Who are we?

Who are we?

Today’s world is characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity – conditions that lead to upheavals and make us perceive this as an increasingly fast-moving and fragmented environment.

Those responsible for corporate development or political decision-making have reason to recognize the inadequacy of traditional planning approaches: Focusing on special areas and addressing individual symptoms does not lead to sustainable solutions. In order to ensure the survival and success of companies as a whole in a responsible manner, managers are required to acquire a new role – one that opens up alternative perspectives on the world to enable new orientation options or problem-solving which overcomes the divides between sectoral interests. This new form of general responsibility in one’s actions requires new social methods, and new leadership and innovation skills.

Our role as an application-oriented research driver and pathfinder is to guide you to develop a higher level of innovation and leadership skills based on the overall context. Personal exchange at peer level with high-profile personalities from science and practice in the context of real challenges enables you to rethink and perceive the limits of your own enterprise and to research the future with prototypes of specific actions.

Our Origin

Founded in 2017, the Center for Future Design emerged from the Design-Organization-Media research laboratory that had been established fifteen years before to deal with the central questions of future management in order to focus specifically on the development of innovation and leadership skills in a corporate context. The challenges of our target group required a degree of flexibility and creativity in the learning process that could not be achieved within the structures and limits of a university. It required prioritizing social learning and the learning of learning in contrast to the abstract learning of conventional training formats through presenting of expertise and approaches.

The Team


Michael Shamiyeh works with organizations to create new and meaningful futures (rather than fixing past problems). He combines the client’s unique business experience, analytical rigor, and the output of creative collisions to transform insight into impact.


He is professor, founder, and head of the CFD. Michael holds the UNESCO Chair in Anticipatory Techniques and Future Design, is a partner of the International Center for Corporate Governance (ICFCG) at the University of St. Gallen, CH, and was a Visiting Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering (CDR) at Stanford University, USA, from 2017-2020. He holds degrees from the University of St. Gallen (PhD in Management), Harvard University (post-professional Master’s in Architecture), AA London (MA History and Critical Thinking), and the Technical University of Vienna (Dipl-Ing in Architecture & Engineering).


Learn more about his work.


(On maternal leave)

Agnes Buchberger has been working as a consultant for the Center for Future Design since February 2020. Prior to this she was employed as an organizational assistant at the Chair of Media and Technology Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Vienna.


She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy as well as a bachelor’s degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology from the University of Vienna and has completed a master’s in Social Ecology from the University of Klagenfurt in Vienna.

Advisory Board

Klaus Fronius is an honorary senator at Graz University of Technology (TU Graz), was head of the family-run Fronius International Ltd. for over 35 years and switched to the company’s supervisory board in 2012. During his time as managing partner (1980 to 2011), he played a key role in the strategic direction of the company and was one of the first pioneers in the field of alternative energy generation to take future-oriented steps.


As co-initiator of the commercial academy in Wels in 1994, the engineer Fronius made a fundamental contribution to the development of the research world in the area of renewable energies in Upper Austria. In a video released in 2012 by the Energy Region Wels / Wels-province / Eferding, he spoke for the end of “fighting about energy” and wished all people unhindered access to sufficient and, above all, alternative energy reserves.

Bolko von Oetinger received his PhD in foreign policy from Arnulf Baring at the Free University of Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin) and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. From 1974 to 2008 he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Menlo Park, Paris, and Munich. In addition to his client work with a focus on strategy, organization, and innovation, he also held a number of international management positions.


Since 1998 he has been teaching strategic management at WHU in Koblenz / Vallendar, where he was appointed to honorary professor in 2004. As Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt and at the Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics, he is committed to corporate social responsibility. Bolko von Oetinger has written numerous articles and books on strategy.

Karlheinz Schwuchow has held the professorship for international management at Bremen University since 1999 and heads the CIMS Center for International Management Studies. After studying business administration and earning an MBA in the USA, he worked from 1985 to 1991 in executive development at the USW University Seminar in economics at Schloss Gracht.


While working he completed a doctorate on the side Dr. rer. pol.

Schwuchow held several positions. Among others he worked in management and strategy consulting, was founding managing director of the Center for Financial Studies – Institute for Continuing Education Ltd. in Frankfurt / Main, was managing director of the GISMA Business School in Hanover, and was the founding officer for the Center for Leadership, Innovation, and Change at Jacobs University Bremen.


Walter Brenner is the managing director of the Institute for Information Systems (Business Informatics). He held professorships at the University of Essen and the TU Bergakademie Freiberg. From 1985 to 1989, Walter Brenner worked for Alusuisse-Lonza AG in Basel, and finally as Head of Application Development, today we would call him a CIO.


His research focuses on industrialization of information management, industrial services, corporate information systems and the digital consumer business. He also works as a freelance consultant on information management and company preparation for the digitally networked world.

Larry Leifer joined the faculty in 1976. Prior to this, he was an assistant professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and spent four years at the Human Information Processing Laboratory at NASA Ames Research Centers.


His education comprises a bachelor’s degree in engineering, a master’s degree in product design (art), and a PhD in biomedical technology (neuroscience). He was among others a founding director of the Intelligent Product Design Laboratory, the Center for Design Research (CDR), the Stanford Learning Laboratory as well as the Hasso Plattner Design Thinking research program at Stanford. His teaching laboratory is the Graduate Program ME310, an industry-project-based program for industrial design, innovation, and development. 


Tamara Carleton

CEO and Founder
Innovation Leadership Group LLC

Martin J. Eppler

Professor for Communication Management
University of St. Gallen

Tessa Finlev

Foresight Strategist
Dolby Laboratories

Michael Hilb

Founder and CEO
DBP Holding Ltd

Andri Hinnen

Founder and Managing Director
ZENSE - Reframing Complexity

Patrick Hunger

former CEO
Saxo Bank Schweiz

Dagmar Laub

Head of Corporate Communication, Member of the Board
Zürcher Kantonalbank

Darcy Olmos Mancilla

AIRBUS Urban Air Mobility Lateinamerika und WIFO

Adrian Müller

Professor for Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship
Zurich University of Applied Sciences

Patricia Stone

Head Customer Experience & Analytics, Director
Swiss Re

Victor Taratukhin

Member of the Chair for Information Systems and Information Management
University of Münster

Oleksiy Tatarenko

Strategic Projects Manager
Shell International B.V.

Stefan Wolf

Manager of Strategy
Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge


Center for Future Design

University of Art and Design
Hauptplatz 6
4020 Linz, Austria


Professor Michael Shamiyeh

Agnes Buchberger
+43 732 7898 - 2218


Professor Larry Leifer
Stanford University

Professor Walter Brenner
Universität St. Gallen

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