Building Actionable Scenarios
For Strategic Foresight and Early Warning,
Risk Management, and Crisis Anticipation
Expected length to completion: 14 weeks
Online Resources available for 6 months
1.500 € (excl. VAT)
Student/Budget discount possible
Contact us for further information.
In today’s rapidly changing and uncertain environment, being able to steer a course of action with foreknowledge is critical. With this course, you will learn how to build top of the range actionable scenarios, the very tool you need to create and implement strategies and policies that are strong across possible futures.
Scenario building is also known as scenario analysis in risk management (see our FAQ on scenarios). It is a key methodology to anticipate the future to prepare adequate answers. It is particularly useful for complex, volatile and rapidly changing circumstances. It can and should be used to plan ahead for issues such as international tensions, war, pandemic, climate change and environmental upheavals, energy, water and resource security, supply disruption, new tech emergence, financial meltdown, etc.
With this course, you will practically learn to develop, step by step, your scenarios. If you have already built scenarios, this course will help you checking your methodology, improving your scenarios and the building process.
You will also see how to communicate scenarios to decision-makers. With the new skills and understanding you will have mastered you will be able to improve existing products grounded in and on scenarios and scenario-planning or even create new ones for decision-makers. The tools and capabilities learned during the course can also be included in workshops.
The course in a few words
Scenario-building will guide you in developing progressively strong and valid set of scenarios that will then allow you to design successful and resilient strategies and policies.
Including many practical examples and exercises from the real world, the course is designed and taught specifically for general managers of small and medium-sized companies, senior managers and officers, and analysts who face international decisions. The programme has been created especially for issues related to international relations, international and national security, politics and geopolitics, as well as all global risks and uncertainties impacting security.
However, this course on scenario-building can also be of interest to anyone wanting to develop proper actionable scenarios for other types of issues. Indeed, the fundamental process of developing scenario is the same across domains and issues.
“I found the course designed by Dr Helene on GEOPOLITICAL RISK AND CRISIS ANTICIPATION extremely interesting and engaging.The course enhanced my planning skills both at the macro as well as the micro level. The course was very well paced and content appropriate. The simulation exercises added a lot of clarity to the underlying theory. I highly recommend this course to anybody who is interested or involved in doing advanced planning or policy making exercises. Dr Helene has been very helpful throughout the course and thanks to her that such a critical course is being offered so effortlessly through her online module”
- Learn about the use of scenarios for strategic foresight, risk management or more generally “anticipation”.
- Find out about the major methods used to build scenarios.
- Learn how to select, with a strong traceable methodology, key variables upon which to build your scenarios.
- Learn how to use free software products to select your variables.
- Discover elements of social network analysis.
- Learn how to create a structure for your set of scenarios.
- Master the development of branches for each of your scenarios.
- Learn to add indicators to each of your scenarios.
- Learn how to estimate the probability for each scenario of your set.
- Find out more about black swans and wild cards scenarios.
- Learn how to finalise your scenarios for communication to decision-makers.
- Include the new skills and understanding mastered in your existing anticipation and planning products grounded in and on scenarios and scenario-planning or even create new related products for decision-makers.
- Use the tools and capabilities learned during workshops.
“I really enjoyed the course on “Geopolitical Risk and Crisis Anticipation – analytical modelling.” It provides insights for academics, decision-makers and practitioners on how to model and evaluate different anticipated scenarios. Students are guided through both theoretical underpinnings of crisis anticipation, including psychological mechanisms that could prevent accurate anticipations, as well as practical applications and help in modelling their own case studies. The strength of the course is the high applicability of its content to various contexts, which gives students the ability to match the skills acquired through the course with their professional background. “
Linda Schlegel, MA (distinction) King’s College, Senior Editor at The Counterterrorism Group, London, UK.
These course are more particularly of interest to
General managers of small and medium-sized companies
Senior managers and leaders in public sector and third sector organisations facing disruptive geopolitical and global changes in their environment
Analysts from all sectors, including diplomacy, defense and the military, handling geopolitical threats from war and terrorism to climate change through pandemics.
