Research Plan of the Center for Strategic Thinking and Foresight (CSTF)

Faculty of Business Administration

Universidad Externado de Colombia

Version: 1. 1 ( 30 Nov 2020)


The Center for Strategic Thinking and Foresight (CSTF) develops research in three main knowledge lines: Foresight & Futures Studies, Strategy, and Knowledge Management, which are described below.

The Foresight and Futures Studies line :

  • It is based on the philosophical, conceptual, and methodological bases generated by the various schools of thought for the world’s future in the last 70 years from the social sciences. That includes different epistemological and ontological approaches to futures studies —both from the theoretical and the empirical, with the primary orientation to decision-making. The research baseline in this field is mostly heir to the Strategic Foresight developments (developed by the French Voluntarist schools, which raised theoretical and philosophical foundations in the 60s and 70s of the last century and instrumental in the 80s and 90s).
  • In its application in Latin America for more than 30 years, the Strategic Foresight has originated its approach to knowledge in the discipline, which has led to the nascent Latin American Voluntarist Foresight Model (LAVFM). In turn, the latter, despite incorporating many elements of the French school of foresight, uses methodological and conceptual approaches from other schools of futures around the world.
  • On the other hand, it recognizes the undeniable contribution of other social sciences in development (sociology, psychology, political science, economics, business studies, among others) with an anthropocentric approach. Finally, this research line recognizes the importance of the triple characterization of the future: systemic, complex, and uncertain, which must be taken into account for the advancement of science in this field.

The Strategic Thinking line :

  • It seeks to develop applied research in the phenomena of analysis, structural development, and organizational decision-making at a strategic level, both at the level of business leaders and from the organization as a whole. Although this field’s development is heir to Anglo-Saxon Strategic Management products, it has evolved in the planning and managing long-term visions; This last point has a high interaction with the Foresight & Future Studies line presented previously.
  • Additionally, the Strategic Thinking line presents a relationship fluent with other social sciences, such as psychology, sociology, and economics, to ensure competitiveness at the organizational level and regional. Finally, it is essential to indicate the relationship between this research line and the developments in design and innovation. As is demonstrated from the academy in recent years, this area keeps a complete interaction design organizational strategy maps and associated projects that generate an internal transformation of the organization and the environment.

The Knowledge Management line :

  • Recognizes the role of information management as a generator of knowledge within organizational consolidation in the context of business, political, and social systems. The structuring of a system that allows efficient and effective management and transmission of the organization’s knowledge (whether explicitly or implicitly) and from the environment is essential. In this sense, it is possible to achieve an articulation with the development of the organizational theory (from the analysis of cultural aspects) and establish a long-term institutionality (from the tangibility of ideas, beliefs, principles in specific normative instruments).
  • Research in Knowledge Management is strongly related to the other two research lines, recognizing its importance for strategic decision making based on evidence and the solid generation of futures literacy.


Research Lines :

  • Foresight & Futures Studies.
  • Strategy
  • Knowledge Management.

Main Research Topics:

  1. Territorial and Community Futures Studies.
  2. Sectoral Futures Studies for Development.
  3. Organizational Futures Studies.
  4. Futures Literacy.
  5. Strategic thinking.
  6. Futures Studies in Administration and Social Sciences.
  7. Foresight in Government, Public Policies, and Geopolitics.
  8. Epistemological Development in Futures Studies.
  9. Organizational Knowledge Management.