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"Whither Strategic Foresight?"


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  • The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is a CEO-led, global association of some 200 companies dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development. – The WBCSD was founded on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to involve business in sustainability issues and give it a voice in the forum. The WBCSD was the brainchild of the Swiss industrialist, Stephan Schmidheiny, 29 member companies contributed to a document called Vision 2050The nine elements, or critical areas in which actions need to be taken over the next four decades are values and behaviors, human development, economy, agriculture, forests, energy and power, buildings, mobility and materials. Do more with less; create value; prosper and to advance the human conditionJust 40 years from now, some 30% more people will be living on this planet. Business view – we can sell more stuff! Bad news – shreinking resources and changing climates
  • As part of these Turbulent Teens, we have identified several “must-haves”, things that need to happen to achieve our vision. These must-haves are specific to each element but they all talk about innovation, policies, financing or a deeper understanding of what is going on.
  • We have detailed our vision for 2050 in each of the nine elements with a clear measure of success for each of them. For example, for the energy and power element, our vision is that a secure and low carbon energy is widely available and used efficiently. Here, the measure of success is that CO2 emissions will have been halved.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Urban Foresight As A Tool For Territorial Governance
      “Whither Strategic Foresight?”
      Professor John S Ratcliffe
      September 2011
    • 2. Is this humanity’s last century – or a century that sets the world on a course towards a spectacular new future?
      “The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by sceptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.” (John F. Kennedy)
    • 3. The Harbingers of Change
      A Confluence of Powerful Trends
      Problems Seem Intractable
      The Demographics of Discord
      The ‘New Players’
      Problems are Structural
      “Flight For The 21st Century: ‘Icarus’ Or ‘The Phoenix’ ”
      “The unusual and the unknown make us either over confident or overly fearful” (Gaius Julius Caesar)
    • 4. “Icarus” – Prevailing Pessimism
      Population Growth
      Climate Change
      Food and Water
      Safety and Security
      Energy Deficit
      “If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going.” (Irwin Corey)
    • 5. “The Phoenix” – Rational Optimism
      Urban Prospect
      Developing Technology
      A New Economy
      The Natural Step
      New Nuclear
      “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” (Winston Churchill)
    • 6. The Need for Vision
      “A vision without a task is but a dream
      A task without a vision is drudgery
      A vision with a task is the hope of the world”
      (Inscription in a church, Sussex, England, 1730)
      “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew” (Albert Einstein)
    • 7. Present Problems
      Change, Complexity and Risk / Uncertainty
      Lack of an Integrated Approach
      Short-term Orientation
      Obsolescence of ‘Predict and Provide’ Model
      Limited Collaboration of Stakeholders
      “It’s not the strong that survive – but the most adaptable” (Charles Darwin)
    • 8. Why Foresight?
      Running a 21st century city region more complex
      Need to understand driving forces of change
      Trends matter – weak signals count
      Anticipation and exploration prerequisite
      Rehearsing alternative futures
      “The Empires of the future are the Empires of the mind” (Winston Churchill)
    • 9. What Is Foresight?
      Strategic foresight (SF) is having a view of what can be done by organisations and societies today to positively influence the future.
      SF is the ability to create and maintain a high-quality, coherent and functional forward view, and to use the insights arising in civic and organisationally useful ways.
      SF is thinking about, debating and shaping the future.
      “Have deep roots, a strong trunk, live long by looking long.” (Lao Tzu)
    • 10. Foresight Teams Contribution
      Anticipating emerging issues
      Identifying unintended consequences
      Getting a sense of the big picture
      Drawing on a wide range of information sources
      Involving all concerned
      “Business today consists of persuading crowds”
    • 11. STAGE
      Scoping the project : attitude, audience, work environment, rationale and purpose, objectives and teams.
      Focal Issue
      Collecting the information : the system, history and context of the issue and how to scan for information regarding the future of issue.
      Describing baseline and alternative futures : drivers and uncertainties, tools, diverging and converging approaches, and alternatives.
      Baseline and
      Alternative Futures
      Choosing a preferred future : implications of the forecast, and envisioning desired outcomes.
      Preferred Future
      Organising to achieve the vision : strategy, options and plans.
      Strategy and Plans
      Implementing the plan : communicating the results, developing action agenda and institutionalising strategic thinking and intelligence systems.
