Our Clients - Government

Our Clients – Government

About us

The world is changing – Fast. Decisions taken today have implications for both the short and the long-term. This means you need to develop policies and strategies that are resilient to many possible futures, and build an organisation that is agile enough to respond to them.

We have 30 years’ experience of working with HMG on futures projects. We understand the specific needs of Government in formulating and reaching decisions at both the policy and delivery levels.

We have worked with the Cabinet Office and HMG central departments; agencies; Local Government, NDPBs, police forces and security agencies, universities and charities. We work at all levels of an organisation from Management Board and Ministers to the people on the front line.  We have delivered over 250 foresight and strategy projects in 21 countries in the UK, EC, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean. 

SAMI is on the Government Office for Science Futures Framework Contract. 
See our Prospectus.

  • SAMI Consulting is internationally recognised as a leading authority on foresight. Our consultants have delivered projects for UK government departments and agencies, the European Commission (EC), and other UK and international public sector clients.

  • Futures thinking is in our DNA.  SAMI was created as the ‘St Andrews Management Institute’ in 1989, as a joint venture between Shell, the pioneers in scenario planning, and St Andrews University.  That strand – the powerful mix of academic rigour and practical delivery – continues in our people today:  Experienced practitioners, world-renowned futures authors, and consultants with first-hand experience of the public sector and the challenges facing it.

We work with you using a wide range of foresight tools including scenario planning. We identify major drivers of change impacting your organisation, develop different futures and test alternative strategies and policies. This participative approach builds capability in your team, enabling them to become more innovative and more able to react rapidly to unexpected change. 

Our Fellows and Principals undertake the research and publish the books used as ‘textbooks’ by other consultancies and on degree programmes.  SAMI is also fully familiar with the Futures Toolkit – we wrote one of the first versions – and our continuing research and innovative work means we can offer adaptive and flexible approaches to delivering the outcomes you need. For instance, our work for a European body has involved the development of a novel, swift and interactive method of iterating and exploring scenarios for complex global issues.

What we do

We offer the full range of Futures capability from gathering intelligence,  making sense of it,  testing and developing your strategy, to making decisions and taking action. Specifically, we can help you to:

  1. Use systems, trend and driver analysis in your policy area to understand what is happening and why; identify the major opportunities and challenges, and highlight related risks and uncertainties;
  2. Describe what the future might be like – possible, desirable and adverse;
  3. Develop and test your policies, strategic objectives and plans for resilience, including the management of risk, how to build innovation into your organisation and communicate your vision;
  4. Develop your Futures capability through training, coaching and mentoring your people with the tools and techniques you need – from the Futures Toolkit and beyond; and
  5. Research and report on insights into specific policy area

We also use a number of Futures tools and databases such as our own Megatrends knowledge base, Shaping Tomorrow, and FutureScaper. This means we can deliver a faster, tailored and more sophisticated response to your needs and avoid ‘reinventing the wheel.’

    • Futures thinking is our core skill – you will be working with experienced specialists in futures thinking and practice
    • We have no landmark London offices or expensive partnership structure, which means we can offer our experience without charging ‘Big 4’ rates


Who we are

As well as our Core Team members, we have a wide network of futurists, modellers, systems dynamics practitioners, synthetic environment designers and research associates to support your work.

Directors and Fellows

Jonathan Blanchard Smith has over 20 years corporate troubleshooting experience. He leads SAMI’s work on the implications of Brexit. Currently working with the Research and Innovation Directorate of the EC, he is Chairman of the Natural Resources Forum.

David Lye was a senior civil servant and Chief Executive 1996-2011.  Clients include the HMRC where he offered Foresight on the future UK tax system and the EC Directorate General of Research & Innovation building global scenarios for the next 25 years; and horizon scanning and scenarios for the Horizon 2020 Programme.

