Our flagship foresight retreats are five-day, face-to-face intensive courses designed for emerging and senior leaders in strategy, policy and analysis roles.
A retreat offers you the chance to:
- Learn how foresight can unlock transformation whether at a system, sector or community level.
- Harness the power of strategic foresight to support your organisation and improve decision-making today.
- Explore the principles and mindset of a futurist to ensure foresight is used to improve decision making.
- Practice using foresight tools and approaches by applying them to a live challenge.
- Build your network and connect with fellow decision-makers, policy-makers and strategists as part of a global community of practice.
- Gain insight into topical issues through our retreat themes. For 2024, we’ll have a policy focus on existential risk and how to achieve high ambition outcomes around the upcoming Summit of the Future.
Curious about what to expect?
Read about the retreat on Medium.Register for SOIF2024 Programme and brochure from SOIF2023
The retreat was massively helpful and came at the perfect time. I am much more aware of methods and approachesThe Health Foundation
The diversity of the room was impeccable – intentional and deliberate. One of the rarest groups I have been part of – diversity, diversity of perspective and contextRSA
Speakers and faculty
Sessions are led by SOIF Faculty, supported by more than 15 expert speakers – commissioners, practitioners and users of foresight, as well as private and public sector policy planning/government leads and experts in futures thinking, design and data. Read more from Aarathi Krishnan and Geci Karuri-Sebina about the insights they brought to the 2023 retreat.
Speakers and faculty
We’ll be announcing our speaker line up over the coming months. Confirmed speakers include:
Speakers at SOIF2023 included:
Senior Advisor for Strategic Foresight for UNDP
Director of Networks and NGFP Practice Lead, SOIF
Director of Futures, SOIF
Brigadier General NG PAK SHUN
Group Chief, Policy & Strategy, Defence Policy Office, Ministry of Defence, Singapore
Managing Director, SOIF
Future Generations Commissioner for Wales
Associate Professor in Digital Governance at the Wits School of Governance
Founding Executive Director Human Systems Dynamics Institute
Architect and founding Director of 00 and Dark Matter Labs; Senior Innovation Associate with the Young Foundation
Chair of Wales Net Zero 2035; Former Minister for Environment, Sustainability in the Welsh Government
Learning & Transformation Practice Lead, SOIF
Program Lead of the Stimson Center’s Strategic Foresight Hub and a Distinguished Fellow with the Reimagining US Grand Strategy program. Former Counsellor, U.S. National Intelligence Council and principal drafter, NIC publication Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds
Researcher and designer in multi-species urbanism, Winner of Next Generation Foresight Practitioners Main Award in 2022
Director of Argidius Foundation and former Director of Innovation at Oxfam GB
Former Head of Foresight and Futures Literacy at UNESCO
Former Director, International Political Strategy at ExxonMobil and Former White House National Security Council Director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs
A Focus on Foresight and Impact
Understand the science of strategic foresight and how it can be used to make a real difference in your organisation. Learn SOIF’s four-stage process for Foresight with Impact, and practical tools and methods. Start your learning before you arrive at the retreat, and gain support to contextualise and embed these in your organisation after you leave.
Appreciate the art of strategic foresight through panel discussions and debates with expert practitioners and leaders who have successfully used foresight to influence decision-making.
Develop confidence and practical experience in the craft by working through a geopolitical “live” challenge in breakout sessions using the tools and approach that you learn.
A focus on transformation: impact, leadership and capacity-building – Our retreats are best suited to leaders who want to shape the future of their organisation, community or sector. The course will help you understand how to use foresight for transformation.
Leave a confident commissioner and intelligent user of futures. Learn the skills and techniques needed to create change and to communicate the impact of foresight work with practical ideas for implementing foresight in your organisation.
Excellent teaching modules, tools and activitiesMalaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology
Who should attend?
Attendance is limited to 28 participants.
