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The Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation is creating a new kind of designer. A strategist who sees the world from a human perspective, who re-thinks what is possible and imagines a better future state.

Recognizing the increasing importance that design thinking can play in positively impacting society, enhancing business success and managing organizational change, students in the program address the complex dilemmas of contemporary society. The program focuses on the application of foresight and design innovation methods to develop solutions that are transformative and sustainable — economically and environmentally — and that address human needs. The program interweaves design with social science, technology and business while providing the skills and knowledge to identify critical issues, frame problems and develop innovative solutions and implementation plans. Through holistic thinking in a co-creative environment, the designer, business person, social scientist and engineer will develop together the skills required for true socio-technological innovation.

The MDes in Strategic Foresight and Innovation is offered as a full-time or part-time program.


The Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation will enable students to:

  • Explore and test new methods of organization, creation and production.
  • Develop strategic, innovative and anticipatory solutions (strategic foresight) and implementation plans for design, business or policy innovations, or organizational and infrastructural change.
  • Navigate complex problems through the study of systems theory and the analysis of relevant systems, including ecological, social, economic and political organizations.
  • Develop an ethical sensibility that promotes socially and ecologically sound responses to complex global issues.

Required Courses

Full-time program
Curriculum: 45 credits  

Semester 1 (Fall) - 10.5 credits

SFIN 6B01: Business and Design Thinking (3)

SFIN 6B03: The Human Factor (3)

SFIN 6A08 Systemic Design: Systems Fundamentals (1.5)

SFIN 6B11 Foresight Studio 1 (3)

Semester 2 (Winter) - 13.5 credits

SFIN 6B12 Foresight Studio 2 (3)

SFIN 6B06 Strategy Development (3)

SFIN 6A09 Systemic Design: Social Systems (1.5)

SFIN 6C01 Innovation Research Methods (6)

Semester 3 (Summer) - 12 credits

SFIN 6B08 MRP Proposal (3)

Elective (3)

SFIN 6B07  Leading Innovation (3)

SFIN 6B05 Business Model Innovation (3)


Semester 4 (Fall) - 9 credits

SFIN 6D01 Major Research Project (9)


Part-time program
Curriculum: 45 credits  

Semester 1 (Fall) - 6 credits

SFIN 6B01: Business and Design Thinking (3)

SFIN 6B03: The Human Factor (3)

Semester 2 (Winter) - 9 credits

SFIN 6B04: Understanding Systems and Systemic Design (3)

SFIN 6C02: Foresight Studio (6) 

Semester 3 (Summer) - 3 credits

3 credits from among the following options:
• Independent Study
• Internship
• Elective 

Semester 4 (Fall) - 9 credits

SFIN 6B06: Strategy Development (3)

SFIN 6C01: Innovation Research Methods (6) 

Semester 5 (Winter) - 6 credits

SFIN 6B05: Business Model Innovation (3)

SFIN 6B07: Leading Innovation (3)

Semester 6 (Summer) - 3 credits

SFIN 6B08: Major Project Proposal (3)

Semester 7 (Fall) - 9 credits

SFIN 6D01: Major Project (9)




For elective choices, students may choose from:

a) Approved graduate-level courses in other OCAD U graduate programs. Approved elective choices will be published annually in the Academic Calendar, which is available on the OCAD U website at

b) A 300 or 400-level course in any discipline with the approval of the instructor and the Graduate Program Director. Students should consult the Academic Calendar for undergraduate course offerings and must complete a “Request to Enroll in an Undergraduate Course as an Elective” form and secure the appropriate permissions before they will be allowed to register. Please see “Courses and Registration” in this handbook for more information.

c) A graduate course at another university through the Ontario Visiting Graduate Student Plan (OVGS) or the Canadian University Graduate Transfer Agreement (CUGTA). Information on this process is available in this handbook under “Courses and Registration” and on the OCAD U website at www.ocadu.ca/gradstudies.

Students must meet with their Graduate Program Director for advising on the selection of elective courses. A record of student advising will be kept in the student file and students are advised to keep a copy for their records.


Last Modified:5/23/2014 12:27:49 PM