updated --> 

Tuesday, February 01, 2000

Wilkinson L. How to build scenarios. Wired (Special Edition) 1995

lets face it... these days, change happens at ever more accelerated rates.
"...how do we strike a balance between prediction -- believing that we can see past these uncertainties when in fact we can't -- and paralysis -- letting the uncertainties freeze us into inactivity" (p 74).

I. scenario planning
a. derives from the observation that, given the impossibility of knowing precisely how the future will play out, a good decision or strategy to adopt is one that plays out well across several possible futures.

II. purpose???
a. ...is NOT to pinpoint future events, but to highlight large scale forces that push the future in different directions. b. ...is about making these forces visible so that if they do happen, the planner will at least recognize them. c. ...is about making better decisions today.

III. step #1
a. Identify the focal issue or decision to be made. b. There must be agreement on the issue(s) that will be used as a test of relevance as we go through the rest of the scenario making process.

IV. step #2
a. Attempt to identify the primary "driving forces" at work in the present... EXAMPLE: a. Social dynamics (general) a. values... lifestyle (specific) b. Economic issues (general) a. international trade... tuition costs (specific) c. Political issues (general) a. next president?? (specific) d. Technological issues (general) a. biotech -- body hacking (specific) b. After listing primary driving forces... you must identify which of

are NOT to tell four stories. VIII. but that it will contain elements of all of our scenarios. VII. but if we step back we can bundle some together with some commonality to a single spectrum.will be true." V. Ultimately.. d. . We should try to make decisions today that make sense across as many of the plausible futures as possible. one of which -we hope as futurists -. b. b. Scenario planning helps us "rehearse" our responses to those possible futures. goals??? a. Cross the axes to define a matrix of four very different. And it helps us spot them as they begin to unfold. . scenario planning can prepare us in the same way that it prepares corporate executives: It helps us understand the uncertainties that lie before us. Why??? We want to better understand all uncertainties and their relationship with one another. Sort the remaining "uncertainties" leaving only the critical (key to our focal issue) ones.. but plausible quadrants of uncertainty. c. . simplify the entire list of "related" uncertainties into four opposing axes of uncertainty. but we need to focus on the few we believe are both most important to our focal issue and most impossible to predict.. Decisions that make sense in only one or two of the scenarios are tricky..them are "predetermined (completely outside your control). . b.ARE to pin down the corners of the plausible futures (the outer limits of what is plausible). we'll want to know the "early warning" signs that tell us which scenario is beginning to unfold. c. an axis of uncertainty. and what they might mean. b. c. At first all uncertainties look unique. step #4 a. implications??? a.. For these. step #3 a..ARE that we become able to recognize that the "real" future will not be any of the four scenarios. VI.