Strategic Foresight and Scenario Planning


This course aims to provide students with a solid background in Scenario Planning and Strategic Foresight, which is particularly relevant in the context of accelerating change, turbulence, uncertainty, and unpredictability that characterizes current times.

The course complements its key theoretical and methodological contents with a full hands-on simulation of a Foresight / Scenario building process based in real challenges presented to the students by an invited organization.

The focus of the course will be on developing skills in three critical activities (and their tools) for the world of today:

Scanning the organizational environment by exploring different types of approaches and tools;

Simulation of possible futures through the development and exploration of strategic scenarios;

Strategic agility and resilience through the explicit articulation of Foresight and Scenarios with Strategic Management concepts and tools 

General characterization





Responsible teacher

António Alvarenga Rodrigues


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Goodwin, P., Wright, G. (2014) Decision Analysis for Management Judgment ("Chapter 16 Scenario planning: an alternative way of dealing with uncertainty"). 5th Edition, John Wiley & Sons, New York. (Available at the School Library)

Guillén, M. F. (2020) 2030 - How Today's Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything. FLINT (The History Press), Cheltenham. (Available at the School Library)

Van der Heijden, K. (2005) Scenarios - the Art of Strategic Conversation. 2nd Edition. John Wiley and Sons, London. (Available at the School Library) 

Teaching method

Primary learning method: learning-by-doing (practice by doing) / active learning

Other learning methods: learning-by-examples (demonstration) and learning-by-teaching [teach other(s)]

Expository/lecturing and inquiry-based methods will also be used. Hands-on Methodology: this is a participatory and interactive course where, through a full simulation of a Foresight/Scenario Building process, the students address a real challenge presented by an invited organization and experiment the identification of drivers of change and uncertainties, build Scenarios and identify their strategic implications.

Evaluation method

50% - Group assignment (group assignment grades will be awarded on an individual basis based on each student's contribution measured through overall group performance and a peer assessment process). The deadline for the upload of the report in the Moodle platform will be disclosed in the first class.

50% - Final individual exam

Subject matter

0. Hands-on groupwork: overview, key steps and examples

1. Foresight, Horizon Scanning and Scenarios: principles and key concepts

2. Horizon scanning, trends, megatrends, uncertainties, wild cards, and weak signals 

3. Developing Scenarios 

4. From scenarios to strategy 

5. Other Scenario Planning schools and methods 


Programs where the course is taught: