Meeting the Challenges of Global Change: Planning for the Future of Education

The Fifth Global Change Strategic Management Seminar
Saint Andrews University, Saint Andrews Scotland, July 28-31, 1995

Sponsored by On the Horizon
In association with The University of Saint Andrews, Scotland

The Fifth Global Change Strategic Management Seminar is a response to the ongoing world-wide redefinement of the roles and responsibilities for education in an information age. The economic context and the allocation of resources will surely change. Technological developments in telecommunications and computers will transform the way we live and work--and educate--in the 21st Century. Exactly what these differences will be, and how they will evolve, is anybody's guess. One thing is certain: the only way any educational organization will come out a winner is if it is prepared (for changes in its clientele and market), imaginative (in its repositioning strategy), and proactive (in its execution).

The purpose of this seminar is to provide educational leaders with the tools they need to respond to these challenges:

  • Strategic management--to ensure constant, continuous adaptation to changing markets
  • Scenario planning--to help develop strategies for an uncertain future
  • Strategic vision--to give a sense of purpose, direction, and motivation to the organization
  • Scanning and monitoring--to provide the constant flow of intelligence needed for strategic management.

A major focus of the seminar is on the development and use of scenario planning. Scenarios reveal the flow process of an evolving future. They are holistic, combining social, technological, economic, environmental, and political trends and events. They focus our attention on the branching points of the future, the potential contingencies and discontinuities. By basing decisions on alternative futures, and by testing planning actions against the different conditions these scenarios present, we learn how to prepare for uncertainty and to ensure that our decisions can deal with contingencies, even those deemed unthinkable. And by having thought the unthinkable, we become better prepared to see the opportunities as well as the threats in any situation.

Seminar effectiveness relies on an appropriate mix of formal presentations, small group exercises, and professional exchanges among the participants. All participants will receive a handbook describing and illustrating strategic management, scenario planning, strategic vision, and scanning/monitoring. In addition, they will receive a copy of each briefing paper presented (see Call for Briefing Papers). Finally, seminar participants will be mailed a copy of the proceedings and the informational findings resulting from the seminar exercises.

Call for Briefing Papers

This is a call for briefing papers on two topics: (1) Challenges of Global Change or (2) Planning Systems Designed to Meet the Challenges of Global Changes. Each participant at registration will receive a copy of all papers and the seminar handbook. To submit a briefing paper, send a one-page abstract no later than 30 May 1995 to James L. Morrison. Each briefing paper should be 5-10 pages, single-spaced. The deadline for full text of the briefing paper is 30 June 1995.

Seminar Leaders

Seminar leaders are Ian Wilson, James L. Morrison and James R MacCallum. Ian Wilson of Wolf Enterprises, San Rafael, California, is an internationally recognized authority on strategic management and scenario-based planning. In the 1970s he established General ElectricÕs pioneering corporate effort in futures studies, and was a public affairs advisor to the CEO. In 1980 he joined SRI International for a 13-year career as a senior management consultant working with senior executives in companies around the world on long-term strategies. Ian is the author of Corporate Environments of the Future: Planning for Major Change, The Power of Strategic Vision, Rewriting the Corporate Social Charter, How Companies Use Scenarios, and The Changing Face of Strategic Management.

James L. Morrison, editor of On the Horizon, is professor of education at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He teaches doctoral-level courses in educational planning and management and serves as a consultant with a variety of educational organizations and public agencies. He is the author or coauthor of over 60 publications on futures research, including: Futures Research and the Strategic Planning Process, Applying Methods and Techniques of Futures Research, The Alternative Futures Approach to Long-Range Planning, and Anticipatory Management: The Handbook for Anticipating and Managing Issues. He has chaired or served on the editorial boards of The Review of Higher Education, The Review of Educational Research, and the American Educational Research Journal. A retired Army Reservist (Colonel, USAR, Civil Affairs), he received the second highest award authorized for peacetime, the Legion of Merit Medal, for his contributions to planning for the U.S. Army.