      Strategic Foresight
    • 12. High to Low Importance
      Set the Strategic Question
      Identify the Driving Forces of Change
      Determine the Main Issues and Trends
      Clarify the Level of Impact and Degree of Uncertainty
      Establish Scenario Logics
      Create Different Scenarios
      Test Policy Options
      Identify Turning Points
      Produce Prospective
      Move to Strategic Planning
      Prospective Through Scenarios
      Strategic Conversations
      Causal Layered Analysis
      Horizon Scanning
      Delphi Survey
      Prospective Workshops
      Creative Writing
      Wind Tunnel Testing
      Gaming and Simulation
    • 13.
    • 14. The Strategic Foresight Process
      Framing the Strategic Question(s)
      Scanning the Horizon
      Forecasting Alternative Futures
      Visioning A Preferred Future
      Planning Strategic Options
      Acting on an Agreed Agenda
      “Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world” (Arthur Schopenhauer)
    • 15. Framing The Strategic Question
      Adjust Attitudes
      Recognise the Character of Change
      Understand the Rationale and Purpose
      Weave ‘Outside and Then’ with ‘Inside and Now’
      Set Objectives
      “It is not the answer that enlightens but the question” (Eugène Ionesco)
    • 16. Scanning The Horizon
      Map the System
      Conduct a Stakeholder Analysis
      Start by Looking Backwards
      Explore the Unfamiliar
      Consult ‘Remarkable People’
      "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." (John F. Kennedy)
    • 17. Forecasting Alternative Futures
      Identify Drivers, Trends, Issues
      Look for Turning Points
      Generate Divergent Ideas
      Prioritise Convergent Views
      Form Alternative Futures
      “If you can dream it, you can do it” (Walt Disney)
    • 18. Visioning A Preferred Future
      Identify Implications/Unintended Consequences
      Think of the Longer-Term
      Challenge Assumptions
      Ask ‘What if ?’ Questions
      Develop a Strategic Vision and Goals
      “You can analyse the past and appraise the present, but you have to design the future”
    • 19. Planning Strategic Options
      Think Strategically to Provoke Strategic Conversations
      Spot Areas of Strategic Choice by Identifying Critical Branching Points
      Base Strategic Recommendations On Organisations Distinctive Attributes
      Evaluate Proposed Strategy Along Multiple Dimensions
      Have Contingency Plans for Unexpected Surprises
      “The future is the only kind of property that the masters willingly concede to slaves” (Albert Camus)
    • 20. Acting On An Agreed Agenda
      Communicate Results Effectively
      Create an Action Plan with a Sense of Urgency
      Identify Milestones on the Path Towards a Preferred Future
      Establish an Intelligence System
      Institutionalise Strategic Thinking
      “You can only predict things after they have happened” (Eugène Ionesco)
    • 21. What Are The Prospects?“Can we go on like this?”
      “Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them” (David Hume, 1783)
    • 22. However, the history of modern societies suggest also something for our future….
      Figure 1: Kondratieff cycles – long waves of prosperity.Rolling 10-year yield on the S&P 500 since 1814 till March 2009 (in %, p. a.)
      Source: Datastream; Illustration: Allianz Global Investors Capital Market Analysis
    • 23. Three Meta-forces
      “Unless the investment in children is made, all of humanity's most fundamental long-term problems will remain fundamental long-term problems.”  (UNICEF) 
    • 24. Values
      The Transformation Towards
      A Sustainable Responsible Civilization
      “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)
    • 25. DOWN
      Ecological footprint
      Improving people’s health and well-being while respecting the limits of natural resources
      *HDI = life expectancy + education level + purchasing power
      Human Development Index*
      Health & Well-being
      Source: WWF Living Planet Report 2006 "Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development."
    • 26. The Great Global Values Debate
      Millennium Development Goals
      Cultures Consequences
      Spiral Dynamics
      World Values Survey
      Interfaith Dialogue
      “Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it” (André Gide )
    • 27. Cultural Values Map
      “What we call basic truths are simply the ones we discover after all the others” (Albert Camus)
    • 28. Visions
      “Twenty-first Century Enlightenment”
      Self-Aware Autonomy
      Empathetic Universalism
      Progress and Ethics
      The Social Aspiration Gap
      Signposts to 21st C. Enlightenment
      “Government is a badge of lost innocence… For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver” (Thomas Paine)
    • 29. To a sustainable world in 2050
      From business-as-usual
    • 30. To a sustainable world in 2050
      From business-as-usual
    • 31. To a sustainable world in 2050
      From business-as-usual
    • 32. Vectors
      “An agent that acts as a carrier or transporter”
      Social Media
      Faith – Based Movements
      “The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.” (Bill Gates )
    • 33. proGective -- Fabienne GOUX-BAUDIMENT©
    • 34. Risks Interconnection Map 2011
    • 35. Imagineering the Built Environment
      STRATEGIC FORESIGHT 2030“Just Imagine!”
