Institutionalizing a Futures Approach: The U.S. Coast Guard and Project Evergreen I

The Chief of Staff of the U.S. Coast Guard launched “Project Evergreen” in the fall of 2003 to create a new set of strategies for the USCG in the post-9/11 operating environment, in which the Service was now part of the Department of Homeland Security. As with the preceding “Project Long View,” the Coast Guard and we used a scenario planning approach to more critically and comprehensively evaluate a range of plausible operating conditions that the Service would encounter over the next two decades. FSG facilitated a weeklong workshop for senior operators and a select group of Flag Officers. Workshop outputs were analyzed and further refined to identify common or “robust” elements. Ultimately, a set of 12 strategies were identified and detailed. Evergreen I core strategies have informed a range of Coast Guard activities, including the National Strategy for Maritime Security and its eight subordinate plans. These strategies have also provided the catalyst for the Coast Guard’s National Maritime Strategy Risk Assessment initiative and the Coast Guard Strategy for Maritime Safety, Security, and Stewardship. The Coast Guard’s experience with Project Evergreen has been documented in the publication Creating and Sustaining Strategic Intent in the Coast Guard. (A limited number of copies of this publication are available upon request.)