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Our Approach

The GFS foresight process can increase your organizational capacity to develop comprehensively informed plans through in-depth consideration of emerging trends and their policy and strategy implications. GFS will tailor a unique foresight approach based on the needs of each client to generate a rich picture of the most salient trends and opportunities that should be influencing the client’s strategic decision making.  


Provide Global Trends Scoping Briefing

Global Foresight Strategies (GFS) will lead “framing” meetings with our clients to discuss the larger context of the issues faced by the organization. This will include both discussion of the trends and issues shaping the current operating environment of the organization and a preliminary look at how this context is likely to evolve over time. This discussion will identify the questions that our engagements will aspire to answer in support of our clients' decision challenges.  In this phase our goal is to better understand clients’ needs so that we can tailor engagements that will enhance their understanding of the strategic environment and its implications for their mission.  


Identify Clients Foresight Program Objectives

GFS links you to a network of experts, including former officials who can promote deeper understanding of a broad array of challenges arising from an increasingly complex and evolving global security environment.


We have worked with private sector and academic experts on a wide range of national and global topics and can connect our clients to a diverse range of thinkers for foresight projects.  Our many decades of experience working in and with government agencies that have international security responsibilities, as well as with domestic agencies at all levels of government, enables us to help our clients identify key decision makers who should be in the room because they matter to effective policy outcomes.


Build Common Knowledge Foundation for Regional Engagement (Virtual)

Our experience in developing team foresight-building exercises has taught us that a strong foundation of detailed, evidence-based knowledge of emerging trends is critical to setting the stage for foresight analysis. The GFS team will work with selected experts to prepare presentations outlining the political, military, economic, technological, environmental, human security, and socio-cultural trends that are most likely to affect the client’s strategic decisions. This up-to-date data and analysis will provide an evidentiary basis for critical thinking about the relationships among those trends within the client’s identified problem set.  With online conferencing readily accessible, this phase could be executed in a virtual format.


Convene Regional Foresight Forum to Conduct Integrated Assessment

Building on the knowledge foundation developed, GFS will apply foresight analysis methods to structure collaborative discussions with the aim of producing group assessments of medium to long-term implications for the client's mission.  Breakout groups will combine functional and regional experts with government, business, and community decision makers to examine how interactions among these trends could produce new types of threats or open up new opportunities for clients’ strategies and decisions. We believe that analyzing these interactions is the key to understanding future challenges and opportunities that may emerge. 


For instance, experts in climate change, migration, and terrorism may compare trends and their inter-relationships in a specific region, say West Africa. Such discussion may lead to a recognition that a growth in terrorist group recruitment in these areas reflects less radicalization than a climate change-related decline in the accessibility to critical fishing areas now controlled by extremist groups who demand allegiance in exchange for access to food. This dynamic is simultaneously driving migration by those who refuse to join the extremist group to other areas that might not welcome them due to their own resource scarcity challenges or tribal or colonial legacies. The migration trend could drive political reactions in other regions, leading to wider instability. The point is that the potential for cascading effects and complex interrelationships among trends must be discussed, analyzed, and captured as qualitative assessments to identify decision-relevant issues and translate into key recommendations for policymakers. The result of this analysis will be a range of future outcomes relevant to the client’s needs, exposing opportunities to advance client objectives to the maximum extent possible across the range of uncertain futures.


Construct and Provide Secure Foresight Portal

The qualitative assessments produced through breakout sessions will be documented using GFS’s “Qualitative Capture Tool” (QCT) (currently in-development). The QCT will both evoke and capture analytic judgments made during group discussions and the underlying rationale for those judgments. The QCT will provide the primary reference point for the client’s planning and decision processes, as well as provide a baseline for annual or as-needed adjustments to foresight judgments as underlying facts change or new data emerge. 


Support Client Decision Challenges

The goal of these collaborations is to identify actions that clients could take themselves—or influence other parties to take—to navigate and shape the future environment in beneficial ways, or to improve resilience in the face of potential adverse outcomes.  GFS will support clients in post-meeting follow-up and provision of recommendations to senior policymakers and private sector and community leaders regarding ways to to seize important opportunities through proactive decision making and/or counter emerging threats.

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