Executive training   Executive MPA  

Scenario-building and foresight

2-3 February 2023 | Skills training

This course provides executives and decision makers with methods and tools to make better decisions in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world (VUCA), because decision making in such a VUCA world can quickly become a costly and risky endeavour – especially in the realm of foreign and security affairs.

To lower risks in decision making, to widen decision makers’ perspectives and to provide them with policy options, foresight analysis is one of the most powerful analytic methods in an analyst’s toolkit. Foresight analysis helps analysts and political advisors undertake estimative analyses, which involve thinking systematically about the various ways the future is likely to unfold and what is most likely to determine the eventual outcome.

The objective of foresight analysis is to generate a solid set of scenarios that are able to encompass the range of plausible alternative futures. Foresight analysis is most useful when a situation is complex and the outcomes are too uncertain to trust a single prediction. It has proven highly effective in helping analysts, decision makers and policymakers contemplate multiple futures, challenge their assumptions and anticipate surprise developments by identifying 'unknown unknowns' – i.e. factors, forces, or players that one did not realise were important or influential before commencing the exercise.

This seminar is offered in the open enrolment programme and as part of the Executive MPA programme.