Our Team

The Center for Engaged Foresight sees itself as a community of mutual interest in learning, teaching and innovating strategic foresight approaches and methods to address the 21st century’s great challenges through the deep wellspring of inspiration emerging from a sincere and lively sharing of foresight knowledge and experiences.

Currently, the community includes the Executive Director, Managing Director, Futures Learning Advisors, The Global Advisory Board, Apprentice, the Circle of Engaged Foresight and a broader community of participants and supporters.

Shermon Cruz

shemron cruzShermon is the Founder, Executive Director and Chief Futurist of the Center for Engaged Foresight. A professional futurist and a certified business continuity management professional, he is a core member of UNESCO’s Global Futures Literacy Network,  a founding member of Asia Pacific Futures Network (APFN) and a full member of the Association of Professional Futurists (APF) and the World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF). He has delivered keynotes and facilitated workshops in Taiwan, Malaysia, Australia, Italy, Canada, Laos, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, India, etc. and published reports and papers on topics such as city futures, international relations, global politics, public administration, and governance in some of the leading futures and foresight journals. 

As risk management and business continuity expert, he is an associate member of the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) and currently the Philippine Location Leader for Risk Management and Business Continuity Management at EY Global Delivery Services Philippines and a former business continuity senior analyst and location leader at Accenture Philippines. 

He was a recipient of the 2014 International Social Science Council and the World Social Science Forum for Early Career Social Scientists from the Global South and was a member-advisor of Accenture Philippines Future Leaders Council. 

He has served as an executive secretary to a Provincial Governor of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte and consultant to a Chair of the Environment, Trade, and Industry of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Ilocos Norte.

He previously served as Director of the Philippines Center for Foresight Education and Innovation Research (PhilForesight), Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Department Chair of the Public Administration and Political Science programs and University Planning Officer at Northwestern University Laoag. 

He has taught public policy, program administration, humanities, international relations, public ethics, futures studies and research, and global environmental politics at Northern Christian College and Northwestern University Laoag.  Shermon has a Masters of Arts in Public Administration and took Ph.D. units in Political Science at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

He has studied futures studies, political science, public administration, security, risk and resilience, renewable energy development and business continuity management at Northwestern University, the Right Livelihood College, the Development Academy of the Philippines and Buckinghamshire University, London.

Judelyn Viesta-Cruz

Judy.pngJudy is the Managing Director of the Center for Engaged Foresight. Judy is an expert in project management and development, HR sourcing and recruitment, trade, tourism, and investment promotions.

Judy is the Philippines College Connect Manager at Sutherland Global Services, a leading global business process outsourcing company. Prior to joining CEF, Judy was the Executive Director of the Ilocos Norte Investment Center (INVEST) of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, Manager of the Ilocos Norte Trade Tourism Investment Center (INTTIC) and Manager of the Provincial Public Employment Services Officer (PESO) of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte. She also served as a Special Assistant to the President for Administrative Affairs and Head of the PESO Office of Northwestern University. Judy is a graduate of Political Science and Laws at Northwestern University Laoag and studied Investment and Trade at the Renmin University of China, Beijing. 

Shiela R Castillo

Shiela R. Castillo is a futures learning advisor. She is a licensed teacher, with a degree in BSE Social Sciences from the Philippine Normal University, Manila. She is a development consultant who has been working in the environment sector for 15 years doing projects for non-government organizations, as well as national and international institutions. Shiela is a technical advisor at Let Us Create Futures, Cambodia. 

As one of the co-founders of the Movement of Imaginals for Sustainable Societies through Initiatives, Organizing and Networking (MISSION), she helped organize the Liwanag World Festival 2013 in Davao. She also co-found the “communicate your cause” design team Projek Samadhi.  Currently, she is engaged as Program Coordinator of the Smart Agriculture Program (SAP) of Lifebank and Cordaid.

