Epaminondas “Nondas” Christophilopoulos of PRAXI/FORTH & Phemonoe Lab, Greec, has both been part of developing the ICFS program and one of the first to be certified as International Certified Future Strategist. Since then he has developed and deepened his understanding and expertise for scenario planning and future studies. In September 2018 ha also achieved his PhD in Scenario Planning  at the University of Finance, Business, and Enterpreneurship (VUZF), Sofia.
Congratulations to your PhD, Nondas!
Can you please tell us in a few words what your PhD is about?
Thanks Ulf! The hypothesis behind my PhD is that foresight, and especially scenarios offer a suitable method to create future-orientation, futures mindset and build a resilient long-term organisation strategy. Thus, the main aim of my PhD was to prove that in todayʼs complex and rapidly changing environment, the utilization of foresight methodologies and scenarios offer a sound tool for understanding the overall system and build a successful long-term strategy that successfully addresses business, financial, social, technological, and other uncertainties. As a case study I used scenarios and gamification methodologies to address the uncertainties regarding the future development of the complex innovation and economic environment in China.  
Where can we make most use of future studies; where do they make most sense?
The world today is more complex than ever before while the pace of change is faster than ever. In this global environment, companies and other organizations understand the value of long-term strategic planning, but miss the right tools to build a convincing long-term strategy. While it is relatively easy to prepare for short term linear changes, longer term shifts in the socio-technical system and the impacts of the exponential technological disruptions are harder to cope with and are regarded as the “black hole of strategy”. Foresight is an approach to support the longer-term anticipation of alternative futures and for triggering responses to them
What are, in your mind, the most important development paths for future studies?
Well, there are many new tools used in the field of future studies, like gamification and big data analysis tools, that add on the diverse toolset of the future studies. Nevertheless, I would like to focus on the rather new concept of Futures Literacy (FL), promoted by UNESCO. Usually, individuals or organisations imagine the future using specific implicit anticipatory assumptions. In this sense, FL is a skill that can be revealed and obtained through specific learning processes that allow us to understand the underlying assumptions we use to imagine the future and become futures literate. A futures literate person has the skills to decide why and how to use their imagination to introduce the non-existent future into the present.
In what ways did you benefit from the ICFS program in conducting your PhD?
The ICFS  course is the catalyzing force behind my PhD research. Most probably I wouldnʼt have thought to do a PhD otherwise. The first part of my research started in parallel with my time in the first pilot ICFS course back at 2013, where I received guidance to design and implement the first phase of my research. But also in the following years, I ʽve continued using the knowledge gained through the ICFS course, while I also collaborated with some colleagues I met during the course in the second phase of my research in China. I would like to say that the ICFS course did change my life, allowing me to expand my academic background and make a substantial career change in my professional life.