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Crawford School of Public Policy

Foresighting Skills for Policy and Strategy Development: Scenario Planning for Public Sector Leaders

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The major focus of this this course is about the process of foresight. The course enables participants to develop skills to explore, understand, represent and provide advice on complex and uncertain issues. This course enables participants to develop the skills and practice to:

  • represent the complexity of their external operating landscape, make sense of it and to be able to provide research-informed advice for a range of issues.
  • to explore the uncertainty of the external operating landscape, capture the uncertainty, make sense of it and use this to better inform advice on a range of issues.

Course overview

Decision-makers are time constrained and are often required to provide advice, direction and assurances for issues they do not properly understand nor are aware of the consequences of their advice. In such an environment, decision-makers require access to skills, processes and techniques that will enable them to deliver with enhanced confidence, robust advice (direction, public policy, strategic thinking, strategic plans etc) that has a strong research evidence base about the highly complex and uncertain external operating landscape that they operate within.

This course provides senior decision-makers with a range of skills and techniques to enhance their understanding of the complexity and uncertainty of the external operating landscape. The course will:

  • Assist participants to develop a working understanding of the concepts of complexity and uncertainty and how they can be used to enhance their skills in working in such areas.
  • Provide participants with the concepts and practice of systems thinking and mapping that will enable them to better represent complexity and understand the dynamics of the external operating landscape
  • Expose participants to the process of scenario planning as means to understand uncertainty and to provide the frameworks to develop research-informed policy and strategy

The course is presented as a mixture of:

  • presentation of theory with case studies;
  • group work to answer questions that are relevant to their issues;
  • group work/role play to practice the steps of the techniques outlined above.


Dr Gary Saliba is the Director of Strategic Journeys, a management consulting company that assists in strategy development work within organisations. The unique role of Gary and his company is the integration of complex adaptive systems thinking with future studies and strategy development. This...
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