Our Work

The Strategic Foresight Unit exists to increase the use and impactfulness of strategic foresight in OECD policy expertise and  policy making by governments. Established in 2013 by the OECD Secretary General, the OECD Strategic Foresight unit is the successor to the International Futures Programme.

What we do

The Strategic Foresight Unit works with many different governments and organisations facing many different strategic challenges. Our work involves supporting OECD directorates and committees as well as governments and other organisations in preparing for the future.

Enhancing the OECD’s work

We contribute futures thinking to OECD projects and analysis by:

  • Expanding thinking on emerging and disruptive develpments of relevance for given policy topics
  • Providing intervention design and facilitation, including workshops during OECD projects
  • Delivering training and guidance on how to incorporate foresight into policy work
  • Convening internal communities of interest to exchange futures insights

Supporting Governments

We help governments to build foresight capacity in numerous ways, including by:

  • Providing advice and guidance on national foresight systems
  • Supporting the design and facilitation of foresight interventions
  • Producing of high-quality global foresight for use in policy processes
  • Convening the Government Foresight Community, an international network of expertise

Examples of our work


The unit is working with OECD experts to identify future disruptions on a variety of policy fields to explore their implications for strategy in the coming decades.


The unit is working with OECD experts and Member countries to explore plausible future changes of potentially great significance for migration and integration policy in OECD countries.


The Foresight Unit has developed an evolving set of scenarios describing plausible yet provocative future policy contexts for policy makers to consider and use to challenge and reframe their discussions.


The OECD’s Government Foresight Community brings together strategic foresight practitioners in the public sector from around the world. GFC members exchange information and content on the latest foresight developments in government policy making.


The Strategic Foresight unit provides futures thinking and guidance to contribute to the discussions at high-level meetings such as the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting. In 2017, the Unit produced a video shown to ministers to spur thinking about the implications of a potential ‘hyper-digital’ future.


Slovakia and Slovenia are among the countries using foresight with the OECD’s support in developing strategic and future-fit plans to reach the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.


The OECD is working with government foresight experts and others to build knowledge and develop best practices on how to enhance the capacity of governments to anticipate and plan for the future.