For forty years Riel has been co-creating innovation, leadership and transformation in both the public and private sectors around the world. He is one of the world’s leading strategic foresight designers and practitioners. Currently Riel is working with universities, governments, companies, and thinktanks from around the world to introduce an anticipatory systems and processes approach to understanding the attributes and role of the future. He has been appointed a Senior Fellow at: Ecole des Ponts Business School (France); U. New Brunswick (Canada); U. Stavanger (Norway); U. Corsica (France); NIFU (Norway); U. Witwatersrand (South Africa); Future Africa at U. Pretoria (South Africa).

He was formerly Head of Foresight and Futures Literacy at UNESCO in Paris, from 2012-2022 . In the 1980s and 1990s he worked in the Ontario, Canada for a range of institutions, including the legislature, trade unions, and the public service (Ministries of Finance; Universities; and Industry). In 1995 he joined the OECD in Paris to work in the International Futures Programme. In 2005 he founded an independent consultancy – xperidox (which means knowledge through experience) to advise clients on how to use the future more effectively .

Since 1988, when he managed his first major participatory foresight exercise (Vision 2000), Riel has designed hundreds of applied futures projects around the world, large and small scale, public and private. He is an accomplished and innovative designer of processes for using the future to make decisions in the present. He is an experienced keynote speaker, project manager, master of ceremonies, university lecturer, workshop leader, and group facilitator. He is widely published, with works that cover topics such as the future of: innovation, research, money-finance, public services, education, the Internet, identity, information technology, the knowledge society, regional development, health, universities, telepresence, AI, etc. Riel has an extensive international network and a solid track record of creativity.

Specialties: Bringing decision makers to question the assumptions underlying current choices and exploring the potential of the present. Specific sectors: The future of money (financial sector). The Future of Schooling and Universities (Education). The Future of Cyberspace (Internet, networking). The Future of Technology (from nano to AI) The Future of Governance.