#SOIF2017

Summer retreat in Strategic foresight

7-11 August 2017

Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire UK

#SOIF2017

Summer retreat in Strategic foresight

7-11 August, Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire, UK

Explore the implications of future trends and shocks for today’s policy choices, and learn how to use strategic foresight to shape the future of your organisation.

3

#SOIF2017

Summer retreat in Strategic foresight

7-11 August, Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire, UK

Explore the implications of future trends and shocks for today’s policy choices, and learn how to use Strategic foresight to shape the future of your organisation.

3


It’s brilliant, to bring together so many nationalities throughout the world, to think through these things in one place. It’s ten out of ten.

Executive Director, African Public Policy & Research Institute



Very professional. Well designed and organised. High quality of faculty.

Scenario Planning Team, Shell Global



The School of International Futures offers high-quality presenters, varied and robust methodologies, and an opportunity to network with other futures practitioners from around the globe.

Todd Cleaver, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand Read about Todd’s experience at SOIF2014



Excellent networking potential; intensive learning experience.

European Commission



Overview

The School of International Futures flagship event returns for its sixth successive year. The five-day retreat teaches the science and art of Strategic foresight, the skills you need to understand change and disruption and how to create future-ready organisations in an uncertain and increasingly volatile world.

Our retreats provide a unique combination of executive education, insight, and understanding of how to use foresight with impact. By attending you will learn how to take a systematic and imaginative approach to the future, to identify emerging opportunities and threats, build resilience, and critically to connect future insights back to policy and decision-making today.

  • Learn the science of strategic foresight, tools and methods that can be used to make a real difference in your organisation. SOIF’s four stage process for foresight with impact and tools such as horizon scanning, scenario analysis, wind-tunnelling and visioning
  • Appreciate the art of strategic foresight through panel discussions and debates with expert practitioners and leaders who have successfully used foresight to influence decision-making
  • Gain insight into the future of education and skills and how to use “Lean Foresight”, data and design to build the impact of your foresight work
  • Develop confidence and practical experience in the craft: by working through a “live” policy challenge set by a real policy client during guided practical sessions

You will leave a confident commissioner and intelligent user of futures techniques, with practical ideas for implementing foresight in your organisation.

The School of International Futures is a treasure that anybody interested in managing for the future should not miss.

Director, Strategic Foresight Initiative, Atlantic Council

The Retreat

SOIF is more than a process and set of techniques. Participants share their experience and ideas, and past events have been the starting point for several new collaborations. Taking a long, hard look at the future helps us bring today’s issues into perspective, so that we are better equipped to anticipate change, manage risk and build better futures.

SOIF retreats are a unique mix of executive education and conference designed to make you a confident commissioner and intelligent user of foresight. Throughout the retreat we will introduce you to new concepts, case-studies and tools in our Faculty sessions, build on these with Keynotes and Panel discussions with real-life examples from leaders who have used foresight to achieve change, and provide you practical experience using foresight on a project from a real policy client in the Live Challenge sessions.

We teach a number of foresight tools during the week drivers of change, scenarios and tools for surfacing implications. The toolset is important, but equally we will move beyond these to ensure we are building the structures and processes to build change and communicate the impact of foresight. To achieve this we put the decision-maker and the decision at the heart of the process, and work with participants to build confidence with tools and approaches that support their decision-making process.

Contact and exchange is central to the retreat and we provide space for informal exchange and networking. We will support you to consciously reflect on your own learning throughout the week and build your personal practice of sense-making and actively thinking about the future and to become more comfortable when working with uncertainty.

It’s brilliant, to bring together so many nationalities throughout the world, to think through these things in one place. It’s ten out of ten.

Executive Director, African Public Policy & Research Institute

We Provide:

  • Dynamic learning sessions with world-renowned experts and thought-leaders
  • A systematic approach to understanding global challenges through foresight
  • Training in a range of foresight tools, including drivers of change and scenario development
  • Hands-on practice of techniques, with interventions from practitioners and leaders who have successfully put techniques into practice
  • Lectures, keynote and panel discussions on the use of foresight in policy-making
  • Practical experience working through a Live challenge

Curious about what to expect? Read our storify or download the programme from #SOIF2015



Themes and Live Challenge

Every foresight retreat is unique – providing you with insights into trends in a specific policy area, new methodology, and practical experience working on a “Live Challenge”, a geographic case-study, brought by a pro-bono “client”– details to be released in 2017. This year our themes are:

The future of education and skills. We will take a holistic look at the global trends that will shape the future out to 2060 (with a focus on 2030, the time horizon for the Sustainable Development Goals). What will life look like in a world that has started to deglobalise – with increasingly local design, production and flows of people and goods? How will artificial intelligence, automation and demographic change impact this future? What skills are needed, what do our educational systems look like and how can countries and organisations take advantage of change?

