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Futuring and Horizon Scanning

Problem Statement. Higher education is facing a challenging and potentially disruptive future. The educational and financial models that have served us well in the 20th Century appear to be unsustainable in the 21st. Learners, employers, policy makers and society are demanding greater access, affordability, and new value propositions. Fresh approaches to personalized learning,competency-based learning, embedded analytics, data science, and experiential learning are promising to reinvent and open up learning and competence building. At times like these, institutional leaders must deploy the tools of foresight and futuring in the pursuit of clearer understandings of the forces, opportunities, and threats that lurk in the future, beyond our line of sight.
Value Proposition - Developing Foresight to Meet the Future Head On. Given the nature of the disruptive conditions challenging our clients, Strategic Initiatives has developed breakthrough insights on how to “plan from the future backward.” These enable our clients to break away from the gravitational pull of current perspectives and practices. We offer a full portfolio of tools to evaluate current and future internal states, identify trends and shifts in the environment, and analyze existing and potential capacities and gaps to focus further strengthening and change.
Our Team Makes the Difference. Our teams for futuring and horizon scanning are highly experienced in utilizing the tools of environmental scanning and futuring in higher education settings, then using the results to drive strategic planning and organizational design.. Our consultants have also combined practice and theory, writing some of the seminal articles and monographs on transformative change in higher education and the deployment of new learning techniques and the reinvented business models they will enable.
The Client Experience and Outcomes. Our “Plan from the Future Backward” experience engages a diverse group of participants from across the organization and develops a deep understanding on how the future can be different from the past and how use strategic planning and organizational change to get there. Our range of exercises yield tangible reports, SWOT analyses, and other analytic and descriptive outcomes that guide a wide range of change efforts.

Elements of Services. Our Futuring and Horizon Scanning Services consist of a customized combination of the following services, tailored to the distinctive needs of each client:
  • research and data collection
  • developing and delivering assessments and instruments
  • analyzing and synthesizing information
  • writing reports and related presentations
  • conducting futuring, SWOT, and exploratory sessions
  • staging highly engaging, participatory sessions
  • summarizing outcomes and extracting insights and opportunities
  • connecting implications with actions