The Resident Futurist: Meet Romano - Director of Research and Innovation at InsightPact

Romano is a professional futurist, innovation practitioner, and facilitator with expertise in identifying and creating opportunities for innovation and collaboration. With backgrounds in Education and International Relations as well as having lived on 3 different continents, Romano has guided cross-cultural groups across multiple industries all around the world.

Romano’s expertise in Futures Studies, Political Science, and Innovation has enabled him to navigate complexities and create shared visions of the future. He fosters collaborative and co-creative spaces that encourage creativity and innovation while also challenging norms and existing ways of thinking. By taking a futures and foresight approach, Romano is able to help people and organizations explore their possible, probable, and preferred futures, the assumptions, myths, and worldviews that support them, and help them create strategies to achieve them. 

Romano is the Director of Research and Innovation at InsightPact and is also a member of the Association of Professional Futurists.

Outside of work, Romano is a lover of coffee, reading, and music. You can often find him relaxing in a coffee shop bobbing to Reggaeton and Afrobeats or with his nose deep in political discourse or science fiction.

The best part of InsightPact for me.

I think the best part of InsightPact is the extended check-ins. We often start calls with space for people to truly share how they are doing that day/week. Working remotely means that you often don’t get to connect on a personal level with your colleagues. Having these check-ins allows for that connection and relationship development. It shows me that I am valued as a full person, not just as a productivity machine.

A bit about me.

I’m a trained Futurist with a background in International Relations who helps people explore their possible, probable, and preferred futures, the worldviews that support them, and ways to achieve them. I am also a food lover and will try almost anything at least twice. On any given day, you can find me relaxing with an espresso and a good book/podcast.

Where am I from?

I am originally from East London, a smallish city in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa but spent my high school years in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa.

Where do I currently live?

I have lived all over, including Saudi Arabia, China, Taiwan, and Mexico, but I am currently based in Bangkok, Thailand.

Why InsightPact?

In the middle of the Covid pandemic, I was looking for a role that would allow me to work remotely while also enabling me to prioritize my personal wellbeing. A friend of mine found InsightPact on LinkedIn and encouraged me to apply. I ended up taking one of InsightPact’s early Technical Facilitator courses, becoming a part of the contractor network before eventually applying for the Learning and Community Director position which I now hold.

The book or movie that changed the way I think.

There is no way I can pick one, so here are my top three

  • The Dispossessed - Ursula LeGuin. As a teenager, LeGuin helped me understand complex topics, like Anarchism, in a fun way. 
  • Manufacturing Consent - Noam Chomsky. Shoved into my 16-year-old hands by a very political uncle, Chomski opened my eyes to messaging, the use of language, and political power, even if I didn't fully understand it back then. 
  • The Beach - Alex Garland. This book sparked my travel bug.

How I practice wellbeing & wellness in my day-to-day life.

As a recovering workaholic, I struggle to stop working and step away from my computer. I have found that scheduling activities at the end of the work day, like taking a walk, grabbing a drink with friends, or even going to the grocery store, really helps to pull my attention from work, so I can focus on enjoying life.

My morning routine.

I typically wake up around 6 am and have an espresso at home before cycling to the gym. After my workout I come home and irritate my partner, shower, and then catch up on the news before starting my work day around 9 am. 

My playlist right now.


  1. Another Now - Yanis Varoufakis
  2. Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  3. How to do Nothing - Jenny Odell


  1. The Gray Area with Sean Illing
  2. Offline with Jon Favreau
  3. Overthink with Ellie Anderson & David Peña-Guzmán

TV Shows:

  1. Y The last man
  2. Drive to survive


  1. La Jumpa - Arcángel & Bad Bunny
  1. Do it Duidelik - Early B & DJ Sean Munnick
  1. Broke - Samm Henshaw
Director of Research & Innovation
Romano Theunissen
Romano Theunissen
Futures Studies, Facilitation, Strategy Development

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