Foresight retreats

Learn foresight, understand how to create change and build your personal practice

What is a foresight retreat?

SOIF retreats are a unique combination of capacity building, networking and coalition building, and conference.

Every retreat is designed to provide training in how to use strategic foresight to impact decision-making, an understanding of what is needed to use foresight effectively in institutions, and hands-on practice on a live challenge – a real foresight challenge set by you or a guest organisation.

Retreats can be tailored to be run exclusively for your organisation, or commissioned to focus on a specific issue or region.

Or if you would like to earn how to use strategic foresight in the company of like-minded leaders, analysts, experts and policy makers from around the world then join our flagship retreat this August. More than 16 nationalities typically attend each retreat from every continent.

What you get

  • 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 what to expect? Watch our video or download a sample programme

Tomas Ries at SOIF2015

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

Summer retreat in strategic foresight, 6-10 August, UK

The School of International Futures flagship retreat returns for its seventh year.

Learn foresight with impact and build your personal practice through a unique combination of capacity building, networking and coalition building, and conference.

Brochure | Register

Find out more

Recent retreats

SOIF2016 Flagship retreat

Our fifth anniversary retreat brought together 24 participants together with 20 speakers and faculty. A global gathering, spanning 19 countries and six continents, to learn about strategic foresight, using live and practical examples. With the help of our expert speakers and faculty, we will explored three themes: the relationship between “history and futures”, “Megascience and Outer space” and a live policy challenge focused on the Middle East.

Storify | Programme

SOIF2015 Flagship retreat

Our 2015 flagship retreat brought together 22 participants from 16 countries to learn about strategic foresight using live and practical examples participants. During the course of the week – with the help of our expert speakers – participants examined and challenged the narrative of a “ring of instability” surrounding Europe. They tackled a live challenge set by the External Action Service of the European Union, moving beyond the crisis and usual short-term framings, to explore the factors underlying geopolitical tensions, security and migration and develop a set of scenarios and implications for the EU.

Storify | Programme

Asia-Pacific@Hawaii Futures Custom retreat for Science Technology and Policy Institute, Korea

This custom retreat designed for STEPI convened 25 international policy makers, strategists and foresight experts to  provide STEPI with exposure to the Manoa School Method of foresight and insights into the future of work. Run in partnership with the Hawaii Centre for Future Studies, the retreat combined SOIF’s four stage process with a unique mix of analytic intelligence and creative visioning. Participants gained insights into local, regional and global challenges and opportunities for Asia Pacific, and techniques and tools to understand, prepare for and shape the future.


Past speakers

Sheila Ronis Professor and Chair, Department of Management, Walsh College
Tarja Halonen Former President, Republic of Finland
Rob Ricigliano Director, Institute of World Affairs, University of Wisconsin
Jim Dator Professor Emeritus and former Director of the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies
Martin Rees Astrophysicist and space scientist, University of Cambridge
Mazlan Othman Project Director of Mega Science 3.0, Academy of Sciences Malaysia
Sergio Bitar President, Fundación por la Democracia
Aaron Maniam Deputy Director, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore
Andrew Curry Director, The Futures Company

Looking for training or a custom event?

SOIF has delivered training and custom events across the world. Our training can help you develop your foresight capability at a strategic or operational level, while custom events can enhance your reputation as a forward-looking organisation. We maintain a global network of foresight and strategy professionals and can help you put together a speaker programme and facilitate at your in-house events.

  • Training sessions – from half-day to five-day – tailored to an organisation’s activities
  • Seminars and conferences that both promote the methodology and tools for using horizon scanning
  • Custom retreats – three to five day sectoral or regional retreats to to help a client focus on a particular challenge. Recently held for the humani­tarian sector in Geneva
  • Foresight module development and delivery – from three days to two weeks – for integration into a wider study programme e.g, (executive education or MBA course)
Foresight module for Executive Masters Graduate Institute, Geneva

Development and delivery of a 3-day foresight module for the Executive Master in International Negotiation and Policy-Making. SOIF used its four-stage approach, case studies and a live challenge, to teach foresight methods and how to apply them to strategic and policy planning.

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