The University of Houston’s Foresight program recently began working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to launch an organization-wide Strategic Foresight Initiative (SFI). The conversation began in late 2019 (pre-COVID) when the CDC asked for help in identifying emerging threats and opportunities sooner. The Foresight program coordinator, Dr. Andy Hines, spent a day at the CDC briefing a large audience and visiting with small groups to discuss how foresight could help.
During summer 2020, a two-part research project was devised and the SFI was officially launched with a kickoff event on September 29th.
The major components of the project include:
- Training two initial cohorts on the basics of foresight by working a sample project
- Following the initial training, working with the teams to either polish up their sample project or coach them through a new one
The initial cohorts include 30-40 participants each, representing 10 different functional groups within the CDC. A “Learning and Action Network” has been established as a community of practice to establish a “home” for the SFI. The project is expected to conclude in March 2021.