Chantell Ilbury

Motivational Speaker, Facilitator and Keynote Speaker - Cape Town
Chantell Ilbury


Chantell Ilbury is a best-selling business author, and a world-renowned scenario strategist, facilitator and speaker. She draws on over 15 years experience guiding organisations all over the world through their strategic conversations on the future. This has given her not only specific insights at the highest levels across sectors as diverse as mining, energy, agriculture, technology, retail, and food and water security, but also the ‘big pictures’ that she has - as a scenario strategist - managed to weave together. Chantell is a relaxed and engaging speaker, with a remarkable ability to develop a conversation with her audience.


  1. The Leadership Evolution - Shifts brought about by powerful megatrends demand business and political leaders be agile and authentic...or risk becoming redundant. [In this talk Chantell highlights the megatrends that are driving dramatic changes in business and politics and the impact this is having on the type of leadership that is required.]
  2. Moving the Dial: The Emergence of ‘Consumer Leadership’ - Like shifting from analog to digital, businesses are losing control of innovation to the consumer, creating an innovation tension. [In this talk Chantell explains why, and how, consumers are leading innovation - a prerequisite for business growth - and the impact this is having on the relationship between businesses and their consumers.]
  3. Shifting Scenarios - The possible futures for South Africa. [In this talk Chantell highlights the continually shifting global and South African scenarios and the interplay between them, raising the question of what are South Africa's key priorities.]
  4. Constructing your Future - Strategic thinking as a competitive advantage. [Using scenarios and unique case studies, in this talk Chantell explains how to build capacity for strategic thinking and develop a competitive advantage in the age of intelligence.]
Chantell Ilbury


Chantell was invited to be the consultant co-ordinator for The Olwazini Discovery Centre in Pietermaritzburg - South Africa's first combined science and cultural centre. Chantell remains committed to education and has been appointed to the board of directors of Clifton School - a leading independent boys' school based in Durban.

It was while Chantell was at UCT Graduate School of Business in 2000 that she first met Clem Sunter. They shared their ideas on scenario planning that led to the writing of their best-selling book The Mind of a Fox. The second book Games Foxes Play was launched in April 2005; and their third, Socrates & the Fox, in November 2007.

Chantell Ilbury is one of South Africa's leading strategists and facilitators, working both locally and internationally. She specialises in guiding companies and other organisations through their strategic conversations on the future, and she believes passionately in the power of scenario thinking to unlock the best ideas on strategy.

Chantell was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe on 30th April 1961. She was educated at Eveline High School before moving on to the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg where she completed her BSc. in Chemistry and a postgraduate Higher Diploma in Education. She has since completed an Executive MBA from the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business and has also studied Strategic Negotiation at Harvard Business School in Boston.

After university Chantell started a career in education, firstly as a teacher and then as a designer of computer-based training material for industry. At the same time she also developed bridging courses for post-matric students and accepted positions to lecture Chemistry and Education. In 1995 Chantell expanded her approach to education when she founded Scienceworks - South Africa's first science communication company. She pioneered a radical learner-based approach to science education, which she then incorporated into the design, manufacturing, retail and eventual export of a range of 16 creative science kits aimed at the 7-16 age group.

Chantell has also lectured on strategy and scenario planning at a number of South Africa's top business schools. She is an accomplished speaker on effective management in times of uncertainty; and has addressed audiences as far afield as England, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United States, Australia, Singapore, Austria, Italy, Kuwait, Jamaica, Tanzania, Jersey and the Isle of Man, as well as throughout Southern Africa.

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