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29 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 6 μήνες)

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Futurology

A New
Field

of
Research

It

is
better

to

have

a
bad

map

than

to

have

no
map

at
all
.


The

future

contains

an element of
uncertainty
,
but
we

try

to

prepare

for

the

future

and

to

deal

with

its

uncertainties
.
We

also

try

to

control

the

future
, not
only

to


prepare

for

it
by

adapting

to

what

we

think

is
coming
, but
to

make

things

happen

that

we

want

to

happen
.


Without

forecasting
,
there

is no
freedom

of
decision
.
Humans

have

the

ability

to

foresee

alternative

futures

before

it is
too

late

to

control

them
.
Thus

they

have

the

ability

to

shape

their

future
.

History



Thinking

about

the

future

is a
universal

phenomenon

that

can be
traced

back

to

the

dawn

of
human

prehistory
.


Divination
:
discovering

the

future

by

eliciting

a
divine

response

(
the

will

of
the

gods
).


Wide

range

of
techniques
:
Examination

of
animal

organs
,
observing

the

patterns

a fire
makes

as it
burns
,
dream

interpretation
,
etc
.


Witches
,
sorcerers
,
shamans

were

consulted

to

discover

and

control

the

future
.

The

Modern
Approach


The

modern
approach

to

the

study

of
the

future

also

tries

to

discover

and

control

the

future
, but
unlike

divination
, it is not
based

on
beliefs

in
the

supernatural
,
magic
,
mystification

of
methods
,
superstition
,
or

the

secret

powers

of
particular

individuals

or

groups
.


Futures

studies

is
part

of modern
humanism
,
both

philosophical

and

scientific
.
It

is
secular
.
Futurists

aim

to

demistify

the

future
,
to

make

their

methods

explicit
,
to

be
systematic

and

rational
,
to

base

their

results

on
the

empirical

observation

of
reality

and

open

discussion
, as
well

as
creativity

and

intuition
.

Recent

Origins

of
Futures

Studies


Futuristic

novels

of Jules Verne, 1860s
and

1870s.


H.G.
Wells’s

article


Anticipations

of
the

Reaction

of
Mechanical

and

Scientific

Progress

upon

Human

Life
and

Thought
” 1901.


Sociologist

William F.
Ogburn’s

work

on
Social

Trends

in
the

1930s.


Nathan

Israeli’s

work

on
the

social

psychology

of
the

future

(1930s).


1960s:
Futurism

became

a
social

movement
.


Bertrand

de
Jouvenel’s

The

Art of
Conjecture

(1964).


RAND (1945): A
think

tank
for

long
-
range

forecasting

and

futures

thinking
.
Also

a
school

for

futurists
.


Herman

Kahn’s

On
Thermonuclear

War

(1960).


Alvin

Toffler


Ted

J.
Gordon

and

Olaf

Helmer’s

work

on
Future

Scientific

and

Technological

Breakthroughs

(RAND) 1960s.


Harold

D.
Lasswell’s

idea of
the

coming

garrison

state
.

Futures

Studies

Today


Today
,
futures

studies

has
most

of
the

characteristics

of a
separate

field

of
inquiry
.
It

has
full
-
time
professionals
,
networks

of
communication

and

formal

professional

associations
,
university

futures

courses

and

educational

programs
,
conferences

and

meetings
,
hundreds

of
publications

annually
,
shared

purposes
, a set of
identifiable

futurist

methods
,
underlying

assumptions
,
and

shared

exemplars

that

stand

within

a
growing

body of
knowledge
.

The

Purposes

of
Futurists


The

purposes

of
futures

studies

are

to

discover

or

invent
,
examine

and

evaluate
,
and

propose

possible
,
probable

and

preferable

futures
;
futurists

wish

to

know
:


What

can
or

could

be (
the

possible
)


What

is
likely

to

be (
the

probable
)


What

ought

to

be (
the

preferable
)


Futurists

are

usually

unhappy

with

the

present

state

of
the

world

and

want

to

make

the

world

a
better

place
.

How

to

be a
Futurist


Always

think

prospectively



consider

the

future

consequences

of
present

actions

and

form an
image

of
the

future
.


Have

a
working

knowledge

of
past

and

present

developments
.


Watch

the

emerging

and

existing

trends
.
Always

scan

for

the

first

signs

of a
future

trend (
such

as
technological

innovations
,
changes

in
lifestyles
,
demographic

changes
)


Use

a set of
goals

and

values

to

determine

whether

the

constructed

future

is
desirable
.


