Strategic Foresight

The Future Is Yours To Create

The Rebecca Ryan team offers strategic foresight services to help you identify what’s next, and how to be strategic about the future.

What is Strategic Foresight?

"Strategic foresight" is a bland term for a great idea: to look into the future and figure out what’s coming, so you can be ready.

Here’s the deal: Most of our planning is not based on what’s coming. It’s based on what’s past! This is like trying to drive your car only looking at your rearview mirror.

Evidence that we’re doing “planning” based on the past is all around you. Look at your budget (if you work for a city or have profit and loss responsibility), or look at your comprehensive plan (if you’re a planner), or look at your strategic plans (if you have a job at all, I guarantee you there’s a strategic plan hidden in a drawer somewhere.)

Most of these documents are based on what’s always been done, what’s tried and true. The trouble is, you’re not going to live your life in the past. You’re going to live it in the future. So planning needs to less history-oriented and more future-oriented. Especially now, when many trends are coalescing with great force, like:

  • Most developed countries will be “old” in the next 20 years. They will have more seniors than working- age people to support them.
  • The financial markets are more linked than ever. The Great Recession in the U.S. took down Europe, causing the EU’s austerity movements and eventually “Brexit.” > The climate is changing faster than many scientists expected.
  • The middle class, once strong in developed countries, is weakening. And China and India’s middle classes are growing faster than ever, destabilizing the century old “balance of power” that tipped toward the “West.”

Strategic foresight offers practical tools to help identify and imagine our possible futures, so that we can be future ready.

Futures Labs

Rebecca leads two day Foresight Labs for communities and organizations looking get a head start on strategic planning. Want to know about Futures Labs?

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Consulting

Want to take a deeper dive into the strategic foresight process for your community, Chamber or organization? Rebecca has lead dozens of successful community foresight processes across the nation, from Charleston, SC to Omaha, NE.

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