“Lean foresight” for impact. Our methodology theme explores how demand for foresight in developing countries and new sectors is driving a need for foresight that can deliver more for less (whether resources or time). How do we flex foresight approaches and tools in different cultural contexts? How can new technologies and tools, including big data, crowd sourcing and design thinking, be used to enhance the impact of your futures work. And how do we use conversations about the future to benefit different communities?

Speakers

This year we be joined by over 15 speakers and faculty – expert commissioners, practitioners and users of foresight, as well as private and public sector policy planning/government leads and experts in futures thinking, design and data. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Enrico Giovannini Full professor of Economic Statistics, Department of Economics and Finance (DEF), University of Rome and co-chair of the UN Secretary-General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development
  • Jeff Jonas Founder and Chief Scientist, Senzing and former IBM Fellow and Chief Scientist Context Computing
  • Rosemarie Forsythe Former Director, International Political Strategy at ExxonMobil and Former White House National Security Council Director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs
  • Mathew J. Burrows Director of Strategic Foresight, Atlantic Council, Washington DC
  • Nicholas Colloff Executive Director, Argidius Foundation and former Director of Innovation at Oxfam GB

Previous years’ speakers include: Jim Dator, pre-eminent futurist and political scientist; President Tarja Halonen, 11th President of Finland; Anne Marie Slaughter, President of New America Foundation; Amy Zalman, former CEO, World Future Society; Jill Wong, Director, Strategic Policy Office, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore; Betty Sue Flowers, poet and author of the “Power of Myth”, Martin Rees, British Astronomer Royal, Co-founder of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge; and Natalie Bennett, Leader Green Party of England and Wales.

Since my participation in the Mont Fleur scenarios more than 20 years ago I rarely witnessed a more impressive learning experience.

Winfied Veit, Scenario Planning Consultant

Who should attend?

Whether you set the strategic direction for your organisation, lead a strategy or innovation unit, are setting up your own foresight function, or are just curious about the future you will benefit from the new analytical and professional perspectives SOIF2017 provides. If you have already taken part in strategic foresight exercises or are new to the field, you will learn the skills and techniques needed to create change in your organisation and to communicate the impact of your foresight work.

Participants work at a senior level in strategy, policy, leadership and analytical roles in governments, NGOs, international organisations and businesses.

Previous participants include representatives from Chevron; Delma Institute, UAE; Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs; European External Action Service; Garten Rothkopf; Malaysia Industry-Government Group for High Technology; McKinsey and Company; National Commission of Security, Colombia; Save the Children; Shell Global; The African Public Policy and Research Institute; United Nations; UK Ministry of Defence.

SOIF is international – Our retreats draw attendees from all six continents, and we typically have over 18 nationalities at each retreat.

SOIF builds a community — Whether you are a foresight practitioner, user or commissioner, we help you build connections with people working to solve the same kinds of problems you are facing.

Attendance is limited to 25 participants and discussion is conducted under the Chatham House Rule to provide you with the space to reflect, exchange insights and build lasting relationships.

Excellent teaching modules, tools and activities.

Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology

Venue and Registration

This year’s event will be held at Hartwell House, near Aylesbury, UK. This historic house provides an intimate setting for debate, ‘fireside chats’ and creativity in the British countryside. Attendance is limited to 25 participants, so register now while we have places available!

Very professional. Well designed and organised. High quality of faculty.

Scenario Planning Team, Shell Global

A deposit of £600 is required to register or you can choose to pay the retreat fee in full. Any balance will be due within four weeks.

Participant fee Corporate: £4,255*, NGO, Government, Academia: £2,755*

Accommodation fee**: £1,195* (includes Includes use of the facilities at Hartwell House, including four nights’ accommodation, spa, meals and airport transfer from/to London Heathrow airport).

* All prices are quoted exclusive of UK VAT which will be charged at 20 percent. ** The accommodation fee will be invoiced by SOIF together with the participant fee.

Excellent networking potential; intensive learning experience.

European Commission

Any questions

To find out more please contact us at +44 (0)300 302 0486  events@soif.org.uk | @SOIFutures #SOIF2017


The School of International Futures is a treasure that anybody interested in managing for the future should not miss.

Director, Strategic Foresight Initiative, Atlantic Council



Curious about what to expect – read our storify or download the programme from #SOIF2016



Since my participation in the Mont Fleur scenarios more than 20 years ago I rarely witnessed a more impressive learning experience.

Winfied Veit, Scenario Planning Consultant



Excellent teaching modules, tools and activities.

Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology



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