The Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative (FSR) provides actionable foresight and innovative strategies to a global community of policymakers, business leaders, and citizens. We believe today’s increasingly fast-paced and complex world demands a renewed focus on understanding the near-term implications of long-range trends. Therefore, FSR identifies trends, designs strategies, and analyzes risks to help decision-makers navigate toward a more just, peaceful, and prosperous future. FSR’s three pillars of foresight, strategy, and risks complements one another deeply, bringing to the forefront cutting-edge tools like data analytics, scenario modeling, and simulation exercises, and engaging experts and the public, to makes clear how today’s weak signals become the driving force in tomorrow’s reality.

The initiative’s key analytic areas include:

  • The Atlantic Council Strategy Papers Series: designed to enrich the public debate and build consensus on the great strategic challenges of our time, the series looks to help shape strategic thinking in US and allied governments, the private and nonprofit sectors, and the global media;

  • Global Risks: analyzing and tracking the key global trends and interconnected risks that will shape the next two decades, addressing issues such as the water-food-energy nexus, individual empowerment, the diffusion of power, and the rise of the global middle class;

  • Values, Norms, and Governance: identifying key risks and threats to responsible governance, reforming government institutions, and working closely with government leaders and international partners to strengthen the liberal international order and build mechanisms to best meet the challenges of the twenty-first century;

  • Emerging Technology and Innovation: evaluating disruptive technologies that will drive the global operating environment to develop strategy recommendations for governments and businesses to succeed amidst such changes.”

Key Projects

Future of America's Technological Leadership

The Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative (FSR) is partnering with Qualcomm for 2016 and 2017 in an effort to explore and build an active strategy for retaining the pillars of American technological competitiveness.

Big Data, Bad Actors

“Big Data, Bad Actors” is a collaborative series between the Atlantic Council and Thomson Reuters that seeks to better understand how Big Data is disrupting existing national security strategies and foreign policy. This project will focus on important topics such as cross-border data flows, combating insider threats, how new technologies can empower bad actors, and how to address illicit financial flows. By investigating this disruption, the Atlantic Council and Thomson Reuters hope to discover innovative ways for reducing risk to governments and their citizens.

Global Risks Assessment Project with Zurich Insurance

The globalization of value chains, greater financial integration, rapid urbanization, and the pervasiveness of the Internet have accelerated worldwide economic growth in the last few decades. Unfortunately, these developments have also the potential to significantly increase the vulnerability of our societies to external shocks and global crises. An obvious example is the recent financial crisis, which resulted in the destruction of wealth and long-term growth prospects. Over 2015 and 2016, this project will address these unsustainable developments to better understand the relationship of risk to economic growth. In the first year, using quantitative and qualitative frameworks, the group is assessing the impact of accumulated downside cyber risks on upside opportunities for economic growth. In the second year, the team will evaluate the impacts of geopolitical and demographic risks. This project is a collaboration between the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security's Strategic Foresight Initiative and Cyber Statecraft Initiative and the University of Denver's Pardee Center on International Futures with generous support from Zurich Insurance.

Global Strategy Forum

During this exclusive multi-format event, the Atlantic Council's key partners and leading experts in the strategy field will convene to discuss how America should operate in a rapidly changing and dynamic world.

A Transatlantic Partnership for the Global Future

The Transatlantic Partnership for the Global Future brings together experts from government, business, academia, and the science and technology communities to address critical global challenges and assess their effects on the future of transatlantic relations. The Partnership is a collaboration between the Brent Scowcroft Center on international Security’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative and the Government of Sweden. Together, we seek to make foresight actionable by connecting long-term trends to current challenges to inform policy and strategy choices.

Future of Authoritarianism

This volume offers answers to why authoritarianism is gaining on democracy—and what the international community can do about it. 

The D-10 Strategy Forum

The D-10 Strategy Forum is a unique series of meetings organized by the Atlantic Council and the Centre for International Governance Innovation that aims to bolster unity and coordination among leading democracies in addressing global challenges.

America's Role in the World

America’s Role in the World serves as a forum for discussions and advice on strategy, and a platform for prominent US public leaders, including presidential candidates, to express their views on the United States’ role in the world. This effort will reinvigorate a substantive and constructive public dialogue on US national strategy and provide a reliable source of strategic thinking.

Government Reform

Through collaborative research, the Atlantic Council’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative explores how the National Security Council and the interagency process can – and should – adapt to face the world’s evolving challenges. Shepherded by Ambassadors David Miller, Chester Crocker, and Thomas Pickering, this project proposes bold recommendations for our government’s leaders to govern effectively and efficiently, beginning with the National Security Council and US State Department.

Strategy Consortium

The Consortium promotes an "ecosystem" of strategic thinkers with a quarterly meeting with think tanks and universities to collaborate on strategy development. It aims to cultivate strategic thinking more broadly and build a strategy infrastructure—across the Atlantic Council, the broader think tank community, the public sector in the United States and allied governments, and in the private sector.

Past Projects

For past projects, please check out our Archives page.