Our flagship 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:

  • Harness the power of strategic foresight to support your organisation and improve decision-making today.
  • Explore the principles and mindset of a futurist in order to ensure foresight is used to improve decision making.
  • Build your network and practice 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 2022, our methodology theme explores futures methods from around the world, looking beyond participatory foresight to understand emerging methods and practice being used to reframe our imagination, methods, and work.
  • And we’ll be exploring how to bring in meaningful dialogue, participation and youth engagement into national dialogues, strategy and planning including insights from our work on National Strategy for Next Generations.

Every retreat is designed to provide training in what is needed to use foresight effectively in institutions, and hands-on practice on a live challenge – a real foresight challenge – this year focused on the role of the UN and multilateralism in a changing world.

Curious about what to expect?

Read about the retreat on Medium

Register Now Programme and brochure from 2019

The retreat was massively helpful and came at the perfect time. I am much more aware of methods and approaches

The 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 context


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.

Confirmed speakers

SOIF team

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 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 is designed to help you understand how to use foresight with impact

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 activities

Malaysian 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, are setting up your own 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 kinds of problems you are facing.

Discussion is conducted under the Chatham House Rule to provide you with the space 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 SOIF2022, please start by completing the application form. You will be asked to provide some information about yourself and your motivations for attending.

We will then review this and contact you to let you know if we need any more information before we can confirm 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 SOIF2022.

Pricing information

Participant fee:

Corporate £5,400*
Non-profit: £3,825*

Accommodation fee: GBP 1,350*

The Accommodation fee includes the use of the facilities at Lainston House, including four nights’ accommodation and meals.

*All prices are quoted exclusive of UK VAT which will be charged at 20% if applicable. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your VAT eligibility.

Discounts are available when sending 2 or more participants to the retreat and/or our virtual training.

Once your registration has been confirmed, we will send you an invoice and payment will be due within 7 days.

You will be asked during the application process to confirm your organisation type, and desired payment method. Payment can be made by BACS, or online by card.

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Cancellation terms

Given ongoing uncertainty around the impacts of Covid-19 we have updated our cancellation terms as follows:

  • If you cancel within seven days of approval of your application to attend we will refund you the retreat fee in full.
  • If the retreat is rescheduled due to the impact of Covid-19, you will have the option to choose to attend on the rescheduled dates or to opt 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 prior to the event.
  • Once the event is confirmed as taking place, if you are unable to attend due to Covid-19, we may need to charge a fee of £1500, to cover venue fees and other costs of administration that we are unable to recover.

    However, 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, our intention will be 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.
  • For cancellations that are not related to COVID our standard terms will apply:

    Before 16 May 2022: 15% cancellation charge

    16 May 2022 to 18 July 2022: 50% cancellation charge

    After 18 July 2022: 100% cancellation charge
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Any Questions?

Any questions, not ready to apply, but want to find out more?

Contact us at:

+44 (0) 300 302 0486 | learning@soif.org.uk | @SOIFutures #SOIF2022

Perfectly calibrated course. Quality, excellent. Great speakers. Practical tools and practical suggestions

United Nations Development Programme

One of my best decisions to come to the retreat, strong expertise in the room and highly inspirational

International Committee of the Red Cross