After studying at Oxford University, Clem Sunter was recruited by Anglo American in London in 1966. He moved to South Africa in 1973 and spent much of his subsequent career in the Gold Division, serving as its Chairman and CEO from 1990 to 1996. At the time it was the largest gold producer in the world.
He also established a scenario planning function in the company in the early 1980s, which led to two scenarios being put forward for South Africa in the 1990s: the High Road of negotiation leading to a political settlement and the Low Road of confrontation leading to civil war and a wasteland. South Africa took the High Road. Two highlights for Clem were a presentation to FW de Klerk and the cabinet in 1986 and a visit to Nelson Mandela in prison to discuss the future just before his release.
He has authored several best-selling books on scenario planning, the latest one being Thinking the Future co-authored with Mitch Ilbury and published in July, 2021.
In 2004, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Cape Town for his work in the field of scenario planning. He was also voted by leading South African CEOs as the speaker who has made the most significant contribution to, and impact on, best practice and business in South Africa. He has given presentations on how to handle the future around the world, including at the Harvard Business School in Boston and the Central Party School in Beijing.
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