Joshua Polchar

Foresight Lead


Josh Polchar is strategic foresight lead at the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation. With experience working with dozens of governments and international organisations, he designs and delivers interventions and processes to build anticipatory capacity in a range of settings. Josh is an alumnus and former facilitator of the Oxford Scenarios Programme as well as a lecturer on the Disrupted Futures course at EM Lyon business school. Josh has co-authored works on strategic foresight for policy making in a range of publications. Prior to joining OPSI, he worked in the Office of the Secretary General at the OECD, which he joined from The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. Josh holds an MSc in Political Science from the University of Amsterdam. His Twitter profile is @jpolchar.


Act before you’re ready

June 1, 2021

Anticipatory innovation for the future in realtime Our knowledge about the future will always be incomplete. Waiting for the full facts means waiting until it’s too late to act, and the costs can be dramatic. The only way to act in time is to ACT BEFORE YOU’RE READY. In this interactive session, Piret Tõnurist and Josh Polchar of the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation will demonstrate how governments are using anticipatory innovation to be better prepared. They will then guide participants through techniques to take away and use themselves to sharpen their anticipation skills and get the edge in in this world which won’t wait. Conventional wisdom holds that anticipation means thinking beyond the current time, as if the future was separate from the present. But the reality is that the future is already beginning right now, at this very moment. Anticipation is therefore not about looking ahead of time, and it’s definitely NOT only about the “long-term”. Anticipation is the ability to perceive, make sense of, and act upon the future in REALTIME.

Learning from the Future for Better Policies Today

April 9, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis is already having unprecedented impacts and generating policy responses that few would have thought possible just three months ago. The crisis is also generating unprecedented levels of uncertainty about what further consequences may emerge over the coming months and what new policy directions may become necessary and possible. In this interactive session, OECD Strategic Foresight will lead participants through an exploration of some of the key uncertainties, drivers, and desired outcomes associated with this pandemic.