About this Guide

This futures toolkit guide will provide an introduction to a core foresight technique: horizon scanning.

We’ll situate horizon scanning in the context of futures methods, provide a step by step guide to the methodology and give you some thoughts on next steps and how to get started.

What Horizon Scanning can do for you

Horizon scanning is simply a structured approach to considering trends that might affect strategic challenges.

Horizon Scanning should be used to think strategically about the future. It ensures organisations are futures-led, and are actively considering challenges beyond their immediate operating time frame. They are often deployed when revising or creating new organisational strategies, when responding to unexpected events or market changes, or at times of volatility, when both the present and the future are more uncertain.

Horizon scanning helps organisations…

  • Make better informed decisions
  • Find evidence for trends
  • Become futures-led
  • Future-proof marketing
  • Identify innovation gaps
  • Develop strategy
  • Face the future with more certainty
  • Understand how their wider operating environment will change
  • Understand the impact of their own actions

Futures expertise in a simple guide

Trajectory is a specialist foresight consultancy based in London. We’ve conducted hundreds of horizon scans for clients including major public sector institutions, FTSE250 businesses, major non-profits and household-name brands.

We are futures methodology specialists rather than having expert  knowledge in a specific policy area (though our experience has given us specialist, detailed knowledge in several policy areas).  Our main methodologies are horizon scanning, driver mapping (PESTLE  analysis), Delphi, scenario planning, roadmapping and econometric modelling, but we also include a wide range of variants of those methods (e.g. SWOT Analysis and back-casting).

We are proud to have been appointed to the Government Futures Framework as a supplier of foresight in 2019, and again in 2023 when the framework was refreshed.

For more information about our services, visit our main website. You can also become a member of Trajectory for regular updates.

Download our free Horizon Scanning guide