Workshop: Futures Thinking, Strategic Foresight, and Building Sustainable Businesses
(4:00 - 4:50 PM, Room 802)

Profound and accelerating changes such as climate disruption, artificial intelligence, and automation are rapidly transforming the landscape for both business and sustainability. However, the trajectories of these changes, as well as their cascading impacts on society and business, are complex and impossible to predict. Traditional approaches such as forecasting are inadequate to fully comprehend and prepare business for the range of possibilities. Strategic foresight, also known as futures thinking, offers a way to grapple with this sort of complex and unpredictable change, explore different possible futures, and develop a more resilient and sustainable strategy in the face of volatility and uncertainty. In this introductory workshop, participants will explore the long term implications and uncertainties of a number of global megatrends by applying them to a real business scenario and analysing how that business can adapt and build resilience.

 The workshop will be led by Alison Taylor of BSR. BSR is a global nonprofit business network and consultancy dedicated to creating a just and sustainable world.

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Alison Taylor

Director, BSR (Business for Social Responsibility)

Alison leads BSR’s sustainability management practice. She focuses on approaches to sustainability through risk management, strategy, stakeholder engagement, transparency, ethics and governance, and organizational change.

 Previously, Alison was a senior managing director at Control Risks, where she helped companies operate with integrity, particularly in high-risk environments. She has also worked at Transparency International, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and IHS Global Insight. She has experience in strategic intelligence, market entry assistance, risk consulting, due diligence, internal investigations, enterprise risk management, and ethics and compliance. She speaks and writes regularly on risk and organizational culture. She is a board member of the ethics organization Center for Business Ethics and Corporate Governance. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Fordham Law School.

 Alison holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago, an M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, and a B.A. in Modern History from Balliol College, Oxford University.