The ART of foresight and sustainable futures

Course overview

Photograph taken from above of the interior of the Alliance Manchester Business School.
  • Next date: 04 - 08 July 2022
  • Delivered by: Senior staff and invited external experts
  • Teaching: Lectures, interactive group exercises, case studies, mini-projects
  • Location: Alliance Manchester Business School
  • View our 2022 Course Brochure

Anticipating, recommending and transforming research and innovation futures 

The world is experiencing great uncertainties about the unfolding economic crisis and its aftershocks. Many countries, industries and public services face challenging futures where the quest for opportunities is increasingly competitive. Economic discontent has combined with existing political stresses to catch many institutions - and countries - wrong-footed. Meanwhile, globalisation, migration, environmental, political and technological trends are reshaping the rules of the game. This calls for critical reflections on existing assumptions, plans and strategies for the long-term future. Our foresight course explores ways in which decision-makers can address uncertainties. How to produce sound and forward looking results that are useful for decision-makers?

The Manchester Institute of Innovation Research has been running an annual foresight training course since 1999. Building on over twenty years of foresight experience, we are able to call upon a wealth of expertise, from staff with know-how of the practice of foresight, as well as from sponsors and practitioners. The course now runs in partnership with Futures Diamond Ltd, a leading global research and technology development organisation. Future-oriented innovation and sustainability research is a key focus for Futures Diamond, supported by the Director's track record in science, technology and innovation studies.

Who is it for?

  • Business and industry leaders
  • Policymakers, analysts, programme sponsers and managers
  • Science and research agenda shapers
  • Professionals in research and innovation organisations and funding agencies
  • Foresight and horizon scanning practitioners

Key topics

Typical topics addressed in the course include:

  • Foresight origins, concepts and evolution
  • Foresight process, frameworks and fundamentals
  • Foresight methodology, methods and approaches
  • Horizon scanning tools, techniques and platforms
  • Using evidence, expertise, interaction and creativity
  • Shaping science, technology and innovation systems
  • Forward-looking regional and territorial development
  • Supporting research and innovation priority-setting
  • Future-oriented sustainable innovation approaches
  • Addressing industry needs and societal challenges
  • Defining long-term strategies and policy agendas
  • Using expert/citizen panels and Delphi surveys
  • Analysing trends, wild cards and weak signals
  • Developing models, scenarios and roadmaps
  • Evaluating foresight processes and impacts

The course consists of a set of interactive lectures reinforced with practical work in groups. During the week, you will design a foresight exercise with a group of participants, supported by facilitators. This will enable you to bring together different elements covered in the course and apply them to a real life case.

Covid Considerations

  • Plan A is fully residential
  • Plan B is hybrid mode (fees can be negotiated)
  • Plan C is fully online (fees can be negotiated)