Workshop: Intro to Strategic Foresight (English)

Strategic foresight is a structured methodology used to create and plan around informed visions of the future by looking at how the social, political, environmental and technological landscape is changing today. Used in both public and private sectors, it enables you to spot future shifts that can disrupt your organization, find new opportunities, design services more holistically, and build resilience against future threats. 

You will learn the fundamentals of the strategic foresight process - from understanding the forces that drove change in the past, gathering broad sets of signals in the world today, identifying trends, and finally drawing connections between those trends to create informed future scenarios of an industry. We'll work through activities to help you build an intuition around some of these key stages, using assets from a real-life foresight project within the media industry. We'll finish by touching on how foresight can fit into your organization, and how it can support other methodologies (e.g., user research and service design).

Note: This workshop is designed for practitioners with little to no prior exposure to strategic foresight.


Janice de Jong, Real/Ideal

With a background in Design and a Master's in Strategic Foresight and Innovation, Janice de Jong is a foresight practitioner and design researcher based in Kitchener, Ontario. Specializing in the needs of future users, she believes that understanding today can build a better tomorrow.

Her roots are in the high tech industry, and her work has been seen in the hands of millions of mobile phone users. Nowadays she consults for a variety of organizations, from government groups, to Fortune 500 companies, to small startups. She is passionate about inspiring others to create the future, and has guest lectured on the intersection of trends and design at various universities and conferences.

In her spare time she’s an avid knitter, gardener and cook. She volunteers at the Kitchener Waterloo Humane Society, travels to far-flung places, and dreams of owning an alpaca farm.

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Aaron Szymanski, Real/Ideal

With a background in industrial and user experience design, Aaron’s previous experience includes Kinetic Cafe, where he led the design team and was the product owner for ALDO’s iOS application and Connected Store (Store of the Future) programs.

Previously, Aaron was a Product Designer at Pivotal Labs and an Industrial Designer at BlackBerry, where he worked with the portfolio development team to envision the future of connected technology and experiences.

He has helped develop first to market products for clients like ALDO, League, Indigo, RBC (including RBC Avion), Aimia (formerly Aeroplan), PC Financial and Salesforce. His experience spans the gamut from large-scale retail and enterprise projects to leading exploratory research and development projects for clients like Autodesk.