The Practical Certificate in Strategic Foresight

Strategic Foresight is used increasingly to inform public policy, guide economic and national security intelligence efforts, road-map strategic planning initiatives and manage global risk.

The objective of this unique, 2-day workshop is to introduce and train participants in various methods and approaches used to explore, assess, and contemplate emerging and future trends.

Our next workshop: 
Monday, October 21 and Tuesday, October 22, 2024.

Registration: registration is now open.  Before proceeding please review our cancellation and withdrawal policies here.

To pay by Credit Card (VISA or Master Card) or Debit, please register here.

To register and have an invoice issued for payment by cheque, Electronic / International Funds Transfer, cash or through an approved institutional arrangement please click “request an invoice” at the bottom of the online registration form here or download our pdformat registration form here.

Training Location: ONLINE
Time: 9:00 AM – 4 PM, daily
Program Fee: $ 1,000.00 + HST
Carleton, NPSIA, NPSIA-PT&D Alumni and Ottawa Diplomatic Association members: $ 900.00 + HST

About this workshop:

Strategic foresight is not used to predict the future. Rather, it provides a set of tools that allow us to better appreciate a range of possible and plausible future scenarios and environments. Strategic foresight allows decision-makers to systematically contemplate future challenges and opportunities while improving their appreciation for how complex political and strategic issues might evolve.

Learning objectives of the workshop:

    • introduction to Foresight, literacy and vocabulary
    • introduction and practice in Foresight tools and methods for analysis and planning
    • a broadened understanding of several strategic foresight techniques, including:
      • horizons scanning,
      • influence diagram and cascades,
      • futures wheel,
      • system and domain mapping,
      • scenario planning, and
      • assumptions testing

Who should attend:

This workshop is ideal for professionals at all levels of government, institutions and / or parties involved in the development and management of public policy or those interested in learning more about foresight and how it is used to inform public policy.

Featuring Dr. Alex Wilner 

Dr. Alex Wilner is a tenured, Associate Professor at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA), Carleton University, Ottawa. Among his several courses, he teaches a graduate level class on strategic foresight, in which students explore the future of international affairs. Among his many publications, his peer-reviewed research on foresight includes an assessment of Canada’s emerging foresight landscape, published in Foresight (2020), and on Canadian “Cyber Futures”, published with the Defence & Security Foresight Group (2020). His books include Deterring Rational Fanatics (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), Deterring Terrorism: Theory and Practice (eds., Stanford University Press, 2012), and Deterrence by Denial: Theory and Practice (Cambria Press, 2021). Since joining NPSIA, his broader scholarship has been awarded over $1M in external research funding: he was awarded a Government of Canada SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2016), a SSHRC Insight Grant (2020-2025), a DND Research Initiative grant (2021/22), and an Ontario Early Researcher Award (2021-2025) to study state and non-state cyber deterrence; two DND IDEaS grants (2018-2021) and one MINDS grant (2019) to explore the nexus between AI, military strategy, and deterrence; several research grants from the Canadian Network on Terrorism, Security, and Society (TSAS); and a major Mitacs grant (2020-2022) to explore emerging technology and Canadian defence policy and strategy.

Prior to joining NPSIA in 2015 he was recruited into public service through the Recruitment of Policy Leaders (RPL) program; he worked at Policy Horizons Canada, the Government’s foresight laboratory (2014-2015), where he gained invaluable experience applying foresight to public policy. He was one of the principle authors of Horizons’ “Geostrategic Cluster Findings – The Future of Asia”, and contributed to MetaScan 4: The Future of Asia, a Horizons flagship publication. Prof Wilner is also very active in training public servants in strategic foresight. Since 2017 he has provided close to 30 two-day foresight workshops directly to several federal government departments and agencies (including DND, GAC, ECCC, NRCan, SCC, IRCC, ESDC, and Heritage) as well as through regular workshops offered through NPSIA-PT&D.  To-date, over 550 Canadian public servants have received training in strategic foresight, horizons scanning, and scenario construction through these programs.