      Professor John S Ratcliffe
      July 2011
    • 36. Exordium
      A Changing World
      The New, The Many, The Connected
      A “Grand Transformation”
      ‘Metanoia’ – And the Learning Organisation
      The Need for Strategic Foresight
      “To shape the future you must first imagine it.” (Charles Handy)
    • 37. Brainstorm
      Set the Strategic Question
      Consider the Crucibles of Change
      Horizon Scanning
      Explore the Built Environment: Driving Forces
      Questionnaire Survey
      Identify the Institutional Issues
      Establish the Key Dimensions of Uncertainty
      Strategic Conversations
      Create Alternative Future Scenarios
      Agree A Preferred Future
      Futures Workshops
      Determine Strategic Policy Fields
      Propose An Action Agenda
      “Have deep roots, a strong trunk, live long by looking long.” (Lao Tzu)
      Move To Strategic Planning
      The Strategic Foresight Process
    • 38. Emergence
      “Lords of Misrule”
      Fostering Foresight
      Society & Culture
      Enlightened Leadership
      “Wise Counsels”
      Technology & Innovation
      Synergy with Academe
      Economics & Finance
      Alternative Futures
      Cultivating Collegiality
      Environment & Ethics
      Politics & Governance
      Suffusing Sustainability
      Preferred Vision
      Uncertainty & Change
      The Visioning Progression
      “If you want to know how a man thinks, imagine the world when they were young” (Napoleon Bonaparte)
    • 39. Stage One: Divergence
      Society & Culture
      Technology & Innovation
      Economics & Finance
      Environment & Ethics
      Politics & Governance
      Uncertainty & Change
      “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go”
    • 40. The Five Crucibles Of Change
      Financial Markets and a New Economics
      Global Governance and Social Disparity
      Planetary Stewardship in an Age of Scarcity
      Creative Cities with Connected Communities
      Productivity, Partnership and People
      “They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.” (Confucius)
    • 41. 1. Financial Markets And A New Economics
      Age of sustainable living in a resource constrained world
      The “Depletion of the West”
      From an energy to an information economy
      Restoration of trust
      Advent of “behavioural economics”
      “Let a hundred flowers blossom, let a hundred schools of thought contend.” (Mao Tse-Tung)
    • 42. 2. Global Governance And Social Disparity
      Widening gap between rich and poor
      Capacity and quality of infrastructure
      A multi-polar world
      The illegal economy
      World’s supply of capital
      “All human beings are interconnected, one with all other elements in creation.” (Henry Reed)
    • 43. 3. Planetary Stewardship In An Age Of Scarcity
      Onset of climate change towards global warming
      Process of urbanisation
      Energy deficits loom
      Food system in crisis
      Water scarcity and water shortages
      “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” (Native American Proverb)
    • 44. 4. Creative Cities With Connected Communities
      Quality of life
      Competitiveness through creativity
      Shared vision and identity
      Leaders and leadership
      “Anyone who believes that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist” (Kenneth Boulding)
    • 45. 5. Productivity, Partnership And People
      Boosting productivity and promoting innovation
      Role of the state and market capitalism
      Public-private partnerships
      Global companies
      Localism and strengthening local democracy
      “For each of our actions there are only consequences.” (James Lovelock)
    • 46. Built Environment: Exploring the Driving Forces of Change
      Society and Culture
      Technology and Innovation
      Economics and Finance
      Environment and Ethics
      Politics and Governance
      “Information is a monster that feeds off itself, while starving us of meaning, knowledge and wisdom.” (T.S. Eliot)
    • 47. Society and Culture
      Cross disciplinarity, networks and systems
      Global youth and young talent
      Migration, diversity and mobility
      The ‘experience environment’
      New players, new sectors and new places and spaces
      “He who does not trust enough, will not be trusted” (Lao Tzu)
    • 48. Technology and Innovation
      Convergence, change and connectivity
      Automation and augmentation
      Prefabrication, customisation and lean construction
      Smarter buildings and smarter services
      Social networks, research and consultancy
      “Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world” (Arthur Shopenhauer)
    • 49. Economics and Finance
