Head of Strategic Research, Department for International Trade
Policy Fellow, Centre for Science and Policy
Richard Sandford heads a team in the DIT Ministerial Strategy Directorate focusing on horizon scanning and strategic analysis. He was previously Head of Horizon Scanning in the Government Office for Science, where he worked with Cabinet Office and GO-Science colleagues to deliver the UK government's Horizon Scanning Programme. Richard's focus was developing strategic futures capacity across the Civil Service.
Before joining the civil service Richard was based in Singapore, where he designed and facilitated foresight workshops on the future of work, education and innovation across Asia, the US and Europe, for government agencies, NGOs, and private companies. As Research Fellow at the Institute for Adult Learning, Singapore, he developed strategic foresight capacity within the organisation through a futures programme of horizon scanning and scenario development. While Senior Researcher at Futurelab, a UK non-profit exploring innovation in education, he led the research and scenario development process for the 'Beyond Current Horizons' programme, a foresight initiative funded by the UK government to investigate possible educational futures and their implications for current policy and practice.
Richard was part of the committee convening the 2010/2011 ESRC-funded seminar series 'Educational Futures' in the UK, which explored the ways in which a better understanding of the future might help education prepare for uncertainty and change.
Richard is a PhD candidate in the University of Bristol's Graduate School of Education, where he is researching the relationships between discourses of the future in schools and the educational decisions young people make. His published research explores the use of games to support learning and the relationship between education and the future.
He is a member of the Association of Professional Futurists, and holds an MSc (Distinction) in Education, Technology and Society from the University of Bristol, and a BA (Hons) in Philosophy from the University of Leeds.