies. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  20. ^ "Futures Editorial Board". Futures, Elsevier. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  21. ^ "Members of the Editorial Team". joftl.org. Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  22. ^ a b "Futures Publications – Journals – WORLD FUTURES STUDIES FEDERATION". Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  23. ^ "Editorial team". foresight, Emerald Publishing Group. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  24. ^ "Metafuture". Facilitating Futures. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  25. ^ "WFSF Fellows". World Futures Studies Federation. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  26. ^ "Overview". Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly. Retrieved 12 October 2017.

External links[edit]