Students interested in geopolitics and the future
Photos of the pieces of the Lewis Chess – British Museum – by Paul Hudson, CC BY 2.0
Teaching and Training Quality
This course is designed to benefit from the online learning environment while remaining grounded in proper classical high-level teaching academic credentials, executive course training, as well as practical experience, including in analysis of international relations issues (check the website for many various examples of analyses).
Our training is designed and developed by Dr Lavoix, who has a PhD in International Politics (Lond SOAS), a MSc in International Politics of Asia (distinction – Lond SOAS) as well as a Master in Finance (ISC Paris – Valedictorian). Furthermore she has specialised in strategic foresight and early warning over the last 16 years. She is also an experienced trainer and lecturer (bio).
The programmes are thus grounded in scientific and academic knowledge and understanding, as well as practical experience of international relations, political and geopolitical analysis and strategic foresight and early warning analysis and processes.
Programme Content – The Course Syllabus
Module 1 – Building Scenarios
This module introduces and presents the course. It provides a brief reminder of the overall methodology and locates scenario-building within it.
It underlines the main aims we seek to attain with scenarios. It explains what are scenarios and the fundamentals of scenario-building.
Module 2 – Software for Analysis and Scenarios
With this module you will be introduced to open source and free software products – yEd Graph and Gephi – which we shall use in the rest of the course.
The advantages of using these software for anticipatory analysis are underlined and followed by two tutorials, one per software product.
For those who did not take the online course 1 on modeling, then they will learn how to use these software products. For those who completed online course 1, then they will have the tutorials available in case they need a revision.
Module 3 – Selecting Variables for Scenarios
With this module, you will learn to select crucial variables for your issue or risk.
The first unit will present many ways to select and combine variables. It will start showing how these variables are used as starting points to build scenarios.
The second unit will focus on the method called influence analysis, but that we shall revisit to include measurements possibilities that did not exist when the methodology was created.
The third unit of this module is an online tutorial where you will learn to use the open source free software Gephi to select your variables. It is followed by a unit entirely devoted to exercises, then by a unit for testing what you acquired with the two previous units. Finally, you will learn to prepare the selected variables to be ready for the next stage.
Module 4 – Building a Set of Scenarios
This module, first, goes deeper into scenarios fundamentals and highlight principles and rules that will guide you throughout the remaining part of the process of scenario-building. These principles will also allow you to find out very easily if scenarios are valid or not.
Then, using the variables you selected and prepared, you will learn to first develop the overall structure or architecture of your scenarios and then to develop one after the other the branches of what will become your scenario tree.
The module emphasises the importance of imagination and the difference between creating scenarios and developing analytical explanation, as this is often a challenge for many trainees. At the end of this module you will have learned to develop a full set of scenarios, with narratives.
Module 5 – Making your Scenarios Actionable
With this module, you will learn to go a step further with your scenarios, making sure they are truly actionable and useful to your organisation.
You will learn about indicators, the difference between indicators and indications, and how to attribute the right indicators to each scenario. Then you will learn how to estimate the likelihood of each of your scenarios.
Next, you will find out about black swans and wild card scenarios. Finally, you will learn how to finalise your scenarios for communication to decision-makers.
Learning Experience and FAQ
Your learning journey
How much time should I plan to spend on the course each week?
The programme should take approximately 7 to 8 hours a week. You should also add a couple of additional hours per week as you apply what you learned to your own issue of concern or project.
You can expect to spend 1 hour per week watching video lectures, 1 to 2 hours per week on practicing and thinking about what you learned through exercices, quizzes and reflections, 3-4 hours in reading and 2-3 hours per week in applying the learning content in your project to understand their relevance to your everyday work.
What is the weekly learning pace during the course?
This course is delivered through 17 units in 5 modules. The course is planned to take 14 weeks to complete (the software tutorials and practice are combined).
