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Leading with Foresight

A new online program to help you navigate uncertainty and shape better futures

Hey boss,
where are we headed?

If you’ve been asked this question by your team, you know the challenges of being in a position of leadership when the world around you is nearly unrecognizable. It’s hard enough to keep a team aligned and focused on the future in ‘normal’ times.

How do you have conversations with a team about the future in the midst of a global pandemic?


This online course for leaders – whether of a team of 2 or 2000 – focuses on methods for sensing and responding to future scenarios. It will give you new ways of thinking about strategy and frameworks for guiding scary, ambiguous conversations with the people depending you most – your team.

It’s quick: 100 minutes in total. It’s digestible: 5-12 minute chunks. And you can watch it today (or over many days) and apply it tomorrow.


On average, managers devote less than 3% of their time building a perspective on the future.

Let’s put that in the past.

Source: Hamel and Prahalad, Harvard Business Review

Coming out of 2008, organizations with mature foresight practices significantly outperformed industry benchmarks for profitability and market capitalization.

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We’ve trained leaders at

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  • Make sense of a rapidly changing world with tools for sensing new changes and trends

  • Take a structured approach to visualizing future scenarios

  • Engage your team and colleagues in discussions about what’s changing, what it means, and what to do about it


Suzanne is a faculty member at OCAD University where she teaches Digital Futures and Strategic Foresight and Innovation.

Prior to OCAD U, she was with SMARTlab, where she was deputy director and principal research fellow in Technology Futures.

100+ minutes of teaching in a series of digestible videos. Each video is a maximum of 15 minutes in length and presents a specific concept and corresponding exercise.

Course Modules

01 - Introduction to Strategic Foresight
In this section you’ll meet your OCAD U instructor, understand the value of strategic foresight for your organization, and how to mobilize a team to augment the learning process.

02 - Horizon Scanning
Horizon scanning identifies broad emerging information that indicates possible changes in a given industry. Learn techniques for uncovering trends, issues and events across societal, technological, economic, environmental, political, and values based changes.

03 - Building Scenarios

Scenario planning is a tool for anticipating what might unfold in the future.

In this module, you will learn how to take the outputs of your team’s horizon scanning work and turn them into vivid snapshots of plausible futures, against which strategy options can be tested.

04 - From Scenarios to Strategies

In this module, you will learn how to adapt and create strategies to prepare for both the near- and long-term future, and how to test those strategies against multiple possible scenarios.

05 - Leading into the Future

Take your leadership to the next level by building foresight capabilities in your team and across your organization. This module covers approaches to empowering teams, embracing diverse perspectives, and developing a culture of futures-thinking innovators.

Get a verified digital certificate from OCAD U CO.

Leading with Foresight

Meeting at office

“OCAD U CO’s foresight training kickstarted totally new thinking for us. I continue to see my team use these tools – which almost never happens!”

— Program Manager, Leading Health Services Firm


Times are tough, learning doesn’t have to be. We’ve made it as easy as possible for you to access the tools you need to navigate uncertainty and shape better futures.

Per Student Pricing


Get immediate access to course right after you register.
5 monthly payments of


5 monthly payments will be automatically deducted from the credit card you provide at checkout. Get immediate access to course right after you register.

What if your company’s core products & services were irresistible to users?

OCAD U CO Design Critique

OCAD U CO is offering IRAP clients design thinking-based design critique and user interface evaluation services in support of IRAP’s mission. 

The Design Critique offers firms a structured evaluation of the viability, desirability, and marketability of their product, service, project or process from a customer-centric lens. Design experts will offer feedback and recommendations to improve the user experience and will identify high-priority improvement opportunities for the firm.

The critique session will provide clients with:

  • A timely and thoughtful review of a product or service with suggestions for improvements

  • An evaluation of the viability, desirability, and marketability of a product, service, project or process

  • Key insights with a direct and immediate ROI

  • A written critique summary report

Interior Design
Working on phone and laptop
  • Customer and User Experience

  • Interaction Design

  • Value Proposition

  • Service Design

  • Customer Journey

  • Product Accessibility

  • Accessibility and Inclusion

Should you apply?
  • Are you struggling to understand what customers really want?

  • Are you looking for ways to truly differentiate your products and services?

  • Do you wish you had access to skilled designers who have helped the likes of Philips, Deloitte, Sapient, Nike, RBC, and others?

  • Can you share enough information to provide our team with context to get started?

Program supported by the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP)

Paying Customer

Understanding your customer’s needs, motivations & behaviours is a key to success

OCAD U CO Customer Insights

OCAD U CO is providing design thinking-driven customer insights services to support IRAP clients in accomplishing their mission.

The Customer Insights program, offered by OCAD U CO, presents a comprehensive 9-week experiential initiative aimed at equipping teams with the skills to cultivate customer empathy, extract valuable insights, and generate concrete outcomes for their enterprises. This program facilitates the exploration of customer requirements, motivations, and behaviours, which can enhance customer retention rates and unveil novel prospects for business growth. Throughout the program, expert design practitioners will deliver personalized feedback and recommendations to participants.

  • Identify research objectives

  • Interview 4 – 6 real users

  • Create user personas

  • Design user journey map

  • Uncover insights into the pain points, needs, and desires of users

  • Develop value propositions for how to better serve customers

  • Design an implementation plan to test hypotheses coming out of the research.

Store Clerk and Customer with Smile

Over the course of 9 weeks, clients will participate in several weekly learning opportunities:

  • 2 hour participatory lectures each week learn new tools and methods

  • 1:1 weekly check-ins with the workshp instructor

  • Approximately 3 hours of independent work per week including conducting interviews, analyzing responses and coming up wi

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