Upcoming Program

The ability of government to carry out its role effectively in a world of increasingly complex challenges is under pressure. In the face of shifting public expectations, political unrest, and budget cuts, civil servants require new networks, skills, knowledge, and strategic foresight.

As a participatory, intelligence-gathering, and medium- to long-term process, strategic foresight is inseparable from discussions about the future of government and is integral to developing the skills and expertise of public servants around the world. Primarily concerned with looking forward, learning from the past and present is an important part of any strategic planning process.

By invitation only


The Public Sector Strategy Network, now coming to its 10th anniversary, works to build a supportive alliance of engaged senior public servants and connect them with cross-sectoral innovators. Facilitating the exchange of ideas, connections and knowledge, PSSN is designed as a dynamic platform for senior public servants to take advantage of new opportunities and be best prepared for future challenges. Financial and strategic support is given by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, and Apolitical and Salzburg Global Seminar are co-convening partners.

The 2020 Annual Foresight Retreat will give participants the opportunity to analyze past strategic plans

and their measures of impact up to 2020. Participants will learn from drawing out the successes and failures of the strategic plans and lessons learned from real-life case studies prepared by participating countries. A scan of the current landscape of best practice in government strategy will be undertaken, with specific examples from participants. With an eye to what has been learned to date, participants will then acquire knowledge on strategic foresight approaches and how they can be applied in their own contexts as we look to 2030.


  1. CONNECTION: Connect senior leaders and rising talent in government in an environment of trust and open exchange to foster new relationships, continued support and future partnerships;
  2. THOUGHT LEADERSHIP: Facilitate active ongoing peer-to-peer learning through the sharing of examples of best practices and lessons learned from system failure and recovery, as well as reflections on the Retreat itself;
  3. PRACTICAL SKILL BUILDING: Provide the opportunity for participants to collaborate and develop new skills that can be directly applied to their current work and organizations, supporting intrapreneurship in public sector culture;
  4. FORESIGHT: Develop together a framework for useful ongoing information sharing, opportunities for further cooperation, and external resources to help each other anticipate challenges and reimagine the design, delivery, and funding of core services and more effective communication with citizens, civil society and business.


As the touchstone of the Network, the Annual Foresight Retreat is critical for developing future partnerships, fostering new relationships and accelerating innovation. The retreat seeks to accelerate continuous peer-to-peer learning in the public sector and develop activities that are tailored to participants’ interests and inputs. Stimulating group activities will accompany rich discussions alongside opportunities for reflection, rest and informal conversations.

Day One: The first day of the 2020 Retreat offers participants the chance to analyze past strategic plans through in-depth interactive sessions as well as scan the current landscape of best practice in government strategy. By critically discussing measures of impact up to 2020, participants will draw out successes, failures and lessons learned from real life case studies prepared by participating countries.

Day Two: With an eye to what has been learned to date, the second day of the Retreat allows participants to do a participatory deep dive into strategic foresight methodology and strategic risk management, looking at what can be applied in their own contexts as we look to 2030. Participant networking will connect senior leaders and rising talent in government in an environment of trust and open exchange to foster new relationships, continued support and future partnerships.


Preparation requirements will be confirmed with participants following registration but may include:

  1. To identify two strategic or foresight plans you have been involved with or have significant knowledge of (regarding its development, implementation, impact and measurement). One plan is past, one is current. This is preferably one from your current role, but can be from a previous position.
  2. To read the prepared material on strategic foresight.
  3. To read the prepared material on current best practice in government strategic planning.
  4. To read the prepared situational analyses on AI, skills for public and private sector workforces, and climate change.
  5. To send, in advance, what big challenge you’d like to share with the group for discussion/input (in no more than a paragraph).
  6. To send in advance what your key topic of choice is out of AI and tech, skills for private and public sector workforces, or climate change.


Each Annual Foresight Retreat connects expertise across sectors and regions to address long term macro trends and immediate priorities, bringing together a group of around 30 participants:

  • Current or recent ministers, cabinet secretaries, similar ranking senior officials or rising stars recognized as leaders in public sector innovation;
  • Disruptors and resource experts at the leading edge of technology, finance, communications, behavioral science, academia, philanthropy, and civil society;
  • City leaders, representing mayors or senior officials from cities; and
  • Network multipliers, representing top public service training institutions/networks and possibly business schools.






Please download the following brochures for further information:

More information will be available at