Dr. Susan van ‘t Klooster

Foresight & Decision-making under deep Uncertainty

I want to make a significant contribution to the quality of policy and decision-makingwhereby uncertainties and uncertain risks are taken into account in a well-considered manner 

I add value by making knowledge and experience in the field of foresight and strategic decision-making and sound scientific insights applicable to practice

I provide clear analyses

I support my advice with factual substantiation

I use innovative and proven methods that offer room for creativity and dealing with uncertainties and uncertain risks 

“Looking differently at uncertainties, risks and the long term helps to make better decisions”

Senior Advisory

As a member of Advisory Committees, Boards and Think Tanks, I offer independent advice and expertise for various governmental, semi-governmental organizations and knowledge institutes. I focus on developing robust and future-oriented strategies, enhancing capacities for dealing with (deep) uncertainty and uncertain risks and creating adaptive and future-proof organisations.

For example

The Dutch Delta Program uses an early warning system for the timely adaptation of water management plans. Central to this is the identification of (future) changes based on a jointly identified indicator list. I advise the Early Warning team on the (further) development of this system. I focus in particular on the process, the culture and the organisational anchoring of anticipatory monitoring & signalling and dealing with the ‘Unknown’. 

Process evaluation

I make independent evaluations of foresight and decision-making processes. This for the purpose of strengthening, adjusting and learning of such strategic, often complex processes. I not only look at processes, procedures and working methods, but also at underlying organizational, research and/or decision cultures, beliefs, patterns and dynamics. In this way I can provide insight into the way processes run, what goes well and what can be improved and possible underlying “blind spots”. In my evaluations I offer concrete suggestions and tools for process improvement.

For example

As part of the ‘MH17 Flight Route’ team of the Dutch Safety Board I was asked to investigate the risk assessment approach in the aviation sector: how countries, airlines and other authorities in the aviation sector deal with (uncertain) risks. See for our recommendations and more information: www.onderzoeksraad.nl

Research & Writing

As a researcher, I am particularly interested in evaluative foresight, evaluative risk assessment and anticipatory monitoring. I communicate about the lessons and insights that I gain from my research and advice activities to various audiences, including scientists, practitioners (e.g. professional futurists, decision-makers) and the general public. I write, among others, articles for scientific and professional journals, practical guidance documents, books, reports and blog posts (see also my publication list).

(Photos by Shutterstock)

For example 

  • van ‘t Klooster, S.A. & Veenman, S.A. (2021). Shaping future perspectives in policy advice under deep, long-term uncertainty. The case of the Dutch Delta Committee. Futures, vol. 127. https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1cWGW3jdJdMQU
  • van ‘t Klooster, S.A. & Haasnoot, M. (2020). ‘Detecting non-linear Change’, blogpost for the Australian National University and Defence Science and Technology: https://i2insights.org/2020/01/14/detecting-non-linear-change/
  • Dammers, E., van ‘t Klooster, S. and de Wit, B. (2019). Using Scenarios for Environmental, Nature and Spatial Planning Policy. PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Publication number 3435, PBL Publishers, The Hague. https://www.pbl.nl/en/publications/using-scenarios-for-environmental-nature-and-spatial-planning-policy

The books I read

  • Slapen in een zee van sterren – Christopher Paolini
  • Zwarte Schuur – Oek de Jong
  • Liever Dier dan Mens – Pieter van Os

The things that trigger my curiosity

  • Building a TinyForest® in my backyard
  • Designing with ProCreate®
  • Experiencing health benefits of combining exercise & meditation