Invent

or

select

possible

courses

of
action

aimed

at
creating

the

most

desirable

future
.



Methods

of
Futures

Studies


Scenario

Analysis


The

Method

and

Some

Examples

Scenario

Analysis


Scenarios

are

alternative

futures
. They

are

neither

predictions

nor

forecasts
.
Rather
,
each

scenario

is
one

alternative

image

of
how

the

future

might

unfold
.


Other

methods

yield

one

image

of
the

future

while

scenario

analysis

provides

a
wide

range

of
possible

futures
.


Scenario

Analysis


In

social

systems

information

on
variables

is
incomplete

so

they

can
only

be
appreciated

by

intuition

and

are

best

communicated

by

images

and

stories
.


Quantification

brings

a
false

sense of
precision

into

social

phenomena
. As
many

qualitative

factors

cannot

be
quantified
,
scenario

analysis

makes

little

use

of
mathematics
.


Scenario

Analysis


Every

scenario

analysis

exercise

begins

with

an
analysis

of
the

current

situation

(
the

empirical

present
).
The

empirical

present

provides

the

foundation

upon

which

the

potential

futures

are

constructed
,
thereby

grounding

the

analysis

in
reality
.


However
,
linear

extrapolations

of
current

trends

are

prone

to

error

because

catalytic

events

may

throw

these

trends

drastically

off

course
.

Scenario

Analysis


The

point

of
scenario

analysis

is not
to

find

a
way

of
justifying

existing

beliefs

about

the

future
.
It

should

challenge

those

beliefs
,
reveal

previously

ignored

possibilities
.


Scenario

exercises

enhance

our

learning

and

understanding

of
social

phenomena
.
They

illuminate

the

interrelatedness

of
different

realms

of life
and

the

underlying

causes

of
events
.

Scenario

Analysis


There

is no “
right

scenario
” but
plausible

futures

that

could

unfold
.
The

right

answer

cannot

be
found

with

mathematical

calculations
.


Too

many

scenarios

would

be
too

similar

to

each

other
:
mere

variations

of
the

same

theme
.


4
-
5
scenarios

are

enough
,
and

their

differences

must

really

be
significant
.


Scenario

Analysis


Avoid

making


most

likely

plots
.
We

learn

more

from

surprising

plots
.


Do not
assign

probabilities

to

scenarios
. Do not
categorize

them

as
either

the

most

or

the

least

likely
.


Keep

your

mind

open

to

all

possibilities
, not
only

the

desirable

or

frightening

ones
.
Pure

white

or

pure

black

images

of
the

future

are

not
realistic
,
usually

there

are

various

shades

of
grey
.

Scenario

Analysis


Avoid

building

3
scenarios
:
the

best
,
the

worst

and

the

middle
.
Usually

the

middle

of
the

road

is
selected

as
the

most

likely
,
which

is a
mistake
.


Best

and

worst

case

scenarios

are

usually

ideal
extremes

that

are

not
plausible
.

How

to

Build

Scenarios
:
The

Steps

1.
Identify

the

issue
.

2.
Identify

the

drivers

of
change

in 5
areas

(STEEP)
that

may

shape

the

future
.

3.
Select

2
important

and

uncertain

drivers

and

build

a
matrix
.
Build

4
scenarios

from

its

quadrants
.

4.
Throw

in a
wild

card
:
Build

a
surprise

scenario
.

5.
Devise

a
strategy

for

the

future
:
What

must

be
done
to

prevent

the

negative

outcome

or

to

reach

the

positive

outcome
?



1.
Identify

the

Issue

Formulate

a
question

about

the

future

(20
years
):

*
Will

there

be
less

or

more

wars

in
the

future
?

*
Will

the

world

population

decrease

or

increase

in
the

future
?

*
Will

women’s

status

improve

in
the

future
?

*
Will

there

be
greater

democracy

or

authoritarianism

in
the

future
?

*
Will

the

gap

between

rich

and

poor

countries

increase

in
the

future
?



2.
Identify

the

Drivers

of
Change

that

May
Influence

the

Issue


Identify

the

primary

driving

forces

at
work

in
the

present

in 5
areas

(STEEP):



Social


Technological


Economic


Environmental


Political

Examples

of
Drivers


Social
:
Culture
,
education
,
family
,
marriage

and

divorce

rates
,
demographic

composition
,
immigration
.


Technological
: ICT,
electronics
,
genetics
,
biotechnology
,
nanotechnology
,
weapons
,
robotics
.


