Sunday, December 21, 2008

A couple of scenario planning papers

Dare to Dream: Visions for Tomorrow (PDF) by Peter Schwartz of the Global Business Network
UPDATE: I've fixed the Dare to Dream link above. The old link was no longer active.

As a genre, science fiction has always stepped up to this challenge. from Jules Verne
and Frank Herbert to Star Trek and The Lord of The Rings, science fiction literature,
television and film have informed, influenced and inspired generations with dreams of
bright and exciting futures. today, SCI FI Channel hopes to build upon this legacy of
science fiction with our “Visions for tomorrow” campaign. through “Visions,” our aim
is to champion an optimistic outlook of the future, empowering individuals to meet the
challenges ahead and inspiring unique solutions to global dilemmas and challenges.

To achieve these objectives, SCI FI assembled an advisory board of 19 of the world’s
most relevant visionaries and innovators in business, government, science, technology,
design, journalism, film, television, and future studies.

For this report, SCI FI has called upon each advisory board member to share his or
her unique perspective on the future: hopes, fears, dreams, and uncertainties. this
report, created by advisory board member Peter Schwartz, Chairman, Global Business
Network, draws upon their distinct and visionary reflections and captures the common
themes, beginning with one scenario of how these themes may play out in a positive

Dave Howe
SCI FI Channel

Plotting Your Scenarios by Jay Olgivy and Peter Schwartz

This essay offers an approach to developing alternative scenarios with engrossing plots. Part One describes two different methods for answering a fundamental challenge: how to whittle the virtually infinite number of possible futures that could be described down to a finitely manageable three or four plots that will shed the most light on a specific organization’s future. Part Two then addresses the inverse question: Once you have determined the skeletal premises of just three or four scenarios, how do you put flesh on the skeletons? How do you elaborate the basic logics of skeletal scenarios into compelling stories? If Part One is about whittling an infinite number of possible futures down to a finite number of skeletal scenarios, Part Two is then about beefing up those skeletal outlines to discover the insights managers need. Part Three then adds 10 tips based on our 20 years of experience developing and using scenarios.

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