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Strategic futures training: Online Programme

Welcome to the online Strategic futures training programme.

There are two modules - Introductory and Intermediate - both of which are intended to be used as self-learning modules. However, if you have access to a large meeting room, a remote computer/laptop with internet connectivity and which can also be connected to a large screen, it should be possible to do the learning modules as a group exercise.

The objectives for each module, including a brief description of the techniques used, are described below. Both online modules are aimed at strategists, policy makers, planners and operational staff responsible for shaping and/or implementing strategy as well as analysts of all kinds including horizon scanners and futurists, economists, operational researchers, social scientists and statisticians.

Introductory course: objectives and techniques

  • To provide an overview of horizon scanning and futures techniques and how they are connected.
  • To introduce the work of the Foresight Horizon Scanning Centre.
  • To provide practice in using two futures techniques:
    • 7 Questions. This technique was pioneered by Shell, and uses seven open-ended questions to draw information from key individuals, such as senior managers and decision makers, regarding the future. It is relatively straightforward to use, which is why it was selected for the Introductory course.
    • Driver Analysis. Drivers for change are external factors that could have an impact on your organisation and/or policy. The technique of Driver Analysis determines which of them are most critical for consideration for a given focal issue. Like 7 Questions, it is relatively simple to use and therefore lends itself to a basic course.

Intermediate course: objectives and techniques

  • To provide context for long-term futures work in strategy development.
  • To provide practice in using two futures techniques:
    • Stakeholder Impact Analysis. Considers the potential impact of scenarios on various stakeholders.
    • Windtunnelling. Tests how future changes in the external environment (e.g. different scenarios) might affect your organisation's ability to deliver a policy, particular project, or set of strategic objectives.


As part of completing these courses, you have the opportunity to consider real-life and world issues related to your work. Please remember that although this site, and all the information you enter, is behind a secure login, we strongly advise you do not include sensitive or confidential information in your course work. If you wish to clear all work from a course, you will find a Delete button on the final page of each course. Use cautiously - work cannot be recovered once deleted.

Register or sign in to access the training modules.