Strategic foresight major


Foresight is about “looking ahead”. Foresight fulfils a dual objective by developing plausible scenarios: first, identifying the issues of the future to prepare for them and improve decision-making capability; and secondly, more surprisingly, gaining a better understanding of the present.

Philippe Schaller, doctor and innovation researcher for nursing homes.

Why choose this major?

The Strategic foresight major is designed to train professionals to be a driving force in organisational transformation (digital transformation, business model transformation, innovation, etc.). More and more of today’s businesses are creating an internal structure whose role is to help the organisation to plan ahead and take decisions in a turbulent environment.

Swisscom, for example, has its own think-tank, e-foresight, whose aim is to anticipate transformations in the global financial sector. On the international stage, the oil company, Shell, was one of the first to create a foresight team, which regularly produces possible future scenarios in the energy sector. Several supranational institutions, such as the OECD or the World Economic Forum, have adopted similar strategies, by creating ad hoc groups, such as the OECD’s Government Foresight Community.

While there is currently no other course of this kind in Switzerland, there is no doubt that students who have been trained in foresight will be increasingly sought after by organisations that need to be able to plan ahead and make decisions in a turbulent environment.

Against a background of digital transformation and ecological challenges, students will learn to:

  • Understand in detail the main concepts, methods and tools used in foresight
  • Identify trends and uncertainties associated with transformations in the world in general and managerial practices in organisations in particular
  • Use input from core disciplines (accounting/finance, marketing, HR, etc.) to design and implement a strategic diagnostic process suited to a diverse range of institutional contexts
  • Use the results of a foresight process to design and develop proposals for several strategic choices and decisions to present to an organisation’s senior managers.

Special features

One of the key features of the Strategic foresight major is that it is rooted in the socioeconomic fabric of French-speaking Switzerland. Throughout their learning journey, students tackle directly the key issues faced by organisations in Geneva and French-speaking Switzerland. Numerous invited experts contribute to various modules, to present case studies that can be used as the basis for the students’ Master’s thesis.