Public Sector Foresight Network

by The Public Sector Foresight Network (PSFN) has been formed to provide those involved in foresight for public sector organizations the opportunity to share their aspirations, work, methods, experiences, and results. Join PSFN and the Electronic Mailing List.

With the initial support of the World Future Society, PSFN has grown from a breakfast meeting at the WFS Annual Conference in 2011 organized by Nancy Donovan of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, with Clem Bezold of the Institute of Alternative Futures, to day-long meetings in 2012-2016. Attendees at 2011-2016 meetings have included representatives of U.S. federal, state and local governments, and participants from Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Finland, New Zealand, China, Korea, the UK, and other countries as well as the UN, NATO, academia, and the consulting world. Issues discussed include leading examples of foresight efforts, lessons and challenges in doing foresight, and how to best communicate and sustain foresight activities. Click here for Nancy Donovan’s presentation at the 2014 Orlando meeting on the evolution of the network and activities since its inception.

2017 Meeting Information

PSFN held its annual meeting once again with the FFCOI (Federal Foresight Community of Interest).  Participants attended both in-person at the Veterans’ Administration Conference Center in Crystal City Virginia and virtual from around the world.

2017 Meeting Agenda

We had four great presentations with discussions, and the presentations are listed below with links to slides for three of them. Lane Jennings of AAI Foresight offers a summary of the presentations and discussion (note that Peter Padbury adds his own summary at the end of Lane’s piece).

2016 Meeting Information

PSFN held its annual meeting with the Federal Foresight Community of Interest (FFCOI) on Friday, July 22, 2016. It was a successful gathering of over 100 participants in the conference center of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons near the U.S. Capital. Below are the links for the agenda and the presentations.

2016 Meeting Agenda

PSFN / FFCoI July 2016 Meeting Presentations

Federal Foresight Community of Interest – Panel on Foresight Experience

Foresight Faces Challenging Issues

Advising National Governments and Administration Transitions on Foresight Processes

The Aspirational Component of Foresight: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

2015 Meeting Information

This year’s meeting was held on Friday, July 24, 2015 from 8:30 am to 3 pm. The 50 attendees included turnout from U.S. federal agencies (Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Government Accountability Office, U.S. Forest Service, and National Defense University) as well as officials from variety of Canadian government agencies and the World Bank. Attendees also represented foresight from the governments of Finland and the Netherlands and included those from a range of academic and other organizations in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Bermuda, and China. Below you’ll find the meeting agenda and presenters’ slides.

2015 Meeting Agenda

On The State of Foresight in U.S. Federal Agencies:

Public Sector Foresight: The Future is Now, by Stephen Sanford, U.S. Government Accountability Office

U.S. Federal Foresight Community of Interest, by Joseph Moore, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Evergreen: Influencing Strategic Decisions Within the Coast Guard, by Eric Popiel, U.S. Coast Guard

Foresight Research in the U.S. Forest Service, by David Bengston, U.S. Forest Service

Foresight in a Regulatory Agency:

AER and Strategic Foresight, by Richard Dixon, Alberta Energy Regulator

On Foresight, Complexity & Technological Change:

Improving Policy, Strategy & Decision-Making in a Complex World, by Sheila Ronis, Walsh College

Security Policy Challenges of Accelerating Technological Change, by James Kadtke, Center for Technology and National Security Policy, NDU;School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego

3D Printing: Opportunities, Challenges, and Policy Implications of Additive Manufacturing, by Timothy Persons, U.S. Government Accountability Office

Previous Meetings

2014 Meeting Agenda

U.S. Federal Foresight Community of Interest

James-Christian Blockwood, US Department of Veterans Affairs, Director of Strategic Studies, Office of Policy & Planning


Developing scenarios to determine future Canadian Army requirements and concepts

Lieutenant-Colonel Chris Rankin & Peter Gizewski, Canadian Army Land Warfare Centre


Developing scenarios for public health

Dr. Clem Bezold, Institute for Alternative Futures


The History and Future of Scenarios & the U.S. Coast Guard

CDR Eric Popiel, US Coast Guard


Using “Prospective Evaluation Synthesis” & grounded foresight to design education-related study for Congressional use

Jamila Kennedy, US GAO, Education, Workforce and Income Security Team


2013 Meeting Agenda

2012 Meeting Agenda

Join PSFN and the Electronic Mailing List

The objectives of the Public Sector Foresight Network (PSFN) are:

  • To spread awareness of foresight activities taking place around the world, at all levels of governments,
  • To support and encourage government foresight practitioners, and
  • To enhance the quality of foresight by sharing lessons and best practices.

Membership in PSFN is open to government officials involved in foresight and those who work with them. PSFN was co-founded by Nancy Donovan and Clem Bezold, has been directed by Nancy Donovan, Clem Bezold and Ken Hunter, and is hosted by the Institute for Alternative Futures. For the time being there is no cost to belong to PSFN.

PSFN meets in person on the day on which the World Future Society opens (typically a Friday in July) and communicates via an electronic mailing list the remainder of the time. Because the World Future Society has agreed to provide a room for the meeting, participants must be registered to attend the World Future Society Annual Conference which begins immediately after the PSFN session. There is no additional charge for attending the PSFN meeting.

Presentations at the PSFN in-person meeting and electronic mailing list postings cannot be used for direct marketing of foresight services or tools. To join PSFN, visit Once you’ve joined, you may post a message to all members of the group by sending an email to PublicSectorForesightNetwork [at] groupspaces [dot] com from your preferred email client (e.g., Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook).

By joining you indicate that you agree to the following:

  • I am a government official involved in foresight or I work on foresight with government.
  • I will not use PSFN meetings or the electronic mailing list for marketing purposes.

Once you apply, you’ll be informed shortly of your membership.