Shiela trained under Nobel Laureate Al Gore to be a certified climate presenter of The Climate Reality Project (TCRP) in Jakarta on January 2011, and participated in the Asia-Pacific Climate Change Leadership Congress held in Australia on October 2011. As a climate leader, she has given talks to more than ten thousand participants in key cities all over the Philippines.

Her interests are climate resilience, sustainable futures, compassionate food as the food of the future, and the transformative role of cultural creatives and the civil society. 

She is a mother of two and has been a vegetarian for more than a decade. 

Peachie Dioquino-Valera

peachy.jpgPeachie is a Futures Learning Advisor at Center for Engaged Foresight. She is also known as Peachie Keen! & Green and is a Climate Reality Leader of Al Gore’s The Climate Reality Project. An activist and project consultant (events, environment, and media matters), she has worked with various organizations, companies, and government agencies (such as DENR, DOE, and DepEd) in addressing environmental issues.

Peachie’s background as a Humanities Graduate of University of Asia & the Pacific (UA&P); Senior Marketing and Local Productions Officer of Solar-Entertainment; Senior Programs officer of ABS-CBN Foundation; and contractual specialist for different media entities and I/NGOs enabled her to become a connector. This played a great role in her activism work, which includes being a motivational public/resource speaker. She believes that the environment is everyone’s business; therefore, solutions coming from all sectors must be unified in order to achieve the needed change. Up to date, she has presented the Climate Change & Plastic Pollution crisis to around 10,000 people coming from different backgrounds. She also does public speaking on Veganism.

Peachie’s interest in futures thinking took off when she completed the futures thinking and strategy development certificate course organized and facilitated by the World Futures Studies Federation via its Learning Lab project in partnership with the Center for Engaged Foresight. She has co-designed and co-facilitated a number of engaged foresight workshops including managing CEF’s apprenticeship program with Far Eastern University in 2018.

Peachie, under her label, used to be a contributor for Inquirer POP!.net (2017-2018) but had to depart for a while since she is currently focusing on completing her Plastic Crisis documentary —in collaboration with Signal Fire Productions— which they plan to air over CNN Philippines.

Her other freelance work consists of being a Writer & Talent (VO, Events Host, Print, and TV). Ms. Valera, along with her husband, also produces mini fundraisers as much as their time permits. They favor anti-child trafficking & anti-child pornography organizations as beneficiaries.

Her dream for the Philippines is to become sustainable, vegan, corrupt-free, empathetic, and foresighted. She believes that if we dream and act on it together, it shall come true.

Karl Lenin Benigno

Karl is a Futures Learning Advisor at the Center for Engaged Foresight. He is currently the Director of the Institutional Planning and Organizational Development Department and Chairman of the Disaster Task Force Northwestern University, Laoag City. He lectures on politics, society, and culture as well as on disaster risk reduction education to tertiary and secondary students.

He is trained by the Office of the Civil Defense as a certified incident manager and expert on collapsed structure search and rescue trained under the Philippine Navy’s Disaster Emergency Assistance and Rescue Training Program. He is a member of the Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management, a trans-national disaster aid alliance that works to facilitate cooperation and understanding between governments, private companies and NGOs in the Asia Pacific region.

He is an active member of the Philippine Navy’s Naval Reserve Command Northern Luzon and trained with American Troops on humanitarian assistance and disaster rescue during the conduct of the Balikatan Exercises, an international bilateral exercise between the Philippines and the United States Armed Forces. As a Navy reservist, he also participates in rescue and humanitarian efforts during calamities and emergencies.

Karl has been actively promoting futures thinking when he completed his multiple futures thinking certificate course with the Center for Engaged Foresight since 2012. He actively participated in organizing multiple futures events including co-facilitating the first UNESCO futures literacy workshop in 2014. He has employed foresight tools and methods in developing Northwestern University’s strategic planning and program development including the integration and teaching of futures studies in the university.

Mr. Benigno is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Bachelor of Laws at Northwestern University. He is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in Public Administration Program of the same University.


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