Scan Horizon

Foresight is your radar for making sense of change. Start by analyzing key trends and drivers likely to impact you. Navigate uncertainty by identifying what matters and what to pay attention to.

50+ Trends | 2 Digital Surveys | 1 Workshop

Foresight begins with facts, but since there are no facts about the future, we look at current and past trends. We started the Strategic Foresight process by asking the leadership team what’s on your radar and creating an exhaustive list of trends backed by research. Trends are dynamic or directional change patterns that typically include social, technological, ecological, economic, political, legal or values-based changes. The dynamics of change we explored included economic, sociocultural, transportation, public safety, and the environment. 

These trends were mapped using the Three Horizons Model. The Three Horizons Model helps you understand how ideas, opportunities, technologies and initiatives align to different types of growth for your organisation or community. Understanding where the trends sit across the three horizons (short, medium and long-term) helps form a holistic strategy while considering the time sensitive nature of opportunities, processes and the tools needed for implementation.

In a participatory workshop, we discussed which dynamics of change had the greatest likelihood of impact on the town in the immediate future to determine those most relevant to the current term of council. The following questions were addressed:

  • How are the trends distributed across the horizons?
  • Do we need more opportunities in some of the horizons?
  • What are the opportunities that excite us in each horizon?
  • How do our capabilities match the opportunities?
  • What are some strategic implications of the patterns that have emerged?

With a short-list of trends most relevant from now and in the short-term (Horizon 1), we used a new open source algorithum to determine what we most value. This innovative approach uses complicated math developed at Princeton University with the help of Google research and the National Institute of Health. It ranks and prioritizes a number of items based on a forced either/or decision. The more you participate, the better the predictions are for determining values. 

The result of this digital survey determined our Top Trends Watchlist. While the following trends presented below aren’t the Strategic Priorities in and of themselves, they helped point us toward priority areas and initiatives to come.

Top Trends Watch List

Top trends were explored in-depth in the next phase of the Strategic Foresight process. Click next to learn more.