Economic
:
Income
,
growth
,
trade
,
investment
,
polarization
,
impoverishment
,
globalization
.


Environmental
:
Pollution
, global
warming
,
food

shortages
,
depletion

of
resources
,
deforestation
.


Political
:
Types

of
regime
,
elections
,
leaders
,
instability
,
failed

states
,
NGOs
, .

3.
Select

2
important

and

uncertain

drivers


Among

the

drivers
,
some

are

predetermined

and

inevitable
,
leave

them

out
. e.g.
Number

of
elderly

people

20
years

later
.


Select

the

drivers

that

are

uncertain

and

beyond

our

control
.


Then
,
from

among

the

uncertain

ones
,
select

the

most

important

2
drivers
:
Which

2
forces

are

most

likely

to

define
the

future

of
the

issue
?

Build

a
Matrix

with

the

Two

D
rivers

Scenario

2

Scenario

3

Scenario

1

Scenario

4

The

Matrix



The

matrix

simplifies

all

uncertainties

into

2
axes
,
giving

us
four

quadrants
.
Each

quadrant

is a
plausible

future
.



High


I



Low

-----------------
I
----------------
High



I



Low

Build

the

Scenarios


Using

present

tense,
describe

in
headlines

what

happens

in
each

quadrant

of
the

matrix
.
Flesh

out

the

scenarios

from


High

x,
low

y”
etc
.,
i
nto

full

stories

with

a
beginning
, a
middle
,
and

an
end
.


When

fleshing

out

the

scenarios
,
use

systems

thinking
:
Describe

the

way

parts

of
the

system

interact
.
What

lies

under

events
:

Values
,
interests
,
structures
?

Build

the

Scenarios


Don’t

make

a
static

description

of
the

future
.
Describe

how

things

got

from

the

present

to

that

scenario
.
What

events

might

be
necessary

to

make

the

end

point

of
the

scenario

possible
?


In

the

scenarios
,
use

the

drivers

previously

eliminated

from

the

matrix

(STEEP).
Try

to

add

forces

from

each

area

into

your

story
.


Add

characters

and

personalities
,
such

as
charismatic

leaders
,
interest

groups
,
NGOs
,
MNCs
.
Consider

their

motivations

and

actions
.

Build

the

Scenarios


To

write

good

scenarios
,
watch

current

trends
.
Scan

your

environment

for

signs

of
new

trends

that

might

grow

in
the

future
.


Only

describing

the

changes

is not
enough
.
Also

mention

the

response

to

the

change

(
reaction
,
protest,
resistance
,
revolution
,
etc
.)


Invent

catchy

names

for

the

scenarios
.
Their

names

should

be
striking

to

quickly

convey

the

changes

:e.g. “
Hell
” , “
Back

to

the

Stone
Age
”,
“Robot
Revolution
”, “
Space

Colonies
.”


Plot

Lines

for

Scenarios


Crisis

and

response

(
environmental
,
energy
)


Winners

and

losers

(
Asia

and

Europe
)


Good

news
/
bad

news

(
include

both
)


Evolutionary

change

(
Technological

developments

accumulate

and

spur

more

change
)


Rise

and

decline

of
powers

(
China

and

USA)


Revolutionary

change
:
Abrupt

change

(a
breakthrough

invention
)

Plot

Lines

for

Scenarios


Tectonic

change
:
Structural

alteration

(
breaking

up

of a
state
,
new

constitution
)


Cycles
:
Economic

boom

and

recession
.


Infinite

possibility
:
Continued

economic

growth
.


The

L
one

Ranger
:
One

actor

against

the

establishment


Generations
: New
groups

with

different

values

and

expectations


Perpetual

transition
:
Continuous

change
. Ever
-
evolving

system
.

4.
Throw

in A
Wild

Card
:
Build

a
Surprise

Scenario


In

addition

to

a
matrix

of
four

logically

contrasted

scenarios
, a
fifth


wild

card

scenario

is
created

with

a
dramatic

surprise

that

doesn’t

fit
into

the

matrix
.


Wild

cards

are

surprise

events

that

are

irrelevant

to

the

drivers

and

scenarios
.
They

can
completely

change

the

outcome

of
the

issue
.


Surprise

events

may

happen

out

of
the

blue
,
unrelated

to

other

developments
.

Examples

of
Wild

Cards


Natural

disasters
:
earthquake
,
flood
,
hurricane
.


Assassinations

of
important

figures

and

leaders
.


