Designing Your Future (Horizon Scanning/Delphi/Facilitation/Futures Tools)

In 2008, Rohit and Tim Hancock ran a $250,000 futures research project for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) - commissioned by the then joint CEO. The study involved a major horizon scanning exercise to identify 150 key global trends for the next 10 years. Over 300 senior participants from business, government and non-profits around the world then took part in an electronic Delphi exercise to select and prioritise the top 50 trends and assess their implications for government, society, industry and the non-profit world.

Rohit then designed and facilitated a series of eight CEO and executive workshops with over 100 total participants who were then held to explore the implications on society, key industry sectors and for different functional areas of associations and non-profits. The results of this work were published in August 2008 as a book entitled Designing your Future - Key Trends, Challenges and Choices. The book profiles 10 key patterns of change, 50 key trends and their impacts, 100 emerging trends and set of workshop tools and processes for doing horizon scanning and futures work.

Home Office (Futures Methods/Horizon Scanning/Facilitation)

Rohit provided a report on the introduction of futures methods and techniques to the Home Office (HO) - outlining a futures framework and a range of futures methods that could be adopted. For the Home Office Strategy Policy Team and Central Intelligence Hub, he conducted a horizon scan, presented on key trends, and facilitated a workshop with senior policy makers to assess potential HO implications. Rohit has also delivered a training course on futures methods for HO internal consultants.

Defra (Futures Methods/Horizon Scanning/Facilitation)

Rohit ran the £2 million (US$3.2m) Horizon Scanning and Futures Programme for 2 years from 2003-2005, reporting to the Chief Scientific Officer and an external advisory board. He commissioned, conducted and ran a peer review of a range of policy focused futures studies using horizon scanning, scenario planning, modeling, expert interviews and stakeholder workshops. Each project had senior policy makers on the steering group. Rohit also led the 'Baseline Scan' horizon scanning project which was independently peer reviewed as 'world class', and which became the prototype for future scanning exercises across government.

At the request of the Permanent Secretary - Brian Bender - Rohit delivered a number of presentations on the role of horizon scanning to the most senior civil servants in Defra. He then conducted sessions with each of them and their teams to discuss applications of scanning and futures in their policy areas. This resulted in a number of horizon scanning workshops and discrete studies across a wide range of policy domains which impacted directly on policy in areas such as strategy development, natural resource protection, waste management, farming and sustainable consumption and production. As a result, a horizon scanning component was also embedded into Defra's monthly balanced scorecard report.

OECD (Demographics/Futures Methods/Horizon Scanning/Facilitation)

In April 2009, Rohit and Tim Hancock completed a major exercise focused on migration in the OECD. The study involved examining key drivers of migration, drawing on a wide range of expert inputs and a series of workshops with senior policy makers from across the OECD. The result was a set of migration scenarios for 2030 with an assessment of their potential impact and implications for policy makers. The Home Office participated in this project.

Department for Business Innovation and Skills (Delphi/Horizon Scanning)

Rohit and Tim Hancock are running a horizon scanning study to identify key science and technology trends for the next 20 years, develop a technology timeline and identify the 'Jobs that don't yet exist' that will be created through science and technology advances. The project involved a Delphi style approach where a short list of possible jobs was identified, evaluated and added to by experts and then prioritised in terms of different categories of impact by a global audience using an online platform.

American Society for Association Executives (ASAE) (Horizon Scanning/Delphi/Facilitation)

Rohit designed and ran a two day workshop in which 100 board members, volunteer leaders, and executive staff worked through the key trends in Designing your Future to assess the implications for ASAE and their own organisations. Following the evaluation, participants voted on the highest priority trends. These were then subject to a second round of evaluation to identify actions to address them. A second vote was then run to select priority actions to pursue.

Other Relevant Experience

The table below lists a range of futures and facilitation projects that Rohit has led.