      Property as a physical and functional asset
      Attractiveness of second- and third-tier cities
      Growth of global corporations
      Movement from quantity to quality
      New period of unprecedented global development
      “In a country well governed poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed wealth is something to be ashamed of” (Confucius, 5th Century BC)
    • 50. Environment and Ethics
      Social worth and social responsibility
      Urbanisation challenge to planners and developers
      Risk management and competition
      Green buildings and environmental performance
      Trust, responsibility and judgement
      “A little rebellion now and then is a good thing” (Thomas Jefferson)
    • 51. Politics and Governance
      Transparency and accountability
      Internationalisation and partnership
      Property as a ‘people’ business
      New metrics for a new era
      Leadership and futuring
      “It is not the answer that enlightens but the question” (Eugène Ionesco)
    • 52. Stage Two: Emergence
      “Lords of Misrule”
      “Wise Counsels”
      Alternative Futures
      "All successful men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose." (Brian Tracy)
    • 53. Dimensions of Uncertainty
      “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat” (Sun Tzu)
    • 54. Scenarios
      Multi-polarity with dynamic reciprocity
      “Lords of Misrule”
      Muddling along from decline to disaster
      “Wise Counsels”
      Transformation and the rise to maturity
      “The way you can go – Isn’t the real way.The name you can say – Isn’t the real name” (Lao Tzu)
    • 55. More
      Wise Counsels
      Resilience of Global Ecosystem
      Lords of Misrule
      Human Social Systems
      Critical Dimensions of Uncertainty
      “In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman” (Margaret Thatcher)
    • 56. “Jazz”Multi-Polarity with Dynamic Reciprocity
      Global village of 2030 – mutual give and take
      World of cultural change and innovation
      Transparency a leitmotif of past 30 years
      Diverse players – new performers
      Global free market – sound legal systems
      Government most active at local level
      Mercantilism prevails – sustainability rudimentary
      "In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists." (Eric Hoffer)
    • 57. “Lords of Misrule”Muddling Along From Decline to Disaster
      Familiar world – but failing
      Modest economic reforms only
      Ignorance about complexity of planets problems persist
      Political stalemates on strategic issues
      Too many interests – no clear leadership
      Parochialism – partisanship – protectionism
      Sustainability equals “First Raise Our Growth”
      “When there is a great cry that something should be done, you can depend on it that something remarkably silly will be done”
    • 58. “Wise Counsels”Transformation And The Rise To Maturity
      Age of “new powers and new alliances”
      Radically different world order materializing
      New leaders and new social institutions
      Strengthening of government and governance
      Millennium Goals met – if a little late
      New economics emerging – resource based
      Global communications networks and progress
      “The future is always present, as a promise, a lure and a temptation” (Karl Popper)
    • 59. Convergence
      Fostering Foresight
      Enlightened Leadership
      Synergy with Academe
      Cultivating Collegiality
      Suffusing Sustainability
      Preferred Vision
      “The present system of global cooperation is not working sufficiently. [We need to] look at all issues on the global agenda in a systemic, integrated and strategic way. We have to rethink our values; we are living together in a global society with many different cultures. We have to redesign our processes; how do we deal with the issues and challenges on the global agenda?” (Klaus Schwab)
    • 60. The Built Environment: A Preferred Future
      Be authentic, and never neglect the basics
      Plan and commit for sustainability and liveability with respect for the public realm
      Support the creation and maintenance of infrastructure and property assets as a framework for economic development
      Embrace diversity and commit to social equity
      Be bold, imaginative and demonstrate leadership
      “Tomorrows successful leaders will value principles more than they value their company” (Stephen Covey)
    • 61. Strategic Policy Options
      Fostering Foresight
      Enlightened Leadership
      Core Purpose
      Synergy with Academe
      Cultivating Collegiality
      Suffusing Sustainability
      “Hell is a place where nothing connects with nothing” (Dante)
    • 62. Lessons Learned
      An evaluation of practice
