Grasping the Future of Canadian Governance: Using Strategic Foresight to Explore Canada’s Evolving Political Landscape

This panel is a part of the Visions for Canada, 2042 Conference. You can learn more about the conference and register by visiting the conference webpage.

Strategic foresight provides a methodological toolkit for creatively and systematically exploring future environments, interactions, dynamics, challenges, and opportunities. Foresight allows governments and academics alike to peer concretely into the near and far future in order to explore and assess plausible, possible, and probable future scenarios that might challenge existing planning assumptions, policies, and strategies. The objective is not to predict the future. Rather, foresight provides users with the tools they need to contemplate emerging and future trends, assess the range of possible alternative futures, better appreciate how technology and complex socio-political, economic, and environmental issues might evolve, and altogether avoid strategic surprise. Our roundtable discussion will use strategic foresight and related tools, like scenario planning and visioning, to provide an interdisciplinary exploration of the future of Canada’s governance systems and structures.


  • Steffen Christensen a Senior Policy Researcher at Policy Horizons Canada, where he leads and supports foresight on challenges facing the future of Canada. He is an active researcher in Web 2.0, gamification, visualization, personality psychology and a host of side-of-the-desk projects. He has 10 years of experience in environmental scanning and foresight, having consulted professionally in science and technology foresight before coming to government.

  • Amanda Clarke is an Assistant Professor at Carleton University in the School of Public Policy and Administration. She is a graduate of Carleton University’s College of the Humanities (Bachelor of Humanities) , the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (MA International Affairs), and completed a DPhil in Information, Communication and the Social Sciences at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. Her research explores the intersections of public administration, civic engagement and information technologies. She is particularly interested in the implications of social media and related phenomena, such as crowdsourcing, open data and big data, for governments and civil society.

  • Satyamoorthy (Kabi) Kabilan is currently the Director of the National Security and Public Safety Team and Strategic Foresight Practice at The Conference Board of Canada. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Cambridge, and has since then co-founded and managed two technology start-ups and been a leader in the United Kingdom’s Future Security and Intelligence Outlook Network (FUSION). Additionally, Kabilan was involved in developing the United Kingdom’s National Counter Terrorism Strategy (CONTEST).

  • Alexandra Mallett completed her PhD in Development Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and currently teaches at Carleton University in the School of Public Policy and Administration. Her experience spans public sectors and academia, but is connected by her interest and expertise in the fields of sustainable energy and climate policy, emerging economies, and low carbon technology cooperation.

  • Sven Schirmer is a student at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, pursuing a Master’s degree in International Affairs. His research focus is on intelligence and national security. He is also currently a co-op student at Policy Horizons Canada, a research assistant for the Canadian Center for Intelligence and Security Studies, and a research assistant at the Institute of European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at Carleton.

  • Dr. Alex Wilner is an Assistant Professor of International Affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, at Carleton University. Prior to joining Carleton, Dr. Wilner held a variety of positions at Policy Horizons Canada, the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland, and the ETH Zurich in Switzerland. His areas of expertise include deterrence theory and strategic studies, national security policy, and strategic foresight.