Client Type of Service Provided
BAe Systems, BAT, Intel, GE, Cargill, Ernst & Young, IBM, Linklaters, BBC, Bakkavor, Tradedoubler, Incisive Research, American Society of Association Executives, International Bridge Tunnel and Turnpike Association   Facilitation of various executive management seminars on future trends, risks and opportunities, and how to address them
Singapore National Security Co-ordination Secretariat   Seminar on horizon scanning for risks
Food Standards Agency   Food Chain risk workshop
Home Office   Workshop on future trends and risks
Glaxo Smith Kline Nutritionals Division   Advice on global trends and risks, management of risk and opportunity in the food chain, developing a future focused business
OST HS Centre of Excellence London   Pilot Horizon Scanning Studies A&B
Home Office Intelligence Hub London   Horizon Scanning Programme Design Advice
Defra London Standard Defra Security Clearance  
  • Horizon Scanning Research Studies
  • Provision of Horizon Scanning Database
  • Management of Horizon Scanning Programme
  • Horizon scanning study on Natural Resource Protection
BAT London   Horizon Scanning/Scenarios Seminars
Future risks workshops
Research on supply chain trends
AMS UK/Italy   HS Training for Senior Management
Actis London   Future Strategy Development
Defra London   Baseline Scan Horizon Scanning Study
Pfizer UK Surrey   Scenario Development
Defra London   Management of Horizon Scanning Programme
Pfizer UK Surrey   Development of Environmental Scan Database
DSTL Porton Down Standard MOD Security Clearance   CBRN Future Scanning/Strategy Development
JDCC Shrivenham   Facilitation of Strategic Trends 2030 Scan

See Rohit's Keynote to the PATA CEO Challenge Bangkok at:

See Rohit's after dinner speech to SCCI at:

See Rohit's keynote to the WYSTC Conference Brooklyn at:

Belief - How can you give yourselves 'permission to win' in a downturn?

Insight - Where are your next markets, trends and competitive threats?

Profit - How do you prepare an organization to spot and exploit future opportunity?

Performance - How do you drive rapid and radical innovation to be first to future?


Dear Rohit,
I'd like to express our sincere thanks and most heartfelt appreciation for your excellent presentation at the Middle East Duty Free Conference last week in Abu Dhabi. The delegate feedback we have received on you is also nothing short of outstanding. We greatly appreciated your commitment to the conference theme and the way you responded to the brief - it was spot on. Not only was your presentation informative and provided real learning experience, you also delivered it in a truly entertaining manner, keeping delegates on the edge of their seats throughout. We wish you all the best and hope to work with you again in the future.
-Warm regards, Michael Barrett - Conference & Research Manager - Tax Free World Association - 5th December 2008

"Rohit’s dinner speech had the audience spellbound - I know because the room was absolutely silent! I even overhead a delegate on his mobile, relaying some of his points back to his European office at the airport the next day"
-Jane Cartwright - Event Manager - Estates Gazette Industrial and Distribution Summit - Hamburg, November 2008

"Rohit’s presentation was very much tailored to the audience and provided an eye opening vision of what the future may hold and its impacts to all businesses. His delivery was excellent, providing an engaging, challenging and humor filled talk. As a keynote speaker, Rohit definitely delivered."
- Runjit Dosanjh - Director - Intel

"Rohit is recognised as a global leader in his field, but is also an engaging and inclusive speaker/facilitator, always making sure that non-expert groups feel relaxed and able to participate. I would recommend him highly for future events of this nature."
- Matt Locke - Head of Innovation - BBC New Media

"I heard Rohit speak at the PATA CEO Challenge in Bangkok in May 2008. He is, without doubt, one of the best public speakers I have ever heard. His style is dynamic, fun and motivational."
John Watson - Chief Executive Officer - Diethelm Travel Group (Bangkok)

"THANK YOU! YOUR NSA 2007 PRESENTATION WAS STUNNING. Beautifully and forcefully presented, too, sir"
- Carl Chevallard, PhD, LtCol, USAF (Ret) President, ConductYourLife Music Director, Young Concert Artists-Colorado Springs

"I have had the valuable opportunity to see several presentations from Rohit Talwar and he continues to make complex and very important issues real. His studies and presentations on the incredible growth story of the Middle East, thought provoking yet real data on future trends, and the need to take responsibility for the future through the environment have provided me a different perspective on how I look into the future. Rohit’s keynote addresses extend beyond his sessions and he has made time to provide further guidance to myself and my team in areas we should explore in the subject area. I also recently attended the PATA CEO Challenge on Climate Change, where Rohit presented and also facilitated this tourism industry wide discussion with a goal to discuss and develop how the Travel and Tourism industry will confront and unify in their commitment to climate change. I congratulate Rohit on leading and focusing the views of the presenters and delegates."
- Jolyon Bulley - Vice President Resorts - InterContinental Hotels Group