      “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past” (Thomas Jefferson)
    • 67. Purpose
      • Foster Client Comprehension
      • 68. Establish Clear Goals
      • 69. Connect with Strategic Planning
      • 70. Resolve whether Learning or Planning
      • 71. Decide Target Audience
      • 72. Determine Issues and Topics
      • 73. Pose Pertinent Strategic Question
      • 74. Develop Shared Vision
      • 75. Create Common Language
      • 76. Remember Not Prediction
      • 77. Attend to Organisational Culture
      “With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
    • 78. Participants
      • Gain Management Support/Involvement
      • 79. Include Decision-Makers at Outset
      • 80. Take Care in Team Selection
      • 81. Include Diverse Interest Groups/Key Actors
      • 82. Take Testimony from Experts
      • 83. Introduce ‘Remarkable’ People
      • 84. Choose Experienced Facilitators
      • 85. Use Consultants Prudently
      • 86. Select Right Interviewers/Interviewees
      • 87. Find a ‘Champion’
      “Look before, or you'll find yourself behind” (Benjamin Franklin)
    • 88. Process
      • Recognise Different Ways of Futuring
      • 89. Do Not Limit Scope of Exercise
      • 90. Time and Timing All Important
      • 91. Establish Links Elsewhere
      • 92. Be Eclectic
      • 93. Have Breadth and Depth in Foresighting
      • 94. Conduct Pilot Study
      • 95. Hold Induction/Training Workshop
      • 96. Process Should be Continuous and Cumulative
      • 97. Do Not Underestimate Amount of Work
      • 98. Foster Executive Process
      “The future is a convenient place for dreams” (Anatole France)
    • 99. Implementation
      • Determine Responsibility for Action
      • 100. Make Recommendations Simple and Relevant
      • 101. Demonstrate Feasibility of Recommendations
      • 102. Appreciate Value of Other Informal Results
      • 103. Connect Costs and Benefits
      • 104. Devise Set of Indicators
      • 105. Be Innovative in Presentation
      • 106. Provide Proper Framework for Results
      • 107. Be Aware Success is Hard to Pinpoint
      • 108. Recognise Learning is an Iterative Process
      • 109. Gain Support
      “Tomorrow will give us something to think about” (Marcus Tullius Cicero)
    • 110. Method
      • Employ Recognisable Formal Method
      • 111. Decide Inductive or Deductive Approach
      • 112. Conduct Environmental Scanning
      • 113. Appreciate Brainstorming at Heart
      • 114. Pay Heed to Strategic Conversations
      • 115. Have Awareness of Value of Metaphor
      • 116. Anecdotes/Aphorisms Helpful
      • 117. Invoke Feeling of Crisis
      • 118. Include Relevant and Compelling Information
      • 119. Arrange Special Forms of Presentation
      • 120. Concentrate on Pivotal Uncertainties
      “Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present” (Marcus Aurelius)
    • 121. Embedding Futures ThinkingFive Most Important Ingredients
      • Continuous Environmental Scanning
      • 122. Link to Strategy and Outcomes
      • 123. Invocation of Crisis
      • 124. Commitment of Leadership at All Levels
      • 125. Delivering Competitive Advantage
      “He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future” (George Orwell)
    • 126. Embedding Futures ThinkingFive Greatest Obstacles
      • Overcoming Resistance to Change
      • 127. Convincing Organisations that Long-Term Thinking is Possible
      • 128. Extracting Organisations Away from a Reliance on Facts and Predictions
      • 129. Building and Understanding of What Futures and Foresight Can Accomplish
      • 130. Remembering Why Futures Practitioners Are There
      “I look to the future because that's where I'm going to spend the rest of my life” (George F. Burns)
    • 131. “Therefore hold to the things which are reliable
      Look to simplicity; embrace purity
      Lessen the self: diminish desire”
      (Tao TeChing)
    • 132. Counter Implementation Games
      Raising / lowering the level of abstraction
      Seeking more information / reflection
      Anti-technique bias – “lets get on with it”!
      Philosophical, legal, theological viewpoints
      Saluting the idea, but no commitment
      Wise owl
      Flippancy and facetiousness
      Lie low, rely on inertia
      Insider knowledge
      “But we’re still good”
      “There are those who look at things the way they are and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” (Robert Kennedy)
    • 133. Enlightened Leadership:Providing Global Thought Leadership for the Build Environment and Promoting Authentic and Aware Leadership Qualities Amongst Members
      " better start swimmin'
      Or you'll sink like a stone.
      For the times they are a-changin'." (Bob Dylan)