Secure Tomorrow Series Toolkit: Using Strategic Foresight to Prepare for the Future


By the National Risk Management Center

Secure Tomorrow Series GraphicThe world is constantly changing and while predicting the future with 100 percent accuracy is impossible, we can use strategic foresight to be prepared for possible futures. For CISA, identifying the risks of tomorrow is essential to managing them before they affect the Nation’s critical infrastructure. As CISA’s center for collaborative risk management, the National Risk Management Center (NRMC) is leading the Secure Tomorrow Series effort which uses strategic foresight to develop risk mitigation strategies that, if taken today, can strengthen the security and resiliency of critical infrastructure systems.

The Secure Tomorrow Series is a unique platform that brings together SMEs, thought leaders, and others from academia, think tanks, the private sector, and National Labs to think proactively about future risks. In June 2020, the NRMC began conducting research and analyses and engaging with them to examine three topics—anonymity and privacy, trust and social cohesion, and data storage and transmission—likely to have highly disruptive impacts across multiple National Critical Functions (NCFs) in the next 5-20 years. The knowledge gained from these engagements provided the foundation for the first iteration of the Secure Tomorrow Series Toolkit which empowers individuals, departments and agencies, and organizations on how to use strategic foresight in their long-term planning.

The Secure Tomorrow Series Toolkit is a diverse array of interactive and thought-provoking products uniquely designed to assist stakeholders across the critical infrastructure community to self-facilitate and conduct foresight activities that will enable them to derive actionable insights about the future, identify emerging risks, and proactively develop corresponding risk management strategies to implement now.

NRMC designed the Toolkit’s various activities to: (1) encourage systems thinking, (2) identify emerging risks, (3) develop corresponding risk management strategies, and (4) stress-test these strategies against multiple alternative futures. The Toolkit materials include facilitator, player, and controller guides; scenarios workshops; matrix games; and more.

Moving forward, the NRMC will continue progress to advance the knowledge on strategic foresight for new topics in the next iteration of the Secure Tomorrow Series Toolkit. In the face of future uncertainty, we must always be thinking ahead in order to stay ahead.

For any questions or feedback regarding the Secure Tomorrow Series effort, please email SecureTomorrowSeries@cisa.dhs.gov.