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Chantell Ilbury

chantell ilbury

Chantell Ilbury - Motivational Speaker, Facilitator and Keynote Speaker - Cape Town

Chantell Ilbury is one of South Africa’s most exciting scenario strategists and facilitators, working locally and internationally. Chantell believes passionately in the power of scenario thinking to help open one’s mind and then focus it more effectively, making it the most operative form of business strategizing in the new economy. Chantell Ilbury holds a BSc in Chemistry, a post-graduate Higher Diploma in Education and an Executive MBA from the University of Cape Town and has registered for a PhD in integrated business strategy at UCT.

Chantell Ilbury was born in Bulawayo and attended Eveline High School before moving to Natal to study at the University of Natal. After completing her BSc and HDE she started a career in education, firstly as a teacher and then as a designer of computer-based training material for industry as well as bridging courses for post-matric students. Chantell also accepted positions to lecture Chemistry and Education. In 1995 Chantell expanded her approach to education when she founded Scienceworks – South Africa’s first science communication company. She pioneered a radical learner-based approach to science education, which she then incorporated into the design, manufacturing, retail and eventual export, of a range of 16 creative science kits aimed at the 7-16 age group.

chantell ilbury

It was whilst completing her Executive MBA at the UCT Graduate School of Business, that Chantell first met Anglo-American’s Clem Sunter and introduced her ideas on scenario planning. The collaboration led to their co-writing of the number one best-selling book The Mind of a Fox – Scenario Planning in Action, which is about to go into its eighth edition. 

As a scenario-planning strategist, Chantell Ilbury has consulted at both a national and international level. She has been invited to lecture strategy at a number of South Africa’s top business schools. Chantell Ilbury is an accomplished speaker and is often called on to address leading businesses on effective management in times of uncertainty. Chantell Ilbury was invited to speak at an international business conference in London on Managing Business in Turbulent Times and was one of the keynote speakers at the Business Continuity International Symposium in Jersey as well as a guest speaker at a leading business symposium on the Isle of Man.
Introduction for Chantell

Chantell Ilbury is one of South Africa’s leading scenario strategists and facilitators, working both locally and internationally. She specialises in managing strategic conversation; and believes passionately in the power of scenario thinking as the most operative form of business strategy in the new economy. She holds a BSc in Chemistry, a post-graduate Higher Diploma in Education and an Executive MBA from the University of Cape Town; and has also studied strategic negotiation at Harvard Business School in Boston. Together with Clem Sunter she is co-author of the best-selling books The Mind of a Fox – Scenario Planning in Action, which is in its 21st print; and Games Foxes Play – Planning for Extraordinary Times – which was launched at the beginning of April 2005. Their 3rd book Socrates and the Fox – A Strategic Dialogue came out at the end of 2007.
The World and South Africa in the 2010s

chantell ilbury

We live in a world that is constantly evolving, and yet within this evolution history seems intent on repeating itself. This paradox has been driven by our continued use of history as a source of experience to improve ourselves, but also by our remarkable refusal at times to learn from it. Interestingly, our world has remained relatively predictable in one aspect for the last few centuries. The West has been the dominant force in global politics and economics - a veritable superpower apart from the former Soviet Union.

But the game has changed quite dramatically over the last three decades, with the emergence of new, and highly influential, players answering to different rules while tilting the global playing field their way. First it was the re-emergence of Japan, then the arrival of the Asian tigers and now the ascent of China. All in all, we are at a significant moment in the long time frame of human history because real change is happening literally before our eyes. One prominent American industrialist said: “I feel like the British did 100 years ago. America is still good at producing missile guidance systems, but how many of these can you sell compared to fridges and cars where the expertise has moved elsewhere?” This quotation suggests that a future in the 2010s - which is just around the corner - may be very different to the world we are used to; and as such, standard procedures in planning may be invalid.

chantell ilbury

This article examines the global game in the 2010s and constructs a variety of possible outcomes to it. Within these a set of scenarios that could play out in South Africa are depicted, which hopefully will take us beyond our current fixation on the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Given the immense complexity of the new global game and its influence on South Africa, no analysis can capture the true extent of what might happen. However, we are confident that our material will provide an effective framework within which people can ask themselves the pertinent questions, debate the future as they see it and act quickly and judiciously on their insight.

In order to put South Africa into context, we shall consider first the external (global) picture and then the internal (national) one. In so doing, we shall be following the classic methodology of scenario planning which comprises three steps: the rules of the game, the key uncertainties and the possible scenarios that emanate from them. The rules of the game are defined as those propositions that are virtually certain to apply under all scenarios. The key uncertainties are surprises that are lurking in the woods around you. They include shock events that can have a sudden impact on the game; or gradual threats that increase over time. The scenarios themselves are the possible outcomes to the game. Whereas the global scenarios are a chain of events which lie largely outside the control of a single country, each country does have some measure of control over its own destiny. This means that the desirable scenario for South Africa is, to an important degree, in its own hands.

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Chantell Ilbury - Motivational Speaker, Facilitator and Keynote Speaker - Cape Town

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