Research Outline

Strategic Foresight


To determine the value of strategic foresight/futures practices in corporations and organizations.
  • Examples of companies with a formal foresight/futures practice
  • ROI data for investing in foresight/futures projects
  • Case examples of success stories where companies have adopted these formal practice

Early Findings

Data Availability

  • There is adequate data availability for this project.


  • McKinsey Global Institute and FCLT Global found that companies that operate with a true long-term mindset have consistently outperformed their industry peers since 2001 across almost every financial measure that matters. This graphs shows that companies focused on the long term perform, on average, 47% better when comparing revenue, 36% better when comparing earnings, 58% better when comparing market caps, and 81% better when comparing average economic profit.
  • They also found that companies that were managed for the long term added nearly 12,000 more jobs on average than their peers from 2001 to 2015.
  • A scientific study by the scholars Rohrbeck and Kum found that “future-prepared firms outperformed the average by a 33% higher profitability [and] a 200% higher growth.”
  • A study of over 300 multinational companies found that companies who are the most future prepared are 44% more likely to be outperformers in their markets.
  • 25% of the 2019 Fortune 500 companies are practicing foresight in some capacity today

Companies That Practice Foresight

These lists were obtained in order to have a foundation to research examples of successful practices.
  • According to Plural Futures, Daimler, BASF, Deutsche Telekom, Shell, and KPMG all successfully use foresight practices.
  • The Foresight Guide shares hundreds of companies with exemplary practices and their Foresight leaders.
  • The 123 companies of the Fortune 500 that practice foresight can be seen here.


  • "Daimler created its Society and Technology Research Group in 1979 to monitor and analyze the company’s operation in the context of broader changes in society. One of the unit’s foresight most impressive achievements was recognizing a new emerging customer need in the areas of car rentals, which led to the creation of the internationally scalable car2go business model."


  • The initial hour was spent assessing the viability of this project. Research was slow due to the abundance of websites that were simply promotional, and the bulk of scientific research was 10+ years old. Eventually, we were able to locate some current research, and lists of companies that use strategic foresight in their operations successfully.
  • A curated list of examples was not located, so each example will have to be researched for individual companies. Due to this, we recommend providing examples instead of full case studies to conserve on research hours.
  • During the initial hour other useful information in this strategic foresight/futures was located, but there was not time to research. These additional paths are shared below in the research proposal.
  • A global focus will be used in order to get the most up to date and useful information.