Major Projects Association: The World in 2030

The Major Projects Association’s (MPA) vision is to improve the initiation and delivery of major projects  through…sharing experience, knowledge and ideas. Major projects are often defined as large-scale infrastructure projects in culture, education, energy, the environment, ICT, transport etc. as well as productive investments and R&D projects (European Commission).

Cat Tully, Founder of SOIF and Jerry O’Brien, SOIF Companion, will be will be running a 3-hour foresight workshop in the MPA’s annual conference this September 21, 2017 to help with their vision, by presenting tools to navigate major projects in an uncertain world.

As Jonathan Norman, Knowledge Manager, Major Projects Knowledge Hub writes…“unforeseeable risk is very much the stuff of major projects – that is projects in a complex environment – because the whole point of complexity is that we are in the world beyond unknown knowns, that is the world of unknown unknowns.” Specifically, the Major Projects Knowledge Hub aims to Improve major project initiation, delivery and innovation through the sharing of knowledge and good practice as defined by an active, global user community. One way they are doing this, is capacitating members with foresight tools.

In this LinkedIn post (and also copied below), Jonathan highlights a collection of useful resources on framing the future that the Major Projects Knowledge Hub has gathered to begin the process of thinking about the future and Major Projects. These sources serve as an introduction to foresight including how Strategic foresight can make the future a safer place.

We also hope that, if you work on Major Projects, you could take the time to fill out this survey on The World in 2030, where you can share your insight on the main trends and drivers of change for your organization and on the priorities you are addressing to build the capability and prepare for the future.

Related resources

(Click here for the original LinkedIn post)

In anticipation of Cat and Jerry’s workshop, the following resources provide you with background to the theme of framing the future that will help you reflect and prepare for the conference.

The Trump Scenarios

Politics is one of those strategic risks with Black Swan potential so let’s kick off with something topical. Michael Marien an independent social scientist and Senior Principal of The Security and Sustainability Guide offers six generic scenarios, aligned along an axis of how long Trump stays in office, how long Trumpism persists in Washington, and how deeply Trump and his appointees influence global and domestic affairs for better or worse.

The Journal of Futures Studies

For the more academically minded amongst you, the Journal of Futures Studies is a globally-oriented, trans-disciplinary refereed journal. Its mission is to develop high-quality, futures-oriented research and thinking, based on the evolving knowledge base of Futures Studies / Foresight.

Scenario Magazine

CENARIO is the award-winning magazine on trends, ideas, visions, and possible futures. It was established in 2010 and is developed by futurists from the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies in regular collaboration with the brightest minds, notorious leaders, and prolific influences from around the world.

The Psychology of Intelligence Analysis

Is a free e-book from no-lesser body than the US CIA and offers some great insight into the mental machinery each of us have for framing the future.


I thought we’d close with a specific technique, that of backcasting; which serves two purposes. It’s a useful review process for your framing and forecasting; looking back from the perspective of your future scenario can help you sense-check the scenario. It’s main purpose is more structured and  involves looking back from the future to establish the individual steps required to get there.