About Strategic Foresight

In times of increasingly rapid change, growing complexity, and critical uncertainty, responsible governance requires preparing for the unexpected. Strategic Foresight is required whenever there is a high degree of uncertainty surrounding changes to the relevant future context.


Foresight uses a range of methodologies, such as scanning the horizon for emerging changes, analysing megatrends and developing multiple scenarios, to reveal and discuss useful ideas about the future. 

Foresight vs Forecasting

Strategic foresight does not attempt to offer definitive answers about what the future will hold. Foresight understands the future as an emerging entity that’s only partially visible in the present, not a predetermined destiny that can be fully known in advance (predicted). There are no hard facts about the future and the evidence base is always incomplete. The objective is not to ‘get the future right’, but to expand and reframe the range of plausible developments that need to be taken into consideration.

Strategic Foresight vs Strategic Planning

Doing strategic foresight alone will not produce a strategy or plan. The task of developing strategies and plans is enhanced and supported, but not replaced, by the process of considering multiple alternative futures and their implications. Strategic foresight instead aims to pose key questions that might have gone unasked in developing a strategy, and to reveal and challenge potentially fatal assumptions and expectations built into current policies and plans.

How does foresight work?


Seeking and researching signals of change in the present and their potential future impacts


Identifying which potential changes could be the most suprising and significant


Developing multiple stories or imaginary pictures of how the future could look in order to explore and learn from them


Exploring what could change in the policy environment that could make it easier or harder to achieve certain policy objectives


Developing perspectives for action in the present that help to inform policy making