Learning to navigate uncertainty

Recent crises demonstrate that the future will not necessarily mirror the past. With escalating climate extremes, rapid technological advances and uncertain societal dynamics we face a multitude of possible, probable and preferable futures that we need to anticipate, imagine and work towards

If UN entities amplify their foresight abilities, we can help Member States to navigate rising uncertainty, seize emerging opportunities and enhance support for the SDGs and future generations.

For Example...

Foresight can chart paths to climate resilience

Many coastal communities are facing the threat of rising sea levels in the years ahead. Supported by United Nations experts, for example, Member States can model different climate scenarios and anticipate areas prone to flooding and extreme weather events. Equipped with foresight tools, national partners can plan infrastructure adaptations, such as raised housing and coastal defences – proactively adapting to climate change while minimizing disaster risks.

What building foresight capacity means

Fostering strategic foresight capacity means cultivating structured methods that help to navigate uncertainty, imagine better futures and chart new paths forward already today

It is about nurturing proactive mindsets and exploring possible futures, with tools such as horizon-scanning, trend analysis and scenario development to make better choices today.

Ways in which foresight capacity can have impact

António Guterres


“We need a systematic focus on future generations in our decision-making processes and to improve our strategic foresight and risk analysis.”

Key resources

UN Futures Lab Network

A decentralized network to improve long-term decision-making: The UN Futures Lab Network builds and leverages strategic foresight efforts across the United Nations.

Secretary-General’s Policy Brief

The United Nations system is only beginning to fully embrace strategic foresight. Read the full chapter of the policy brief on how we expand expertise, what the goals are, and what benefits to expect.

Voices on foresight

How UN leadership, colleagues and youth from across the globe are getting inspired by and sparking action around UN 2.0

Discover foresight action

UN 2.0 is about leveraging our connections across the globe, with teams and projects active in over 160 countries. Click on the map to learn more.

The location indicators on this map are illustrative and do not necessarily show where entities are based. The depiction and use of boundaries, geographic names and related data shown on maps are not guaranteed to be error free, nor do they imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.

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