Future Cities; Livable Futures | Chris Luebkeman
Chris Luebkeman
Chris Luebkeman
Director, Global Foresight & Innovation, Arup

Educated as a geologist, structural engineer, and architect, Chris Luebkeman currently leads the Global Foresight & Innovation team at Arup, a global firm of engineering and design consultants. He joined the firm in 1999 as the Director of Research and Development. In 2004 he became an ‘intrepreneur’ be creating the post he now holds and team which he leads.


While he refuses be categorized, Chris views himself as a generalist with a view of being “in league with the future”. He has been described as the “Willy Wonka of the built environment, conjuring up dreams of a future where we can cure our ills through faith, physics and forethought”.  He was named a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council, in 2004, and was listed as one of the ten future speculators and shapers “Who will change the Way we live”, in Wallpaper Magazine (2002). Prior to his current position, Chris served as a faculty member of the Departments of Architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, University of Oregon, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology; four very different cultures of learning, working and teaching.


Chris is currently working with some of the world’s leading companies to develop future scenarios to better understand the opportunities created by future change in the built environment.  He speaks on global drivers of change coupled with issues of sustainability and thoughtful design, and applies the lessons learned in the design of the built environment to business. His keynotes, workshops, and strategy sessions are created for executives seeking better design sensibility for their products, services, and processes. Through his unique user-centric methods, Chris helps clients better understand the needs and desires of consumers, customers, and citizens.


His recently-released publication Drivers of Change 2009 looks at 175 of the most important factors that will affect our world, arranged in a framework known as STEEP (social, technological, economic, environmental and political).  Designed as a series of card sets, Drivers of Change provides a tool for developing business strategy, brainstorming, education, or simply thinking creatively and holistically. The cards are designed to encourage deeper consideration of the forces driving global change and the role that individuals can play in creating a more sustainable future.


He is consulted by Bloomberg, CNBC, PBS, WEF, TED on issues ranging from Design to Innovation to Sustainable Cities.


Examples of presentations can be found at:




Examples of writing can be found at:




Websites of interest:





Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University
Distinguished Fellow at Fowler Center for Sustainable Value
Architect, Urban designer and Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor at IIT
Architectural activist, Researcher and Educator committed to democratic design
Professor in the School of Architecture and Dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota
Professor, Design Futures Program, Griffith University, Brisbane
Director, Global Foresight & Innovation, Arup
Research Scholar at Columbia University’s Earth Institute
Professor of Global and Sociocultural Studies at Florida International University in Miami and Professor of Sociology at Portland State University