Unintended

consequences

of
technologies
:
Robots

take

over
.


Disease
:
Black

Death

in
Europe
.


Political
:
Hitler’s

rise
,
Russian

revolution

of
1917,
Soviet

collapse

1991.

Examples

of
Wild

Cards


Techno
-
scientific

discoveries

and

inventions
: A
new

source

of
energy

(
cold

fusion
,
hydrogen
).


Comet

collision

with

earth


Sudden

climate

change
:
Ice

Age
.


Faster

global
warming
:
Crop

failure
,
coastal

flooding
.


Economic

depression
: Global
crisis


Terrorists

acquire

nuclear

weapons
.

5.
Devise

a
Strategy

for

the

Future


What

must

be done
to

avoid

an
undesirable

future
?
Who

can
work

for

this

end
:
individuals
,
NGOs
,
IGOs
,
or

governments
?


What

can be done
to

shape

a
desired

future
?


This

part

of
the

analysis

is
the

policy

part
.
It

is
a
valuable

contribution

of
futures

studies

to

global
well
-
being

in
terms

of
foresight

and

concrete

suggestions
.

Example

of
Scenario

Analysis
:


Prospects

for

Peace

in 2030

WİLL THERE BE MORE OR LESS WARS BY 2030?

Drivers
:

Arms

trade

Inequality

of
wealth

between

states

Resource

scarcities

Effrective

UN
Peacekeeping

Proliferation

of
WMDs

Levels

of
ethnic

tension
/
conflict

Population

growth

Immigration

from

South
to

North

Number

of
alliances
/
blocs

Select

Two

Drivers

1.
Arms

trade
:
This

term

is
used

to

denote

the

global
volume

of
arms

sales
.
It

is a
significant

driver

because

arms

races

never

stop
and

they

escalate

the

level

of
hostility

and

tension

to

actual

war
-
fighting

at
some

point
.

2.
Resource

scarcities
:
This

refers

to

dwindling

amounts

of
resources

such

as
oil
,
water
,
minerals
,
forests
,
etc
.
Throughout

history

humans

have

fought

over

scarce

resources

and

this

may

be a
cause

for

war

in
the

near

future

as
well
.

Build

a
matrix

High

arms

trade
,
low

resource

scarcity

High

arms

trade
,
high

resource

scarcity

Low

arms

trade
,
low

resource

scarcity

Low

arms

trade
,
high

resource

scarcity

Wild

Card


A
new

technological

breakthrough

in
arms

enables

all

actors
,
state

and

nonstate
,
to

have

easy

access

to

nuclear

weapons

of
mass

destruction
.
This

equilibrium

in
nuclear

power

starts

a
period

of
stability
,
that

is, a
cold

war

in
which

no
one

dares

to

start a
war

for

fear

of
retaliation
.
Until

the

balance

is
disrupted

by

a
further

innovation


Strategy


There

should

be an
institution

to

control

arms

trade

in
the

world
.
Limits

and

quotas

should

be
placed

on
arms

acquisitions

by

states
.
Illegal

arms

sales

or

trafficking

should

be
prevented

by

strict

police

control
.


Sustainable

development

policies

should

be
adopted

by

governments

to

prevent

resource

scarcities
.

Exercise


Democratization

of
the

world


(
Drivers

of
change
:
Inequality
,
economic

development
,
education
,
globalization
,
foreign

intervention
,
rise

of
NGOs
)


Wild

cards
:
revolution
,
coups
,
civil

wars
.

Exercise


The

gap

between

rich

and

poor

people


Drivers

of
change
:
Social

security

programs

(
welfare
),
foreign

aid
,
education
,
job

creation
,
population

control
,
land

reform,
tax

reform,
strength

of
trade

unions
.


Wild

card
:
Disease

kills

millions
,
poverty

is
eradicated
.


Exercise


Women’s

status


Drivers
:
education
,
women’s

employment
,
legislative

reforms
,
family

planning
,
number

of
women

in
government
,
number

of
women’s

rights

organizations
,
credits

and

loans

to

women
,
international

agreements

protecting

women
.


Wild

card
:
Fundamentalist

takeover
.

Exercise


Future

of
the

environment


Drivers
:
Consumption

of
resources
,
industrialization
,
pollution
,
number

of
international

agreements

for

environmental

protection
,
activities

of
NGOs
,
population

growth
.


Wild

card
:
Nanotechnology

can
produce

unlimited

amounts

of
resources

and

prevents

pollution
.