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Aims of this toolkit

Foresight's Horizon Scanning Centre has built this toolkit: Exploring the future: Tools for strategic thinking for anyone who uses, or would like to use, futures thinking and analysis to make better decisions today.

The toolkit is intended for futures analysts, policy-makers, strategists and people managing a futures process.

The toolkit draws extensively (but not exclusively) on the approach that Foresight's Horizon Scanning Centre (HSC) takes in its own  futures work.

Picture of signpost to the future
There is, of course, no ‘right’ way to use futures thinking. While the toolkit offers some ideas and suggestions for ways to approach futures projects, it is not intended to be prescriptive or definitive. The toolkit is intended to be informative and easy to use. We have kept the beginner in mind throughout: we have also provided plenty of opportunities for individuals to delve deeper if they wish to do so.

Exploring the future: Tools for strategic thinking builds on and improves our first toolkit, Suggestions for success, which was published in 2005. We have drawn on the HSC's continuing experience of futures work as well as on inputs from users and practitioners. We were also able to take in feedback from members of the Futures Analysts’ Network (FAN) club .

We have expanded the number of techniques and case studies in this toolkit. We have also provided a descriptive, rather than a prescriptive viewpoint and have improved the presentation of the various techniques. In this way, we hope that it is easier to link and compare different approaches.

We believe that these changes will help users to explore futures thinking at their own pace and to grow as they use this toolkit.

Whatever your reasons for using Exploring the future: Tools for strategic thinking, we hope that you will find it helpful. We remain committed to improving it over time, so please do contact us with your comments: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.