Strategic Foresight 2.0
What Strategic Foresight is: Strategic Foresight 2.0 is the newest generation of foresight. It enable us to see and shape a deeply desirable future by making and living by wise strategic commitments in the present – commitments that are sound and context-sensitive enough to survive context change and actually contribute to the co-creation of a future we desire.
Given this understanding, we note:
- Strategic Foresight is about action in the present. It is not about action in the long-term future; action that can be delayed until tomorrow while you deal with today.
- Strategic Foresight is about context. In futures and foresight work context is king. Your context will survive with or without you. You will survive and even thrive if, and only if, your present imagining, thinking and acting are aligned with the emerging context in which you will find yourself.
- Strategic Foresight provides a coherent context for your governance, in the same way that your strategic planning provides a coherent context for your management and operations.
FC Governance Onion single slide, 2015 – one page pdf image showing the relationship of governance to management to operations.
- Strategic Foresight is about aligning – developing a clear line of sight among – all four levels of your life: your knowing, imagining, thinking and acting. These levels are caught in Foresight Canada’s unique methods – Causal Layered Synthesis and Strategic Background Conditions – and our model of Whole System Governance. PDF file here.
What Strategic Foresight 2.0 does for you
Strategic Foresight enables you to:
- Conceive and commit to a more deeply desirable future than is possible with today’s management practices.
- Increase the wisdom and minimize the regret of your present imagination, thought and action.
- Influence the shape of your future and the future of your society, organization, community and family.
- Make more reliable sense of the turmoil, threats and opportunities of our times.
- Align yourself and your organization with the emerging character and requirements of the 21st
- Avoid catastrophic mistakes: Failures of operational planning typically cost millions. Failures of Strategic Planning typically cost hundreds of millions. Failures of strategic foresight typically cost billions.
Strategic Foresight 2.0 Workshop – one page statement of Strategic Foresight 2.0.
Three Levels of Good Governance of Whole Systyems Oct. 2014 – one page outline of the Three Levels of Whole Systems Governance – the three levels at which we must now work.
Confusion in the Futures and Foresight Field: You may already know enough to realize that there is a good deal of conceptual confusion in the futures and foresight field. For example, there are no standard definitions of many key terms. Further, there is no clear agreement about where the work of strategic foresight starts or ends. Is strategic planning foresight? Is forecasting foresight? In both cases, some say “yes” and some say “no.” The European Commission, for instance, no longer tries to define key terms. Rather it lumps everything together and speaks of “forward looking activities.”
Given the confusion and given Foresight Canada’s commitment to conceptual clarity, we are developing a glossary of terms. We are not saying that our definitions are “right” and that others are “wrong.” However, we are saying, that when we use the key terms in this field this is what we mean by them. Ours are stipulated definitions. We also provide access to the glossaries of others, so that you can determine your own usage. Please contact us is you run across yet other futures and foresight glossaries.
Foresight Canada’s glossary: A Glossary of Core Terms for Strategic Foresight, v2.0
Global Foresight’s glossary: Glossary of Futures Terms — Global Foresight
GFAR’s glossary: Glossary_Full_FTP_2014, GFAR
Shaping Tomorrow’s glossary: Glossary of Futures Terms — Shaping Tomorrow
Futures and Foresight Organizations
If you serious about developing your capacities for futures and foresight work consider becoming a member/associate member of one or both of the following international professional futures organizations. (Foresight Canada is an institutional member of WFSF. Ruben is also a member of APF.)