WeLearn: Foresight and Complexity Management

Apr 15 – 26, 2024 Online No Fee
Mar 31, 2024 Leadership for Managing Reforms

It is not easy or always possible to recognize the future, as the world is dynamic and interconnected. As the Covid-19 pandemic showed, the future can come as a shock. Policy-making requires a good understand of what is happening – now, and in the longer-term future. Public officials and young leaders cannot afford not knowing what the future holds. Foresight and complexity management enable them to adapt faster, prepare for and benefit from future trends and developments.

About this learning event

At this online course, we will illustrate new methods and tools for planning and managing social changes in public institutions: Foresight informs thinking before strategic decisions are made, expanding the perceptions on the strategic options or choices available; Complexity management is about how to observe, recognize and manage non-regular and non-linear interactions in the system (internally and in the environment), how to recognize emerging new patterns and manage the approach towards handling them.

Specifically, we will empower young public officials from the Western Balkans to think over the predictability and controllability of many aspects of public administration and become "advocates" for applying foresight and complexity management in their institutions.

The content and learning approach of this online course are carefully designed to:

  • Spark curiosity: What is foresight and what is complexity management? Can they help us foresee the future and manage social changes?
  • Build understanding: Through discussion with experts and public sector practitioners from Slovenia and other EU countries, the young leaders will see if the foresight and complexity management can be applicable in their institutions. Additionally, discussions will delve deeper into decision-making frameworks that embrace complexity.
  • Boost confidence: Interactive simulations and exercises will equip participants with future forecasting skills. They will learn how to utilize frameworks for understanding and managing complexity; and how to turn groups of "signals" (clues about the future) and "drivers" (global forces that influence the direction of change) into compelling future forecasts.
  • Facilitate collaboration: The young leaders will see that foresight and complexity management are highly collaborative methodologies that connect many people in joint thinking on team, institutional, intra and intergovernmental level. It is a perfect opportunity for regional collaboration as well, and connecting with international networks.

By equipping the participants with these tools and confidence, we hope to encourage them to pioneer foresight and complexity management, and establish themselves as effective changemakers within their organizations, ultimately paving the way for a smoother EU integration journey.

Course Flow

  • Webinar 1 - Our touch with foresight and complexity management
    Tuesday, Apr 16 11:00-12:30 CET
  • Webinar 2 - Strengthening our conceptual understanding, and starting to collect artefacts of the future
    Thursday, Apr 18 11:00-12:30 CET
  • Webinar 3 - Practical insights from applying foresight and managing complexity
    Tuesday, Apr 23 11:00-12:30 CET
  • Webinar 4 - Our role in promoting foresight and managing complexity in future
    Thursday, Apr 25 11:00-12:30 CET


  • Mateja Vraničar Erman, Senior Adviser, Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs, Slovenia; former National Coordinator of Foresight Activities
  • Natasha Ilijeva Acevska, CEF Senior Officer
  • Stephen Gianotti, Founder of the Woodland Group; TEDx Speaker
  • Adela Kula, Andrijana Lazarević, and Bosko Georgiev, Members of the WeLead 2023-2024 Cohort
  • Marcel Hadeed, Foresight Consultant, Foresight Intelligence in Berlin
  • Luis Díez Catalán, Deputy Director, National Office of Foresight & Strategy, Spanish Government
  • Jaana Tapanainen-Thiess, Secretary General of Government Report on the Future, Government Foresight Group and Ministerial Foresight Panel, Prime Minister’s Office, Finland
  • Carol Nicol & Emily White, Foresight Projects, UK Government Office for Science
  • Maija Knutti & Kathrine Jensen, EU Policy Lab: Foresight, Design & Behavioural Insights - Horizon Scanning Team, European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS)

Who should attend

Participants who are part of the WeLead project. 

Practical Information

To join, first register to the CEF Online Learning Campus (OLC). Our team will confirm your registration within 48 hours. If you already have an OLC account, please log in, and then enrol to the course. In case you forgot your password, please reset it, and set a new one. The OLC will contain the course materials, and it can also be accessed through your smartphone. For all other information please read the general information about learning at the CEF.


This course is delivered as part of the EU-funded multi-beneficiary project “EU Scheme for Young Professionals in the Western Balkans” (WeLead) implemented by the CEF.

Funded by the European Union