Photo by Chromatograph

SwissLife & WDHB
How to anticipate the impacts of COVID-19


SwissLife needed to analyse the relevant impacts of COVID-19 and turn them into concrete foundations for future action. This development program was conducted remotely in partnership with WDHB, working alongside a leadership cohort to teach them the futures thinking mindsets and methodologies necessary to respond to present and future uncertainty.

At the end of each month we reflected and adapted the following session to suit the progress and needs of the cohort. The project’s success resulted from this open collaboration and critical dialogue between all partners, allowing the cohort to harness the collective wisdom of their teams in new ways and at multiple moments throughout the process.


– Leadership Development
– Strategic Partnership
– Horizon Scanning
– Trend Analysis
– Scenario Building
– Collective Visioning

The entire leadership development program lasted six months and was divided into moments of learning, reflection, and action.


5 foresight handbooks were developed for the leadership cohort to facilitate the activities themselves.

14 innovation propositions were developed to experiment within the organization, using their new foresight capabilities.

1 full-day event organised by WDHB showcased the work through films, trend reports and working sessions to invite the entire organisation into conversations about their future.

4 business opportunities were sponsored and translated into innovation projects after feedback by the executive board and senior leadership.


As well as developing new organisational strategies and innovation concepts – four of which were immediately implemented – the cohort learned a strategic foresight methodology tailored to their organisation. Each participant can independently and collectively examine the driving and blocking forces of change and analyse past, present and future signals to explore uncertainties. Most importantly, each participant can more critically evaluate possible futures to align on a collective vision and map the pathways toward that future.

“We are having more mature conversations about topics and questions related to futures thinking and were able to leverage the learned tools in other contexts.”

Sam Mueller
Chief Client Officer, WDHB