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The Strategic Foresight Initiative

The Conference Board of Canada has an established reputation for providing valuable insights to its stakeholders. The drive to continue to provide the best possible tools for decision-makers has led the Conference Board to establish its Strategic Foresight Initiative.

Unlike traditional economic forecasting that focuses on development of a probable or most-likely future, strategic foresight aims instead to develop a series of plausible futures. Its goal is not to predict the future, or to suggest which direction might be most desirable. Rather, the goal of a strategic foresight exercise is to offer insights to decision-makers in governments, businesses, and other organizations on how best to prepare for all possibilities, what they might do to shift toward a future they prefer, and how to recognize and adapt to events and trends that may point toward a specific future.

The Strategic Foresight Initiative’s first project was to examine Energy Futures for Canada, which developed four scenarios out to 2050:

  • Hockey Stick;
  • Green Machine;
  • Superpower;
  • Made in Canada.

You can also access a recorded webinar covering Energy Futures for Canada.

As part of the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care’s research mandate, in October 2015, the Conference Board invited a broad range of Canadian health care stakeholders to participate in a full-day workshop entitled “How will health care in Canada be funded in 2035?” The goal of the workshop was to develop a number of plausible scenarios outlining how the funding of health care could evolve. Based on two key drivers—technology uptake and funding expectations—four plausible scenarios were generated: A Taxing Health Care System, Paying for Your Health, Health Care With a Human Touch, and The Health Care Warehouse. The scenarios lay out four very different, plausible worlds that Canadians could face in the future when it comes to health care funding and the implications that need to be considered.

Other strategic foresight webinars:

Read our blogs on strategic foresight:

Upcoming Strategic Foresight Training Workshops

August 28th, 2018, Ottawa, ON - Strategic Foresight 101
August 29th, 2018, Ottawa, ON - Strategic Foresight: Scanning


If you want to be informed of all future foresight activities, please email Deborah Fleck and ask to be added to our mailing list. 

To learn more about the Conference Board’s Strategic Foresight Initiative or find out how your organization can benefit from Strategic Foresight, please contact:

Deborah Fleck
Senior Manager, Executive Networks

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“As we were reminded in the workshop, one can’t safely drive a car using only the rear view mirror. In a business environment that feels like it is evolving at warp speed, it’s so important to look out for what may be ahead. As I don’t have the luxury of a crystal ball, it was fantastic to learn a simple yet effective approach to gaining a broader view of the future. I highly recommend this program to anyone who has to either make or support decisions about the future.”

—Catherine Taylor,
Kinross Gold Corporation

“The Strategic Foresight Workshop blended the best of theory and experiential training for risk professionals. Even though the methods used in the workshop are quite common, it is how they are combined together that gives you the best results.”

—Christine Maligec, Covenant Health