From Insight to Foresight: Fuelling the Successful 21st Century Strategy

The Warring States period (475-221 BC) in China was characterized by perpetual wars between divided states. The first strategy consultants emerged. They were travelling philosophers, like Confucius and Sun Tzu, offering advice on how to conduct war.


Today in strategy, we often use the metaphor of war quoting Sun Tzu. The military is also where the term “Intelligence” stems from. However, “The Art of War” was written 2500 years ago and while the statements might still be relevant in principle, we should move away from thinking of business strategy as a battleground, serving the financial interests of shareholders, and reframe it as an opportunity to create value for all stakeholders: consumers, employees, society and the planet.


Some companies today are so powerful that their revenues surpass the GDPs of entire countries. Companies have a substantial impact on the lives of communities and our environment. It is not surprising that consumers are putting a tremendous pressure on them now to show actions, tackling world issues, like climate change, poverty and education.


I am exploring how Strategic foresight can fuel intelligence for organizations in the context of a business model shift towards practicing Economics of Mutuality, where the strategy of company is looking to serve all stakeholders and revenues are no longer the only KPIs. I will be using my own experience as a strategist and a professional strategic foresight practitioner, available literature, as well as interviews with key figures from the field of strategy and economics, such as, but not limited to, the creator of Economics of Mutuality, Bruno Roche, Mars Chief Economist and Catalyst MD and Oxford professors in Strategy. 

Speaker profiles

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.


Most recently, she held a Consumer Strategy role at The Walt Disney Company.

In 2019, Joana founded Futures Forward, a strategy and futures consultancy company, which helps organizations build future-proof strategies and delivers Strategic Foresight workshops in partnership with The Futures School, USA.


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.