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At the core of our methodology is the Foresight Framework, a proven and proprietary methodology to find future innovation opportunities and to create forward-looking organizations. The methodology began at Stanford University and has been tested with various teams and companies since 2004. Comprised of 15 core methods for problem scoping and problem solving, the Foresight Framework is designed to address complex problems and future planning as systematically, creatively, and efficiently as possible.

By using this framework, participants prepare successfully for the future by answering three fundamental questions:

  1. How do I begin looking for future opportunities?
  2. How can I create a path to these opportunities that anticipates the inevitable changes along the way?
  3. What can I start doing today that will help me get there first?
Foresight Playbook cover
Publication Spotlight

Playbook for Strategic Foresight and Innovation

Looking for practical foresight methods? Download a free PDF of our playbook (or buy a print version) as your in-house guide.

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Phase I: Perspective

Methods in the Perspective phase give you a broad frame of reference, holding up a mirror to the past so you may better anticipate the future.


Context Maps

Foresight method - Context Maps
Retain complexity of topic, while beginning to converge on priority areas A visual map of the top 8 dimensions in a problem

Progression Curves

Foresight method - Progression Curves
Connect multiple related events and highlights precedents A set of related timelines showing past developments and their timing

Janus Cones

Foresight method - Janus Cones
Uncover indirect influences and events within an era A large-scale pattern map of past major decisions affecting current planning


Phase II: Opportunity

By understanding future customer changes, methods in the Opportunity phase help you develop an ability to see growth opportunities that exist today and extend into the future.


Generational Arcs

Foresight method - Generational Arcs
Identify relevant population group and shared values A diagram of the target user population(s) with size and attributes

Future User

Foresight method - Future User
Describe future user needs without extrapolating biases from today’s users A comparison of two customer/user profiles, including anticipated needs


Foresight method - Futuretelling


Convey nonverbal and contextual details about a future use case A short performance of user needs, either captured as a live skit or via video

Phase III: Solution

Methods in the Solution phase seek to define the questions that exist along different paths to innovation, which are specific to your industry, customers, organization, and team skills.


White Spots

Foresight method - White Spots
Determine future focus of opportunity through iterative filters A visual map of the competitive landscape and emerging market areas

Paper Mockups

Foresight method - Paper Mockups
Produce system models that show interactions and related components A 3D prototype of a potential innovation solution

Change Paths

Change Paths


Prioritize top decisions based on direct path to desired future A visual high-level roadmap for future action

Phase IV: Team

Methods in the Team phase focus on finding the talent and leadership your team needs to take an idea forward as a new opportunity or innovation.


Buddy Checks

Foresight method - Buddy Checks
Let you quickly filter promising innovation partners and teammates Team rehearsal for communicating and receiving new ideas for target reactions


Foresight method - VOICE Stars
Identify your team’s aptitude for radical innovation A team score on five dimensions of innovation culture with a related set of supporting activities 

Crowd Clovers

Foresight method - Crowd Clovers


Map your personal or team's innovation network A stakeholder map of the innovation players to bring an idea to life

Phase V: Vision

Methods in the Vision phase sharpen your team’s vision so that it may take on a life of its own and guide everyone’s actions forward.​


Vision Statement

Foresight method - Vision Statement
Provide a simple formula to tell a future vision A short inspirational description about an idea’s future value

DARPA Hard Test

Foresight method - DARPA Hard Test
Evaluate future vision in terms of its breakthrough potential A quick scoring about an idea’s visionary potential


Foresight method - Pathfinders
Chart the most efficient success path for an innovation idea through an organization A visual planning map revealing what to do (or not do) for optimal internal alignment and success

General Non-Commercial Use​

  • Under the creative commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0), the Playbook for Strategic Foresight and Innovation is available for free download to individuals, companies, and organizations for non-commercial purposes only. 
  • Parties interested in applying the foresight methods from the Foresight Framework for internal development, university teaching or educational reasons, or other purposes may do so with attribution and with no intention to profit.
  • Other third party trademarks referenced on the website and in the Playbook for Strategic Foresight and Innovation are the property of their respective owners.

Commercial Use

  • Commercial usage of the Foresight Framework and all related methods are restricted and full copyright are retained by the book's authors. You may not use trademarks, methods, or other intellectual property assets in connection with web sites, products, packaging, manuals, promotional/advertising materials, or for any other purpose except pursuant to an express written licensing agreement from the publisher. Contact the Innovation Leadership Group LLC's licensing team for more information.​