Think Like a Futurist: Strategic Planning for Uncertain Times

Following the 2020 pandemic, many businesses and organizations found themselves disrupted and unprepared. Was the pandemic a Black Swan event? Many argue that it was predictable. So why didn’t our governments and businesses have a plan? We tend to plan in a linear way, using historic data that we extrapolate into the future and not considering the macro driving forces that can evolve and create an unexpected event and even a completely different future world. Strategic foresight is a methodology that offers us an opportunity to create resilient strategies for the future and is especially valuable during uncertain times. It helps us spot disruptors and opportunities to innovate and it’s a great complimentary asset to add to your strategic, innovation or intelligence toolkits. In my session, I will provide short theory about what strategic foresight is and then move into the practical implementation. We will work together on trends implications, prioritization and work in groups to create short scenarios. I will combine different strategy and foresight tools to create an interactive, informative and engaging best practice lesson session. I will showcase a methodology and tools that can help the audience when participating or leading planning sessions. The session promises not only to be informative but also creatively challenging and fun!

Key Takeaways

After this session, the participants will:

  • Have a good understanding about what Strategic foresight is
  • Understand how to work with trends and their implications to the organisation
  • Learn how to create short future scenarios


Speaker Profile


Joana Lenkova is a Strategist and a professional Futurist with a vast 15 years of international experience in the field of Marketing, Innovation, Business Strategy, and Strategic Foresight, across different FMCG, Finance and Entertainment blue-chip companies (AB InBev, Societe Generale, Disney), as well as successfully growing start-ups. In 2019, Joana founded Futures Forward, a strategy and futures consultancy company, which helps organizations build future-proof strategies. Prior to that, she held a Consumer Strategy role at The Walt Disney Company, London, UK. Joana is a graduate of Saïd Business School, University of Oxford in Strategy and Innovation. She is a member of the Association of Professional Futurists and the Oxford Union and a founding member of the Global Foresight Advisory Council of The Futures School.