Whether you set the strategic direction for your organisation, lead a strategy or innovation unit, set up your foresight function, or are just curious about the future, you will benefit from the new analytical and professional perspectives that the retreat provides. If you have already taken part in strategic foresight exercises or are new to the field, you will learn the skills and techniques needed to create change in your organisation and to communicate the impact of your foresight work.
Participants work at a senior level in strategy, policy, leadership and analytical roles in governments, NGOs, international organisations and businesses. Previous participants include representatives from Chevron; Delma Institute, UAE; Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs; European External Action Service; Garten Rothkopf; Malaysia Industry-Government Group for High Technology; McKinsey and Company; National Commission of Security, Mexico; Save the Children; Shell Global; The African Public Policy and Research Institute; United Nations; UK Ministry of Defence.
SOIF is international – Our retreats draw attendees from all six continents, and we typically have over 20 nationalities at each retreat.
SOIF builds a community — Whether you are a foresight practitioner, user or commissioner, we help you build connections with people working to solve the same problems you are facing.
Discussion is conducted under the Chatham House Rule, allowing you to reflect, exchange insights and build lasting relationships.
As a social impact program, I would recommend it to any foresight practitioner and anybody who is concerned about the future.Kaduna Electric
Pricing and Registration
If you would like to join us for SOIF2024, please start by completing the application form. You will be asked to provide information about yourself and your motivations for attending.
We will review this and contact you to let you know if we need more information before confirming your registration. We want to ensure that attendees will be able to get the most out of the course, and will let you know if we don’t think the retreat is the right fit.
Once approved, we will then confirm your place, issue your invoice, which will be due for payment within 4 weeks, and start the onboarding process for the retreat.
We look forward to welcoming you to the UK and the beautiful Lainston House.
Corporate: GBP 5,500 excl. VAT
Non-profit: GBP 3,900 excl. VAT
Accommodation fee: GBP 1,600 excl. VAT
Early bird registration: register before 1 March 2024 and save GBP 500.
Discounts are available for booking multiple places. Please contact us for information. Typically, we restrict participation to a maximum of 3 individuals from any organisation.
- Accommodation fee This is required as we host the event at Lainston House. The accommodation fee covers four nights’ accommodation and meals, as well as use of the facilities at Lainston House.
- Tax/VAT All prices are quoted exclusive of UK VAT which will be charged at 20% if applicable. Please get in touch with us if you would like to discuss your VAT eligibility.
Once your registration has been confirmed, we will send you an invoice, and payment will be due within seven days.
You will be asked to confirm your organisation type and desired payment method during the application process. Payment can be made by BACS or online by card.Register Now
- If you cancel within seven days of approval of your application to attend, we will refund the full retreat fee.
- If the retreat is rescheduled due to unforeseen circumstances such as COVID-19, you can choose to attend on the rescheduled dates or to cancel or defer your attendance. The intention will be to identify dates for the retreat to be held within 3-6 months after the original dates.
Notice of rescheduling or cancellation will be provided more than one month before the event.
- Once the event is confirmed as taking place, if you cannot attend due to COVID-19, we may need to charge a fee of £1500 to cover venue fees and other administrative costs that we cannot recover.
- For cancellations that are not related to COVID-19, our standard terms will apply:
Before 15 May 2024: 15% cancellation charge
16 May to 15 July 2025: 50% cancellation charge
After 16 July 2023: 100% cancellation charge
- We are committed to ensuring those who sign up do not get adversely affected should plans need to change, and we will discuss this with you on a case-by-case basis; however, we will intend to try and reduce this amount where possible and where we can resell the place or recover costs we will refund you the fullest possible amount.
Any questions, not ready to apply, but want to find out more?
Contact us at:
+44 (0) 300 302 0486 | firstname.lastname@example.org | @SOIFutures #SOIF2024
Perfectly calibrated course. Quality, excellent. Great speakers. Practical tools and practical suggestionsUnited Nations Development Programme
One of my best decisions to come to the retreat, strong expertise in the room and highly inspirationalInternational Committee of the Red Cross