This in-depth session offers creative leaders – and those supporting them - confidence and skills in scenario planning. It’s one of our range of leadership development opportunities to support decision-making in uncertain times.


This masterclass is aimed at people making strategic decisions in and around creative organisations – from design, architecture or fashion through TV, film or immersive to arts, culture or heritage, and beyond – who want practical ways to plan for different futures.

Suitable for CEOs/Executive Directors, COOs, advisors or board members – as well as funders and policymakers.


The masterclass will take you through the three stages of planning in uncertain contexts:

  1. Horizon scanning. The largest impacts on the UK’s creative economy – including the arts, culture and heritage sectors – from the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath are coming from outside its boundaries. Mapping these external factors – such as consumer behaviour and the economy at large – is the first step towards imagining the different futures you may be planning for.
  2. Scenario planning. This a highly creative process in which you develop both concrete descriptions for and an intuitive feel for the different kinds of ‘new normal’. This helps you work with others to build consensus around what your responses will be, strategically.
  3. Spotting which scenarios are becoming reality as events unfold.


We will cover how to:

  • Scan the horizon for the most significant factors that will affect your organisation, sector, customers, suppliers – and others in the ecosystem around you
  • Develop scenarios for the different futures that you need to plan for
  • Use market and sector intelligence to spot when scenarios you have planned for are beginning to happen

You will leave this workshop with an understanding of how to run ‘futures’ planning sessions with executive, board, funder and/or policymaking colleagues – so that you can plan to bounce forwards rather than back.

And will have had the chance to work through practical examples with peers and get feedback on them from workshop leader(s).


Patrick Towell, Innovation Director (The Audience Agency) & Executive Director (Golant Innovation)

Find out more about Patrick

Sophia Woodley, Head of Innovation Policy and Research (The Audience Agency Group); Senior Consultant (Golant Innovation)

Find out more about Sophia

Patrick and Sophia co-led the largest ever study on resilience in the cultural sector which informed Arts Council England’s strategy to 2030 and the design of National Lottery Heritage Fund’s enterprise and business support programmes – and which included recommendations on great use of futures thinking in strategy, planning and policymaking.

They are soon to launch a leadership development programme for creative enterprises across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, to help creative leaders – including freelancers – bounce forwards from COVID-19.


Our 3-hour Masterclasses are focused sessions in which you will both learn and participate. Guidance and insights from our experts are provided in an interactive session in which you will have the opportunity to consider and discuss your own individual situations.

Date: Thursday 3 September 2020, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Cost: £95 per person

Book your place

We are aware that payment on cards may be difficult right now. Please email if you’d like to discuss payment by invoice or to discuss group booking pricing.

Other masterclasses available:
We have a variety of subjects available currently, including:

  • Data and insights to make your case
  • Audience Development in times of COVID-19
  • Test and Trace for the Cultural Sector

See the full list of masterclasses on offer