About Think Beyond

Think Beyond is situated in the city of opportunity – Ōtautahi | Christchurch – and in the takiwā (district) of Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga. Aotearoa | New Zealand is our beautiful country but our reach is global, online and in the cloud. 

Cheryl works for herself although often in networks and is focused on building futures communities, futures thinkers and futures activators. She is driven by a desire to contribute towards an equitable world, where intergenerational needs and the needs of the planet are paramount. 

Cheryl doesn’t have an elevator pitch because she is indescribable. A colleague recently described Cheryl’s work as “a verb not a noun. She amplifies, drives, advocates, accelerates….and thinks beyond.”

Dr Cheryl Doig – The Formal Blurb

Dr Cheryl Doig is a leadership futurist, weaver and connector, often known as the #futuresaunty. Cheryl has a passion for growing futures literacy and foresight through her company, Think Beyond. She is the founder of the Ōtautahi Futures Collective, Aotearoa Futures and Oceania Futures.

In 2017 Cheryl was a finalist in the NZ Westpac Women of Influence Awards, in the Innovation and Science category. She is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the University of Canterbury, a professional member of the Association for Professional Futurists and a reviewer for the Journal of Future Studies. 

Cheryl has over 30 year’s business and governance experience in education, social impact and health.  She is founding trustee of Ako Ōtautahi Learning City Christchurch, a trust focused on growing a local learning ecosystem with a focus on equity, access and innovation. 

Futures Aunty

#futuresaunty came into being based on feedback from a respected colleague who attended one of Cheryl’s futures activators:

Thank you for your invitation, mentorship and gentle support in the futures space – it has been one of my inspiration sources this year! You are so generous in your encouragement and knowledge :)You’re my futures aunty and I appreciate you.
Lex Davis 2022

Cheryl reflects on how a futures aunty might ‘turn up’:

Aunty is a term of endearment for a woman who has lived a life well, has lots of experience and is valued and trusted. She is there to help whānau (family) out when they need it and this includes her futures family. An aunty has permission to have robust conversations with you and to give honest feedback.  At the same time she opens doors, cares about you and supports future generations to live their best lives. She thinks about the future but she is grounded in today. Above all, a futures aunty needs to be forgiven for quirkiness, accepted for flaws and appreciated for her history.

The Futures Collective

The Ōtautahi Futures Collective was born during the first Covid lockdown, when a group of ten Christchurch people were invited to work with Cheryl online to deepen their understanding of futures thinking. This group was sponsored by Think Beyond, with fortnightly conversations online and opportunities to interact with guest speakers and to grow skills together. Since then the collective has expanded across Aotearoa and Oceania, with connections continuing to grow. Aotearoa Futures Network and Oceania Futures are informal networks of people who understand the importance of futuring together.

This ecosystem of futures exists to:

  • share ideas and keep developing skills
  • collaborate on projects that grow futures fluency across industries, places and contexts.

We come from a range of different industries, backgrounds and passions. If you want to know more about our futures ecosystem you can contact us. The Aotearoa Futures Network has been mapped by Victoria Mulligan and Howard Lange and continues to grow. Check out the Aotearoa Futures Map and fill in this form if you want to be added to this in the next upload (approx 3 months).

The braided river

Our metaphor for working together comes from the place that this ecosystem began to take root – Ōtautahi, Christchurch. The braided river, is a unique feature of our local area where the Waimakariri and Rakaia Rivers live and influence our being.  Just as the braided river spreads, converges and diverges so do we. The collective is ever changing and reflects the cycles and systems of the world around us. It asks questions about upstream effects, unintended consequences and world views.

Photo credit: Braided River –  @Jewlszee OK.jpg downloaded from https://toolkit.christchurchnz.com/assets/311414

Many of our network have been influenced by the work of Sohail Inayatullah and have completed his Futures Studies course facilitated by Cheryl. Two masterclasses with Sohail have also been hosted by Think Beyond in Ōtautahi.