Futures toolkit for leaders

“Chance favors only the prepared mind”—Louis Pasteur

We are living in a period of major disruption and uncertainty—COVID-19 has semi-permanently altered the ways we live, learn, eat, and work; climate-related challenges call into question the continued viability of entire cities and regions; and advancements in technology offer considerable promise and risk, for our lives as well as our livelihoods.

Decision-makers challenge

Decision-makers grapple daily with this high degree of uncertainty and volatility, whether working at a global or regional level, in cities, as teams or within communities. Decision-makers face complex, future-facing policy and strategy questions across governments, philanthropists, civil society and corporations. Strategic foresight offers an organised and systematic framework for doing exactly that.

Brought together by our shared belief in the need to democratise the work of futures thinking, California 100 and SOIF have come together to create a toolkit for leaders looking for simple and pragmatic ways to apply foresight in their work.

The toolkit draws on SOIF’s experience helping decision-makers in government, civil society and other sectors internationally use foresight for impact. It is designed to support California 100’s work towards an aspirational future for the state of California.

Democratising Futures 

Our intention is to get you started applying foresight for impact. The toolkit provides a brief introduction to foresight and how it can support decision-making. It contains suggestions about how to get started, introduces tools to generate insights, and showcases foresight in action through real-world examples, including SOIF’s own intergenerational fairness assessment framework and tool developed with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

SOIF’s mission is to help people to use participatory futures and foresight to drive societal transformation through their organisations, communities and countries. The toolkit is steeped in California 100’s values of innovation, resilience, inclusion, sustainability and equity. Getting clear on your collective values is a critical step which underpins many of the tools included.

Watch Karthick Ramakrishnan, Executive Director of California 100, introduce the toolkit at the Strategic Growth Council Catalyst Conference.

What’s next

SOIF’s collaboration with California 100 continues. We are working on an accompanying resource to support educators who want to integrate strategic foresight into their teaching work—especially those running public policy and public administration programmes internationally.

If you are keen to learn more about foresight, SOIF’s Virtual Training combines teaching, discussion, and practical exercises, all delivered live. Or for a deeper dive, join us in person for SOIF’s Summer Retreat in Strategic Foresight—a week-long exploration of Strategic foresight and how to build the future of your organisation.