Scenario Planning and Horizon Scanning for Policy-Makers

This is an in-house and an open programme seminar. For details or to discuss any aspect of the seminar, please email David Leakey on [email protected] or phone on +44 20 7661 7817


There are a number of highly effective tools that can be used to improve the robustness of your policy planning and development.

The methodical application of futures thinking, including horizon scanning and scenario planning, will enable you to think about and develop policy in a more strategic way, adding greatly to its value for both policy-making teams and decision-makers.

Who is the seminar designed for?

This course is designed for policy-makers at all levels. The intention of the course is to equip you with a set of tools and a deepened knowledge of futures thinking and how to apply it to your policy work. As such it is designed for people working at all stages of the policy cycle who wish to ensure that their policies are robust and future-proof, mitigating risk and enabling the development of more impactful policy interventions.

How will you benefit from attending?

You will learn a range of tools and approaches to enable you to incorporate futures thinking into your policy work. This will empower you to improve your policies’ strategic quality, as well as its likelihood of meeting your goals to deliver successful outcomes.

Learning objectives

As a result of participating in this highly interactive workshop, you will:

  • Improve your skills in futures thinking and foresight generally
  • Be able to gain insights into the potential future threats and opportunities that could arise in any policy area
  • Understand how to use horizon scanning as a tool to better understand the drivers that can affect future developments in any policy or strategy area
  • Gain insights into how to use horizon scanning in combination with other tools such as scenario planning
  • Consider how to respond to different possible scenarios


Introductions and Aim of Day

Session One Understanding Horizon Scanning

  • Exercise – why looking ahead matters and how it supports strategic thinking
  • How horizon scanning fits into the policy cycle
  • The Three Horizons Model
  • Who to involve?
  • Different business needs and the different Pathways that can be used


Session Two Using PESTLE / STEEPLE

  • Understanding Driver Mapping
  • Exercise -using PESTLE/ STEEPLE to identify drivers that are opportunities and/ or threats
  • How to prioritise future opportunities and threats for action (taking into account organisational strengths and weaknesses)
  • The range of possible strategic policy options for responding to opportunities and threats


Session Three Scenario Planning

  • The impact of uncertainty on achieving objectives, scenarios and how this relates to risk management (including creating a risk radar)
  • Trends analysis and scenario planning compared
  • Scenario creation exercise
  • Considering combinations of scenarios
  • Analysing the opportunities and threats in different scenarios
  • Using scenarios for stress testing

Action Points and Final Questions

  • Key team action points
  • Further questions

Close of Day

Our L&D ethos

  • We’re here to enable you to perform better!

Our L&D team

  • All former practitioners, now professional trainers, our L&D team have provided open and bespoke solutions for more than 100,000 public servants from 120 countries

Our L&D seminars

  • A vast reservoir of international, transferable knowledge and perspectives about effective, delivery-focused approaches to working smarter in the public sector

This is an in-house and an open programme seminar. For details or to discuss any aspect of the seminar, please email David Leakey on [email protected] or phone on +44 20 7661 7817