Patricia Lustig is an expert practitioner in foresight and strategy development, scenario planning and innovation. She authored the award winning Strategic Foresight: learning from the future, and as co-author  Megatrends and How to Survive Them; Beyond Crisis; and Here Be Dragons: navigating an uncertain world. Clients include local government, NHS Trusts and Natural England.

Michael Owen is Chairman of SAMI Consulting Ltd and an expert in horizon scanning and scenario development. A former Director of Business Strategy in the private sector, his clients include the European Commission, Department of Health, and the City of London Corporation.

Wendy Schultz has over 25 years of foresight practice and lecturing, with 10 years at the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies. Wendy is a Fellow and Executive Board member of the World Futures Studies Federation.  She has designed and populated environmental scanning databases for DEFRA and OSI and worked with the Health and Safety Executive and the Food Ethics Council.

Richard Walsh has been an expert in scenario planning and futures thinking for over 20 years and was instrumental in introducing it in the Department of Health. Currently his work addresses welfare reform, digitalisation of medical records, big data and external impacts on devolution strategy. He co-chairs the Building Resilient Households Group and is an Executive Member of the Income Protection Task force. 



William Blyth has worked for 20 years in energy security and climate change. Clients include the World Bank, African Development Bank, EBRD, UK Energy Research Centre, International Renewable Energy Agency, OECD, International Energy Agency, and the International Institute of Sustainable Development.


Jane Dowsett is an Innovation Consultant who has worked with private sector and UK government clients on future strategy and policy.  For 10 years Jane worked with BEIS, delivering services in Innovation, including the Mary Portas Review of the High Street; the Industrial Growth Strategy and Social Enterprise UK.


Martin Duckworth is a strategist. His projects have included work for the National Trust at Avebury, future proofing CSR for BNFL, for the Environment Agency on emerging themes, and creating scenarios for the Health and Safety Executive.


Cathy Dunn specialises in horizon scanning, 3 Horizons and futures techniques-based workshops. Client work includes an enhanced technology watch, scanning input to support strategy development, and scenarios and knowledge transfer. Clients include DfT, Defra, Grant Thornton International, a major UK charity and CITB.


Giorgos Georgopoulos is an international technologist. He is the CEO of Elemendar, a cybersecurity AI he co-founded from the UK’s first GCHQ / NCSC Accelerator. Giorgos was Managing Director of Futurescaper, a foresight software platform used by the UN, World Bank, OECD, and governments in UK, UAE and Canada.



Joe Ravetz is Co-Director of the Centre for Urban Resilience at the University of Manchester, leading on futures and foresight. He developed the Synergistics method applying ‘collective intelligence’ to complex policy applications. Publications include City-Region 2020, and the forthcoming Deeper City: collective intelligence and the pathways from smart to wise. Projects include studying urban environments for GOS; scientific coordination for Defra Horizon Scanning, and futures research for the Environment Agency.

Geoff Royston was Head of Strategic Analysis and Operational Research in the Department of Health, and past-President of the UK Operational Research Society.  He works in analysis, modelling and experiment to understand complex organisational systems and improve design and performance. Geoff led the development of “NHS Direct.”


Huw Williams has a background in telecommunications strategy and internet business, focusing on technological, regulatory and societal changes.  He presented on Horizon Scanning to the Science and Technology Select Committee and helped develop the Futurescaper software tool. Clients include The Law Society, EU-OSHA, Scottish Water, Department for Transport: Institute of Engineering, and EU R&I. 



  • SAMI has delivered over 250 foresight and strategy projects in 21 countries. We have experience of working with public sector bodies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We also have significant experience of international bodies across Europe and beyond.
  • Every engagement listed below has been delivered by one or more members of our HMG team.
  • We balance our detailed knowledge of public sector outcomes with experience of stakeholders affected, ranging from banking and insurance to regulators and professional bodies, to manufacturing firms, charities and sports clubs.


