What is Strategic Foresight
Foresight is the assessment of what might happen or be needed in the future. Strategic Foresight is an organisational planning capability that uses alternative futures to guide present decision-making under deep uncertainty.
The days where sound strategic decisions could be based on predictions are over. The world is shifting, pluralistic, ambiguous and novel. Successful decision-making requires enlarged strategic bandwidth. It requires broadening the realm of the possible, about what new phenomena and realities we might see appear, about the nature and sources of strategic surprises, about how decisions might play out in alternative futures, and about which new solutions we might create. And it requires us to translate those insights into actions and impact.
Strategic foresight approaches do not claim prediction but aim for better preparedness of an organisation, in terms of dealing with unexpected changes and/or creating new and better future possibilities.
A diverse toolkit of methods (horizon scanning, trends, scenarios and visions) are combined with mastery of strategic conversation concepts to design the work to achieve high value-adding impact from the use of foresight.
1. Understanding the role of foresight in decision making under uncertainty (leadership role, purposes)
2. Awareness of the diverse methodology toolbox – choices and contingencies (Horizon Scanning, Scenarios, Visions, Trends and Megatrends)
3. Designing for effective use – how to create high value-add impact from the use of foresight
The Faculty – Professor Kristel Van der Elst, Switzerland
• Co-Founder of the Global Foresight Group
• Professor, College of Europe
• Member of multiple global advisory and expert committees
• Former Senior Director, Head of Strategic Foresight, World Economic Forum
Kristel Van der Elst has 17 years of experience in forward-looking strategy and policy advisory roles. She works with senior executives and policy makers including heads of state, ministers, heads of international organizations and think tanks, and CEOs providing the insights, resources and processes to help them turn long-term strategic thinking into actions and impacts.
She is a member of the World Economic Forumʼs Global Strategic Foresight Community, the OECD Governmental Foresight Community, the Strategic Foresight for Research & Innovation Policy in Horizon 2020 (SFRI) European Commission Expert Group, and the Independent Advisory Committee to the Global Burden of Disease initiative. Kristel is an established speaker, moderator and facilitator at high-level events including Davos, OECD, European Commission and Oxford, and the author of numerous reports and articles. She is also a HuffPost blogger.
Kristel is Visiting Professor at the College of Europe. Kristel holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management, a Masters in Development Cooperation from the University of Ghent, and a Masters in Commercial Engineering from the Free University of Brussels. She is a Fulbright Scholar, a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar, a Global Leadership Fellow and a Certified Professional Facilitator.