A Short History of Futures Work in the Singapore Government

Singapore began its future planning efforts as an experiment in the Ministry of Defence in the late 1980s. In 1995, the Government set up the Scenario Planning Office in the Prime Minister’s Office to develop scenarios from a whole-of-government perspective. The office was renamed the Strategic Policy Office (SPO) in 2003 to reflect the strengthened links between foresight work and strategy formulation.

In 2009, the Centre for Strategic Futures (CSF) was established as a futures think tank within SPO to focus on issues that may be blind-spot areas, pursue open-ended long-term futures research, and experiment with new foresight methodologies.

More recently, various Government agencies have recognised the value of foresight work and begun to set up their own foresight teams, which conduct more domain-specific horizon scanning and futures research.

On 1 July 2015, CSF became part of the new Strategy Group in the Prime Minister's Office, which was set up to focus on whole-of-government strategic planning and prioritisation, whole-of-government coordination and development and to incubate and catalyse new capabilities in the Singapore Public Service.