James R MacCallum, Vice-Principal and Professor of Polymer Chemistry, University of Saint Andrews, is a native of Scotland. He was educated at Dumfries Academy and Glasgow University, where he was awarded his Ph.D. in 1961. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chemistry and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He has held a selection of administrative posts within the University including Master of United College of Saint Salvator and Saint Leonard, Dean of the Faculty of Science, and Advisor of Studies, Faculty of Science.

Seminar Agenda

Thursday, 27 July 1995


  • Registration from 2:00-5:00

  • Dinner 6:00
  • Reception 7:30

Friday, 28 July


  • Orientation (introductions, review of objectives/schedule, logistics, etc.)
  • The University of Saint Andrews: history, culture, and future challenges
  • The future societal context for education: Strategic forces for change
  • The nature and purpose of strategic management: lessons from corporate experience

  • Adapting the corporate model to the world of education
  • Scenario planning: Dealing with an uncertain future
  • Uncertainties in educationÕs future
  • Developing scenarios: Review of the methodology

  • Panel discussion on challenges of global change (summary/discussion of prepared briefing papers)

Saturday, 29 July


  • Developing scenarios of educationÕs future [based on selected target(s)]Ñbuilding the scenarios' structure
  • Fleshing out the scenarios (one scenario per group)
  • Presentations by small groups

  • Interpreting scenarios: Identifying issues, developing strategies
  • Interpreting the scenarios
  • Presentations by small groups

  • Panel discussion on planning systems designed to meet the challenges of global change (summary/discussion of prepared briefing papers)

Sunday, 30 July


  • The power of strategic vision (what it is, why it is needed, how it is developed, its benefits)
  • Developing a strategic vision (for "target" institution[s])
  • Presentations by small groups

  • Time out to attend the Highland Games

    Monday, 31 July


  • Linking planning to action: The critical importance of implementation
  • Strategic intelligence: The need for continuous scanning and monitoring
  • Discussion of seminar results: "What I plan to implement/change on my return"

  • Lunch and adjournment

The Cost

The registration fee includes a seminar handbook, all papers presented by participants, skills-training sessions, seminar proceedings, accommodation on campus in superior single study-bedrooms with private bathroom facilities (twin rooms available for spouses), conference refreshments, a reception, full board from tea on 27 July to lunch on 31 July, and VAT at 17.5% where applicable.

  • Registration fee: $975
  • Spouse (not attending sessions): 350
  • Walking tour of Saint Andrews: 10
  • Whisky tasting and ceilidh: 25
  • Extra stay--Bed & Breakfast per day: (single) 55 (double) 80

To secure a place send a nonrefundable deposit of $175 to our office. The balance is payable by 1 June 1995. [Note: accomodations for early arrivial or to stay after the seminar are available; please contact our office to make specific reservations.]

Refunds & Cancellations

Fees less $175 may be refunded on written application received prior to l July 1995. No refunds are possible thereafter.

The Place

Saint Andrews, home of Scotland's oldest university (founded over 500 years ago), is a historic small town by the seaside, 50 miles north of Edinburgh.

The seminar is being held at New Hall, the University of Saint Andrew's newest conference and residence facility, built and furnished to superior standards: all rooms have private bathrooms, telephone, and in-room beverage facilities.

The town of Saint Andrews is famous throughout the world as the Home of Golf. Your residence at New Hall is less than half a mile from the world-famous Old Course.

The seminar's social activities include a reception on the first evening and an optional evening walking tour of Saint Andrews and Scottish ceilidh (traditional musical entertainment) with whisky tasting. Also we will be taking time to witness the Highland Games, one of Scotland's famed traditions for over a thousand years. The 1995 games will include some of the great "Heavies" returning to Toss the Caber and Put the Stone.

What they said about previous Global Change seminars

"The relaxed, laid back presentation, with consideration of all ideas, opinions, and perspectives, was helpful for participants' learning."

"More than a great seminar, I walked away with an extremely useful handbook."

"Very good films and slides. Excellent added dimension."

"I enjoyed it, even though it made my brain hurt."

"I suddenly realized exactly how I needed to revise my institution's strategic plan."

"I particularly liked the discussions, and found myself actively engaged."

"The high quality didnÕt surprise me, since I still think back with pleasure on earlier meetings. I look forward to another opportunity to share ideas and enthusiasms."

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