The programme is designed to provide enough flexibility within each week for the participants to study at their own pace.
Can I learn ahead of the planned schedule?
The course is designed to allow you to truly assimilate and learn the methodology and tools so that you can apply them on a concrete geopolitical case of interest to you.
You can decide to study more and to be ahead of time, but this should not be made at the expenses of reading and practice.
Study at your own pace
Do I need to be online at specific times during the course?
The programme is fully online and consists of asynchronous learning (through videos, tests, exercises, etc).
If you wish to add live seminar sessions and coaching for your project, see Online Courses with Live Seminars. In that case, a schedule will be organised ahead of the programme, with the group leader of your organisation. You will only need to be online at particular time according to this schedule.
Can I continue to access the programme content even after the end of the 14 weeks?
You can benefit from access to all the online resources of the course for up to 6 months after the start of the programme. You can go back to each unit and use it fully how often you want and need.
Requirements to successfully complete the programme?
This course is delivered through 17 units in 5 modules. The course is planned to take 14 weeks to complete (the software tutorials and practice are combined). This means that you must take the time to do most of the readings and to complete the exercises and quizzes. However you should have enough time to do that peacefully.
To successfully complete the online programme and earn certification, you are required to meet all of the following criteria:
- Complete all in-platform learning activities
- Earn a minimum of 50% to all tests.
To successfully complete the online programme plus live seminars and earn certification, you are required to meet all of the following criteria:
- Complete all in-platform learning activities
- Earn a minimum of 50% to all tests.
- Complete in a satisfactory manner your project and obtain a minimum of 60% for it.
What do I receive upon the successful completion of the online programme?
Upon successful completion of the course combined with satisfactory grades, participants are awarded with an official Certificate of Completion from the Red Team Analysis Society, which they can also showcase on their LinkedIn profile.
What do I receive upon the successful completion of the online programme plus live seminar?
In addition, if you have taken the Online Courses with Live Seminars and completed your project in a satisfactory manner and with a minimum grade of 60%, your final grade for the project will be highlighted in a corresponding reference letter from your trainer.
What type of technical equipment do I need?
Our online courses can be accessed on desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Supported browsers are (usually based on support of latest two browser versions):
- Chrome: version 31+
- Safari: version 7+
- Firefox: version 26+I
- E: version 10+
The course is designed to function responsively across desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones without the need of players or add-ons.
Do I need to have an Internet connection to access the course content? Can I download and save videos to watch offline?
Yes, you need an Internet connection. We do not support offline access of content so you will need to have access to the Internet whenever you want to access the course.
You can however download part of the content such as slides or some exercises.
How do I access the course content
The course, your progress and the units will be accessible from the item “my account >> courses” (right below the login, in the menu) and from the item “my online courses” (in the same menu).
Bundle, groups and budget constraints
Programme and Bundle
This course is the first of our training programme on strategic foresight and warning and risk management. The first online course focuses on process, analysis and models.
If you wish to enroll at once for the two courses (see bundle) you will get a 25% discount (on prices ex VAT) on the two courses and enjoy them over one year, instead of the six months planned for each course. Alternatively, if you prefer to register for the second course later, you will benefit of a 10% discount.
Students and individual budgetary constraints
If you are a student or if you are on a budget, you can:
- obtain a discount (send us an email with your demand and related documents: firstname.lastname@example.org )
- if you send us your student card/student affiliation;
- proof of unemployment and/or explanation of circumstances.
- take the course through instalment payment (for enrolment and for the detailed schedule see here).
If you want to register a group of participants, you can contact us. We encourage group participation as interactions between participants foster learning.
To have a group of the same organisation or of organisations wishing to mutualise their strategic foresight and early warning facilities is key for Online Courses with Live Seminars.
Indeed, considering the confidential and sensitive nature of the issues of concern for organisations we cannot mix participants from various nationalities and organisations.
If you wish to obtain further details and have more questions on our online course, do not hesitate to contact us.