About me


Markku Wilenius is professor of futures studies in Turku School of Economics at the University of Turku. He is also UNESCO Chair in Learning Society and Futures of Education.  He has worked and published over 25 years with futures studies. He is heading international master program for futures studies in Turku School of Economics.

Wilenius has worked all areas related to futures studies and sustainable development.  Over the last fifteen years, he has worked with various governments, businesses, public sector organisations and NGO’s for making the change towards more intelligent strategy and action. His current work span globally, including multiple European countries (especially Germany and UK), USA (University of California, Santa Barbara), Australia (Technical University of Sydney) and also some other interesting and rising countries like Cuba. His ongoing projects and research interests include 

-      Climate change and the new energy futures

-      Future development of urban cores in terms of revitalising them

-      Wicked socio-economic problems and how to prepare for them

-      The future of organizational excellence and how to get there

-      Global trends and future paths of bio-economy 

-      Futures literacy to the second and third level education institutes throughout the world


Wilenius is the member of Finnish IPCC working group (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) working group. He is the president of two foundations (Walter Ahlström and Runar Bäckström foundations) supporting innovation and sustainable technology development. He is the member of the strategic foresight group LUOTSI  at the Prime Minister’s office of Finland. He is the board member of Finnish Innovation Fund SITRA. In 2007-2010 he worked with Allianz, world largest private insurer, leading their strategic research and development. He is a full member of prestigious Club of Rome and has led Finnish delegation in Johannesburg Sustainable Development Summit. He is the member of the scientific committee of World Resources Forum.  He has published books and articles widely and is renowned speaker. His most recent book is born out of his interest on long-term socio-economic waves and is called “Patterns of the Future. Understanding the Next 40 Years of Global Change” (World Scientific, London, 2017). 

Personal information and education

Markku Wilenius
Professor of futures studies
Finland Futures Research Centre,

Turku School of Economics, University of Turku


Doctor of Political Sciences (1997)
Garden Architect (1988)


Dec 2019 - Board member, Finnish Innovation Agency SITRA

May 2016- UNESCO Chair in Learning Society and Futures of Education. UNESCO/University of Turku

Jan 2016 – Co-Director, Turku Complex Systems Institute, University of Turku

Jan 2015 - Member of Foresight Steering Committee by Prime Minister’s office, Finland

Nov 2014- Professor of Futures Studies, Finland Futures Research Centre, Turku School of Business/University of Turku

Jan 2012- Member of the Scientific Committee, World Resources Forum

Jan 2011 - President, Walter Ahlström Foundation

Jan 2011, President, Runar Bäckström Foundation

Jan 2006- Dec 2011 Vice President, Advisory Board, European Futurists Conference

Dec 2007 - Dec 2008 Director, strategic research, Allianz SE Dec 2009, Jan 2009 - Nov 2009 Director, Trend assessment & strategy unit, Allianz SE, ,- Jan 2011 Senior advisor, Allianz SE

Jan 2004 – Aug 2012 Professor of Futures Studies, Finland Futures Research Centre, Turku School of Business/University of Turku

Jan 2004- Full member of Club of Rome, member of Executive Committee 2004-2008

Other Research and Development Projects

Jan 2018- Dec 2020 Co-director of WISE (Creative adaptation to Wicked Socio-Environmental Disruptions). Academy of Finland.

Nov 2017- Director of the project “Towards a Greener Urban Future”. City of Turku. 

2016-2017 Chairman of Vision Committee, City of Turku

Dec 2016 –Dec 2020. Co-director of Bioeconomy and Justice research project. Academy of Finland.

Jan 2015 – ongoing. Director of the project Bastu, Sixth Wave Entrepreneurship. Sitra and University of Turku. 

Jan 2015 – Dec 2016. Director of the project “Human Being and Value in the Sixth Wave (HUVA). How to transfer best practices of the new digital businesses into industrial companies. Funded by TEKES, National Technology Agency of Finland

Dec 2011 – Dec 2013.  Director of the project “6th Wave and Systemic Innovations for Finland: Success Factors for the Years 2010-2050 (6th Wave)”, funded by TEKES, National Technology Agency of Finland

Jan 2011 - June 2011. Senior researcher of the project “X-events” funded by various national and international entities

Aug 2010 - March 2011.  Evaluator of Finland’s Strategic Climate and Energy Policy, Office of Prime Minister, Finland

Awards and honorariums

International Aurelio Pecceo -prize by L’eta Verde organisation, based in Rome, 2001

Emerald Literary Network: The most outstanding article of the year, 2009

Lauri Jäntti Foundation: Award for notable non-fiction book of the year 2015.

Some recent publications

Wilenius, Markku (2017). Patterns of the Future. Understanding the Next 40 Years of Global Change. World Scientific Publishing, London.

Wilenius, Markku & Kurki, Sofi (2019). The revolution at work: How the Organisations of the Future operate? World Scientific Publishing, London. (Forthcoming)

Amos Taylor, Nicolas A. Balcom Raleigh, Sofi Kurki, Marianna Birmoser Ferreira-Aulu, & Markku Wilenius (2019). Precursos to a “good” economy in 2125. Making sense of Bioeconomy  and justice horizons. FFRC eBooks 2/2019 

Jones, Ana Maria – Wilenius, Markku & Niskanen, Suvi (2019). Access to Green: Enhancing Urban Attractiveness in Urban Centers – the Case of Turku. FFRC eBooks 6/2018, Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku

Wilenius, Markku (2018). Global change and K-waves: Exploring the Pattern of the Future.In Routledge Handbook of Resource Nexus. Routledge. 

 Jones, Ana & Wilenius, Markku (2018). A Green Urban Future. Scaled-up Perspectives in Urban Green for Human-Centered and Livable Urban Cores. FFRC eBook 5/2018, Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku

Wilenius, Markku & Kurki, Sofi (2017). K-waves, Reflexive Foresight and the Anticipation of the Next Socio-economic Cycle. In Handbook of Anticipation R. Poli (ed.).
Springer International Publishing AG.  

Kurki, Sofi & Wilenius, Markku (2016) Trust Makes This Organisation Unique.  Looking at the Future of Work through Two Human-centric Organisations. European Journal of Futures Research 4:23

Kurki, Sofi – Pura, Minna & Wilenius, Markku (2016)RE-Acting the Future. New Ways to Work: The Case of Reaktor. FFRC eBOOK 8/2016. Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku.

Wilenius, Markku (2015) The Next K-Wave and the Challenge of Global Democracy. ForesightVol. 17, Issue 1, p. 35-52 

Wilenius, Markku & Casti, John (2015). The Sixth K-Wave and the Shocks That May Upend ItTechnological Forecasting and Social ChangeVol. 94, May 2015, Pages 335–349

Kurki, Sofi & Wilenius, Markku  (2015). Ethics in the Sixth Wave: How New Ethical Companies will Transform Our Economies in the Coming Decades. Futures, Vol. 71, pp 146-158

Schmidt-Bleek Friedrich & Wilenius, Markku & Lehmann, Harry (2014). The Challenge of the Whole.  Creating System Policies to Tackle Sustainability. In Michael Angrick et. al:  Factor X: Policy, Strategies and Instruments in the Sustainable Resource Use. Springer Verlag 

Wilenius, Markku (2014). Leadership in the Sixth Wave. Excursions into the New Paradigm of the Kondratieff Cycle 2010-2050. European Journal of Futures Research, 2:36

Wilenius, Markku (2014). Society, Consciousness and Change.  An Inquiry into Pentti Malaska’s futures thinking. Futures Volume 61, September 2014, Pages 58–67