Creating Insight: An Introduction to Futures Analysis

National Security College | Professional course
Creating Insight: An Introduction to Future Analysis


Our world is rapidly changing and disruption has become the new norm. Thinking proactively about the future security landscape, and taking a systematic approach to understanding future possibilities and risks, is a vital skillset for contemporary security professionals.

Course date: 
8.30am 6 March – 5pm 7 March 2018
8.30am 18 September – 5pm 19 September 2018
#132 Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU

A fee of $2,250 (GST ex) applies to this course for Commonwealth participating agencies and NSC Partners. The open rate is $2,700 (GST ex).

Course overview

This course will introduce you to the basics of futures analysis: a set of methods for projecting long-term challenges and opportunities. These methods help analysts to identify the drivers of change, providing a framework for drawing meaning, structure and options from future uncertainty, while tracking important trends that may not be addressed in day-to-day or near-term policy and analysis. Futures analysis will enable you to gain a better understanding of plausible operating and policy environments, and helps you to clarify emerging options and possible responses.

Scope and content

The course covers a full range of futures analysis approaches, from understanding existing evidence for how the future will develop, through interpreting the implications of that evidence for our security environment, to translating that into policy and planning action today. You will examine a range of analysis techniques covering trends, scenarios, risk frameworks, and complex systems. You will also learn techniques for efficiently eliciting important and interesting information from experts, both groups and individuals.

The focus will be on teaching you the skills you need to do your own analysis, rather than providing you with clear views on what the future will be like. The theory will be accompanied by practical exercises to learn various techniques and see how various theoretical frameworks work in practice. All of the techniques are scalable from a short, personal exercise to a whole of government multi-year process. This course will equip you with ideas on how to maximise the impact of your work by providing decision- makers with insight into tomorrow’s issues.

Who should attend / target audience

The course is most immediately relevant to policy officers and analysts whose current work focuses on future trends, scenarios and policy options. However, anyone within the national security community with an interest in futures analysis would benefit.

Course details

• Two day non-residential, fully-catered program. • An ANU parking permit will be supplied.


Places on this course are limited. To secure your place, or to obtain further information, please contact us at

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‘The National Security College is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Government and The Australian National University’

Updated:  21 June 2017/Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/Page Contact:  Web administrator