Strategic foresight helps people to understand how the future may be different to the present, and how to create a preferred future for their organisations. Anticipating changes in their operating environments allowing for proactive planning, strategy development, risk management, operational agility, innovation and new business development. Strategic foresight approaches and techniques can be used in a variety of settings. Policy makers want to be able to anticipate changes affecting particular regions,, and develop proactive policy. Corporate and business thinkers need to understand key industry shifts if they wish to develop new strategic intent, business and innovation strategies. Social development professionals need to understand the challenges that will be faced by communities in the future, and develop action strategies to address these. Strategic foresight integrates an eclectic mix of thinking and methods, such as forecasting, systems analysis, communications / discourse analysis, organizational psychology, participatory development processes, and organisational learning and development. Many of our projects use and incorporate strategic foresight approaches. Our publications in the area of foresight / futures studies include: Foresight in a Network Era: Peer-producing Alternative Futures The Futures of Power in the Network Era

Anticipatory Governance

One of the most pressing challenges faced today, is how to develop government decision-making processes that are responsive to long-term societal challenges and which are flexible in turbulent and changing environments. Anticipatory Governance strategies exists which can help governments and organizations to choose and design the right approaches to building-in foresight capacity into their organization. Anticipatory Governance: Traditions and Trajectories for Strategic Design

Anticipatory Experimentation

Anticipatory Experimentation is a way of bringing the preferred future into the present through experiments that can scale for impact. People and organizations need an effective bridge between their preferred future vision and real-world experiments that bring that future into being. One of the most powerful ways of brining a preferred future into the present is through running experiments that have maximum alignment with the enactment of the preferred future. Experiments are a powerful vehicle for enacting new futures because they are “small pieces” of the preferred future brought into the present. They are time and resource savers because, rather than commit a whole organization or community to a new path (which is both risky and potentially costly), experiments are cost effective ways of testing a new direction. If some experiments show promise they can be scaled and invested in, accelerating organisational momentum toward enacting the vision. If experiments don’t work, the investment was limited and the risk was measured, people still learn a great deal and nonetheless develop confidence in the experimentation process. Forging the Synergy between Anticipation and Innovation: The Futures Action Model

Action Research and Learning

Action research is an approach to organizational inquiry where researchers provide consulting services in close collaboration with key people in an organization. Action research is a valuable approach because the research process is directly informed by the needs of organizational members (instead of research being outsourced or disconnected from organizational life). We specialize in linking strategic foresight with action research methodology. This means that your organization’s exploration of changing dynamics in your sector (issues and trends) and the preferred future vision you hold for your organization, is coupled directly to the development of actionable and intelligent strategic pathways and the development of capabilities. We have over a decade of experience exploring and designing approaches that suit client’s diverse needs. Projects that have taken Action Research approaches include: Financial Resilience Living Lab The Foresight Epidemic Bendigo a Thinking Community Community Pulse Project Strategic Evaluation Publications developing Action Research approaches include: Forging the Synergy between Anticipation and Innovation: The Futures Action Model Futures Education as Temporal Conscientization Dimensions in the confluence of futures studies and action research Empowering Entrepreneurship Through Foresight and Innovation Action Research As Foresight Methodology

Living Labs

Living Labs bring together researchers, businesses and end-users to co-create a solution to a real life problem. End-users participate in all stages of the Living Lab experiement, and real-life spaces and places are used to host the research process. Participants in a Living Lab work together to understand end-user needs, create design solutions, develop prototypes and test commercial products. Living Labs can be hosted by businesses, universities, communities or anyone interested in developing new services. Throughout the Living Lab process, special emphasis is placed on end-user involvement and the use of real life contexts throughout the development cycle of the product or service. This enables the production of products or services which can change peoples’ lives. Action Foresight has recently completed a project called Exploring the asset protection needs of Australians living on low-incomes: a living lab pilot