Our Experience of Futures Work within Government


A Sample Of Our Clients


  • Cabinet Office
  • Government Office for Science
  • FCO
  • Home Office
  • MOD
  • HMRC
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Health
  • Defra
  • DFID
  • Scottish Government
  • Welsh Government/Welsh Assembly
  • Northern Ireland Government
  • Horizon Scanning Centre
  • Surrey Strategic Partnership
  • The Environment Agency
  • Valuation Agency
  • The Pensions Regulator
  • Natural England
  • Food Standards Agency 


  • West Midlands NHS SHA
  • North East NHS and local authority
  • NHS Providers 


  • Metropolitan Police
  • Herts Constabulary
  • College of Policing
  • Greater Manchester Police
  • UK CT and Security agencies
  • A Caribbean police & security agency


  • Sovereign Housing Association
  • GreenSquare Housing Association
  • The Law Society
  • Institute of Engineering
  • Institute of Occupational Safety & Health
  • Solicitors Regulation Authority
  • Health and Safety Commission
  • General Medical Council
  • Rail Safety & Standards Board (RSSB)
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
  • Royal Institute of International Affairs
  • ATI-Aerospace Technology Institute
  • Construction Industry Training Board


  • NERC
  • Universities UK
  • University of Manchester
  • Scottish Science Advisory Council
  • UK Energy Research Centre



  • National Trust
  • Christian Aid
  • Social Housing Think Tank
  • Arts Marketing Association



  • EC Research and Innovation Directorate
  • EU OSHA;  Joint Research Council
  • OECD
  • NATO, UN, US Department of Defense
  • World Bank, African Development Bank, EBRD
  • International Energy Agency, International Institute of Sustainable Development, International Renewable Energy Agency
  • European Trade Union Institute


Case Studies – A Small Selection Of Our Work

Government Office for Science – review and refresh the Futures Toolkit, updating it and making it easier to use

HM Revenue and Customs – The Future Context for HMRC in 2030

Defra Partnership – Developed “Strategic Evidence of Future Change” to stimulate strategic thinking. Horizon Scanning to provide foresight and insight to identify potential threats, risks and opportunities

North-East Local Enterprise Partnership – future skills needs in the NE, especially in the Green
Economy and social care sectors 

North England based NHS and local authority – Development of an outline business case for joint working across Health and Social Care based on emerging health and social care trends

Department for Transport – SAMI ran a Horizon Scanning and Technology Watch project

UK Commission on Employment and Skills – Identified the key drivers of change in the UK and globally which may impact on the employment and skills landscape in England by 2020

ACPO (now NPCC) – Development of the Counter Terrorism Policing Strategy for the UK

Environment Agency – Provided scenarios in support of planning for flooding and coastal risk management over the next 50 years

Sovereign Housing Association – Two strategic reviews: firstly after a major merger, then looking at the impact of the changing environment for social housing

Christian Aid – SAMI Consulting helped the charity to develop a set of drivers and initiate high level discussion of their future

EC Directorate General of Research & Innovation – Building global scenarios for the next 25 years

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) – a two-year foresight project looking at the potential impact of rapid developments in ICT including artificial intelligence and robotics on occupational safety and health and future strategy

A Caribbean police and security agency – Training in Futures and Horizon Scanning, geopolitical scenarios and risk management

Construction Industry Training Board – future skills needs in the construction industry and implications for funding mechanisms 

European Trade Union Institute – a full strategy exercise from Horizon Scanning to policy stress testing 

‘We were very grateful we could rely on the expertise of SAMI Consulting…in addition to their excellent work that underpinned our research SAMI Consulting were a very responsive partner providing expert advice’                                                                              E Schizas, Senior Economic Analyst  ACCA



 SAMI has a track record of running highly rated strategic futures courses on behalf of the Horizon Scanning Centre and Civil Service Learning. We offer a wide range of public and bespoke training courses covering all the Tools in the Futures Toolkit and more advanced approaches.

Contact us

SAMI Consulting Ltd. Company number 3756030; VAT Registration GB 811 6226 61