At the Institute for Environment, Health, Risks and Futures, we have a dedicated work programme to systematically examine the potential risks, opportunities and likely future developments that are at the margins of current thinking. We typically look into the 1 to 50+ year future, and explore novel or unexpected issues of relevance to our clients. This improves the resilience of client organisations, policies, and strategies.

Our research is designed to enable organisations of all kinds to become more resilient, adaptable and flexible in an increasingly complex and changing world. Outputs could help you to:

Futures research is essential for anyone who needs to plan for the future and adapt and mitigate against possible or plausible risks. Specifically, we work with the public, private, third sectors, and others to identify, analyse and communicate insights about the future. Our truly interdisciplinary approach provides clients with an inclusive view of the problem. In particular, we draw on experts spanning the social, economic, environmental, technological and political domains.

“It is not the strongest of the species who survive, nor the most intelligent; rather it is those most responsive to change.”
Charles Darwin,

 

Our methods

Scenario building
Helps organisations understand the range of possible future scenarios, and either 1) stress test existing policy or strategy against them or 2) establish preparedness. >>Click here for more information.
Horizon scanning
Is a method used to systematically identify future threats or opportunities related to the ‘key factors’ which may affect organisational success. Insights from horizon scanning act as an ‘early warning’ to decision makers. >>Click here for further information.
Back-casting
Helps organisations to define a “successful” future scenario and work backwards to understand what needs to be done to achieve that goal. This method is particularly useful when organisations have a clear goal in mind and want to build a future-proof plan to fulfill the vision.
Risk prioritisation
Takes current or future issues, and assesses the level of risk or opportunity associated with each. This enables orgaisations to strategically manage their issues and ensure resource is targeted towards high-impact activities or research areas. >>Click here for further information

Our services

Research
Cranfield University is a wholly-postgraduate, research intensive and highly applied institution, with over 40 years of research into systems modelling and environmental management. Our risk research has been published in several leading and specialist publications and served to inform Ministers, policy makers and operational staff alike. Our futures research forms a key part of the evidence base for our departmental, agency and research council partners, but also for our wider network of around 400 readers.
Consultancy
Cranfield University have an array of consulting experience. We are able to provide specialist advice, peer review, guidance and training on any element of risk assessment and management, including future risk. Most recently, we have offered strategic advice to a number of organisations wishing establish their own internal horizon scanning frameworks.
Bespoke and established training
Often, the best way to build resilience is to develop the capacity for horizon scanning and an overall futures focus within your own organization.  We truly believe that most organizations “do futures” already as part of their day-to-day operations, but almost all of them lack a structured and reliable approach to understanding and communicating the issues they uncover.  In order to address these problems, Cranfield offers a number of standardized and tailored training courses to help organizations develop defensible processes, conduct analyses, and establish a true future-focused mindset.  >> Click here for more information.
Workshop facilitation/ stakeholder engagement
The futures team is experienced in designing, coordinating and facilitating a range of workshops to engage with policy-makers, academics and those in industry. Staff are trained in facilitation and have experience of running events for between 2 and 60 participants. All stakeholder engagement exercises are designed specifically for each project to ensure optimal impact from the research. 

Meet Our Team

Fiona LickorishPrincipal Research Fellow in
Horizon Scanning and Futures
Principal Research Fellow and Head of the Institute for Environment, Health, Risks and Futures at Cranfield. Overall lead for the £1.8m risk and futures partnership. Previously Head of the Horizon Scanning and Futures (HSF) Programme in Defra, Research Manager for the Countryside Agency and Conservation Director for Herefordshire Nature Trust. Studied Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Science.
Dr George PrpichLecturer in Environmental
Risk Management
Lecturer and Course Director for the Cranfield MSc in Environmental Risk Management. Project Lead for a £1.8m horizon scanning and futures contract. Previously a Research Fellow for a £3.5m research project to assess and prioritise Defra’s strategic risks. Studied Chemical Engineering.
Dr Joao DelgadoResearch Fellow in Futures Research
Project lead for the development of scenarios for the Environment Agency on the Future of River Basin Management, in addition to a back-casting study on the future of green food in the UK (Defra). Previously completed a PhD on critical control pathways for the prevention of animal disease in the UK. Studied Veterinary Sciences.
Dr Kenisha GarnettResearch Fellow in Futures Research
Project lead for the development of scenarios for the Food Standards Agency on the future of food and feed in the UK, with a particular focus on the delivery of official controls. Previously completed a PhD on waste management policy and public involvement and worked as a geotechnical engineer and environmental consultant. Studied environmental engineering and social sciences.

 

Our clients