Arup foresight; Arup foresight;


Arup's Foresight team specialise in identifying and analysing the major trends shaping the future of the built environment.

Arup's Foresight team specialise in identifying and analysing the major trends shaping the future of the built environment.

What is foresight?

Foresight describes a set of approaches, tools and skills that help organisations explore, envision and shape the future. By understanding key drivers of change and the implications of this change, Foresight aims to make a business or project ‘future-proof’. Key methodologies, including horizon scanning, trend research, scenario planning and visioning, are employed to map out our evolving future context and assess what trends are most relevant to us today.

What do we do?

Arup's Foresight team are a multi-disciplinary team of consultants, designers and scientists. We work with Arup’s businesses and provide services to external clients from a broad range of sectors around the world.

We developed the concept of ‘foresight by design’, which uses innovative design tools and techniques to bring new ideas to life and engage clients and stakeholders in meaningful conversations about change. From envisioning the future of mail and parcel logistics to researching the future design and operation of a city district, Foresight helps to answer complex questions that require a broad and holistic look at the future.

Browse the tabs below to learn more about how we can help shape the future of your business.

Strategy and visioning

How can we future proof our structures, strategies and solutions?

Organisations and large projects need a common vision to ensure that different components and contributors can effectively work towards a common goal. We specialise in co-creating visions that provide the overall direction and framework for an organisation, project or initiative. These visions support strategy, collaboration, creative thinking, design innovation and leadership.

Insights and trends

How can we identify emerging risks and opportunities?

Our team scans a global network of sources for new trends, insights, and cutting-edge thinking. We analyse this and communicate what it could mean for a specific business, market, or project.

Our Inspire insights database supports the collection and communication of insights as part of a dedicated horizon scanning programme. We specialise in using this knowledge to identify the trends that are most important.

Explore our Inspire insights database

Scenario planning

How can we be better prepared for an uncertain future?

Scenarios are hypothetical illustrations of the future. They include qualitative and quantitative elements and are intentionally applied in multiples to show indeterminacy and possible alternatives. Scenarios allow us to understand complex systems and explore the way these may evolve over time. By challenging our tendency to favour ‘business as usual’, scenarios can help decision-makers frame their strategic thinking, and test and refine strategic options.

Future-proof design

How can we develop new business models and solutions?

We help companies to explore new opportunities for growth by breaking down visions and goals into clear strategic decision points. Building on the knowledge of Arup’s internal experts, we understand how a market is changing and where opportunities for growth and innovation can be found.

We examine the specific context of a project and how this will impact its future operation to ensure our designs are future-proof.

Drivers of change

How will global change impact the future of your business?

Our Drivers of Change programme investigates the key global issues and trends driving change in the built environment. From climate change to urbanisation to poverty, each set examines the top 25 drivers of change impacting our societies and markets.

The Drivers of Change cards help facilitate conversations about the future and are utilised globally in learning programmes, strategy workshops and innovation processes.

Explore Drivers of Change

We facilitate the future

Over the past decade we have helped clients from all over the world to rethink their business, identify future markets and develop new ideas. For example, our Cities Alive report looks at how a child-friendly approach to urban planning is vital for the creation of cities that work better for everyone.

The challenge is not to identify what is changing, but to understand the specific impacts that change has on a business, a market, or a project.  ”

Josef Hargrave Josef Hargrave Global Foresight Leader

Download the Foresight Advisory brochure

Our team has used their knowledge and insight to produce a range of publications, reports and tools examining the future of the built environment.

Foresight consulting

You can access our foresight services through regional consultants around the world. Wherever you’re based, we can help you look beyond your sector to explore new sources of inspiration and identify opportunities for growth.

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