"Rohit Talwar is a unique communicator. His capacity for combining fact with narrative, balancing right and left brain and mixing education with entertainment make his presentations compelling. In the cluttered world of professional facilitators, guest speakers, moderators and consultants, Rohit is both a refreshing change and a valuable investment."
- Christopher Brown Managing Director TTF (Tourism & Transport Forum) Australia Ltd

"It was a great pleasure to listen to you at the PATA CEO Challenge held in Bangkok on 28th April, 2008. Your role as the Moderator was superb and you very ably presented the case in a very brief meeting, academically perfect and with lots of witty comments. Your summing up was wonderful and I would say that you contributed immensely to the success of the seminar with your pleasant personality and excellent speaking talents."
- Inder Sharma, Life Member & Former Chair - PATA, Chairman -Select Group of Hotels.

"Everyone here has been really impressed with your insights and willingness to spend time ensuring that all the themes and messages resonate with our partners, so that they are able to apply these insights to their own world. We have worked with many keynote speakers in the past and you really stand out in terms of your accessibility to us and your genuine interest in what we are trying to achieve."
- Global Law Firm

"When Rohit genuinely speaks from the heart about Vision 2020 and where he sees the world moving, it leaves the entire auditorium spell bound and engrossed in his highly researched, and very creative and innovative visual presentation. Moreover, his interaction with the audience during his Q&A sessions is crisp and impactful. And salute, once again, to his thought provoking, visionary foresightedness."
- Cyrus Magol - Emirates Bank Dubai

"I was very impressed by the depth and breadth of Rohit Talwar's presentation content, which was tailored to the needs of our group at the 2007 NSA Convention. I find myself thinking about and also quoting to others a number of his statements. His information is highly relevant to anyone who wants to compete successfully in our increasingly global economy."
- Andrea H. Gold, President - Gold Stars Speakers Bureau

"Rohit Talwar was a highlight at the 1st European Futurists Conference Lucerne, as a speaker and as a facilitator. In fact, for the state secretary for research and education of Switzerland - a sponsor of our conference - Rohit was 'simply the best'."
- Georges T. Roos - Director - European Futurists Conference Lucerne

"The most exciting aspect of meeting Rohit Talwar is to feel a 'sense of urgency' and visioning a glimpse of what a Futurist of the stature of Rohit has to say, 'about things to come.' Participating in a presentation by him was for me as exciting as going to see the latest sci-fi Star Trek movie. Difference is that there is less fiction and more reality when hearing Rohit, because his research is rooted in facts and figures. What his crystal ball shows by way of how China and India will impact the very nature of business globally and in South Asia is a great mind-blower for those of us who ignore this reality and continue to look to the West for success. Hearing him you cannot help be provoked into strategizing and thinking of re-aligning your business to be part of the South Asian miracle. A miracle already in the making. "Look East! Young man" is the essence of his talk about the future."
- Jamil Janjua - Group CEO - TCS Dubai

"Rohit’s session in NSA 2007 was by far the most informative and valuable of the whole conference. Not only did he cover topics in a very clear way, but his follow up to the session and the materials he provided to the participants exceeded our expectations. I wholeheartedly recommend Rohit as a speaker, trainer or consultant."
- Dr. Joachim de Posada - Author of the international best seller, "Don’t Eat the Marshmallow Yet: The sweet secret to success in work and in life".

"Your presentation at the 2007 National Speakers Association Convention was among the most informative and value-packed I've EVER seen. I haven't stopped talking about the ideas I gleaned from your speech since I left California."
- Lisa Engelmann - SVP, Emmerich Group

"Thank you very much for speaking on Friday, your speech was the highlight for me - not only did your content ring true but your delivery made it all very interesting. During a long day of conference speeches your presentation stood out as being informative and enjoyable; I have lost count of how many times I have referenced your speech in both business and personal life. Thank you."
- James E. Harrison - Sales Director - Pestana Golf Resorts