Leah Zaidi



Futurist / Foresight Lead, Accelerated by Design / Website

Leah is the Foresight Lead at Accelerated by Design, and was previously the Senior Foresight Strategist at Gensler.

As a practitioner, she creates future-proof strategies, designs preferred future states and business models, and oversees complex organizational change. She has worked with a variety of arts and culture, financial services, academia, government, and not-for-profit organizations. This year, she will collaborate with OCAD University and UNESCO to deliver the Futures Literacy Lab initiative in Toronto.

In 2018, her research on science fiction and transition design was recognized as one of the Most Significant Futures Work of 2017 by the Association of Professional Futurists. Her practice includes creating speculative futures to help stakeholders understand the implications of complex emerging issues.

She is also the founder of Speculative Futures Toronto, a chapter of the Speculative Futures Meetup and the Design Futures Initiative.

Leah has an MDes. in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from OCAD University.


fri. June 14 | 1:30 PM — 1:45 PM | ROOM A

We have reached a point in history where safe visions of the future are no longer enough.

Climate change is becoming increasingly problematic, the future of work is uncertain, and democracy is under siege. Rather than taking a reactive, post-traumatic stance, we need to design radical new visions of the future to combat the impending challenge. It is time to deconstruct old mythologies of limitless growth and mankind’s dominion over nature, and replace them with new stories of sustainability and balance.

So, how do we construct a new world for ourselves?

This talk will introduce Seven Foundations, a foresight model derived from the processes of science fiction authors. Seven Foundations uses the superstructure of culture and a first principles approach to help designers construct new worlds and preferred futures for all.