Rain or Shine: A Collaborative Guide to Forecasting & Scenario Planning
In an ever growing ambiguous future, scenarios act as a guiding light, not for the what will be, but rather the what might be.
Ahoy-hoy! We have created this toolkit to provide
several years these alternative futures
an overview of our process and
are not predictions of what will come,
outcomes. Our primary intent was to
but plausible vignettes of what might
create viable scenarios for the future;
occur. The overarching purpose of these
however, documentation of our research
futures is not to try to predict as much as
and activities is an equally important
to portray events in order to cultivate a
element of this toolkit. Our first step was
sensitivity to the early weak signals that
researching a wide variety of relevant
allow organizations to avoid crises and
topics including scenario planning,
maximize opportunities ahead of others.
history of trends, emerging trends, and visions of the future as seen through
While this toolkit will serve as the
science fiction literature.
primary documentation of the end results of a ten-week process, we also
Next, we synthesized elements of our
envision it to serve as a guidebook.
research through a range of interactive
The processes we have outlined,
practices such as affinitizing trends,
particularly the strategies for synthesis
plotting uncertainty and impact within
and application, can be implemented
a 3x3 matrix, and creating Axes of
in future meetings and workshops with
Logic. Finally, we began applying what
both employees and clients. We hope
we had learned to begin building
insights into our process will inspire
scenarios. Steps in this process included
you to continue the exploratory
developing tools and plots to visualize
journey we have begun and engage
scenarios, backcasting, and creating four
in further projects.
stories and futures of possible futures that portray overlapping eras of the next 80 years. Throughout the process it was the tenet that beyond the next
Whatâ€™s in store?
Components of Research
Introduction to Research for Scenario Planning, Understanding Trends & Drivers
Where to Begin?
Current Articles, Emerging Technologies, Science Fiction, Remarkable People
Things We Found Inspiring
Generation Analysis, Era Analysis, Timeline
Components of Synthesis
Introduction to Synthesis for Scenario Planning,
Affinitizing Trends & Information into Categories, Assessment of Trends, Grouping of Trends
Conducting a Workshop
Synthesizing Research as a Team, How-to Plan a Workshop, Workshop 1, Workshop 2
Itâ€™s an Iterative Process
Team Red Approach, Team Blue Approach
Appendices 54 The Team, Reading List Rundown, Definitions
Components of Research Phase 1
Introduction to Research for Scenario Planning
To understand why scenario planning
In the process of developing research
best to learn from the experts. There
for scenario planning, individuals must
is a plethora of scenario planning
tackle a variety of different subjects
books, however, some of the most
in order to obtain information over a
comprehensive and valuable are the
broad spectrum. This can also be done
seminal The Art of the Long View by
as a team, where each group member
Peter Schwartz, Scenario Planning in
tackle a few subjects to become
Organizations by Thomas Chermack,
â€œinstant expertsâ€? before sharing the
and The Scenario Planning Handbook:
main ideas for those subjects with the
Developing Strategies in Uncertain Times
rest of the group.
by Ian Wilson and Bill Ralston. Each of
is important and how it works, it is
these books offers an overview of the
The dispersion of research material
history of scenario planning, methods of
allows for more enriching conversations
scenario planning that complement the
as each member comes from a different
ideas explained in this toolkit, and case
perspective. The research material can
study examples of how scenario planning
be divided into two topics: research
has been implemented in businesses
on the basics of scenario planning and
around the world.
A storytelling tool for changing and understanding peopleâ€™s perceptions.
A direction by which society defines a change is taking place.
The physical markers and motivations that bring about change.
research on trends and drivers. Every
This Phase Will Build the Foundation In order to plan for a future landscape, we must first grasp what has happened, what is happening, and their implications for the future.
group member should have a good
Understanding Trends & Drivers
grasp of the basics of scenario planning,
In researching materials for trends
but dispersion can occur during the
and drivers, it is best to cover over-
research of trends and drivers.
arching world topics as well as those specifically relating to the client or project. It is also important to gather research from a myriad of various sources in order to gain a holistic representation of the facts. Trends and drivers can also be categorized in terms
Schwartz, P. (1991). The Art
of historical trends, present trends,
of the Long View. New York:
emerging trends, and future trends.
Where to Begin?
Variables that remain stable throughout time.
Novels can also help bring out
By researching key events of the past
Continously reading about emerging
previously unthought of information
and present and reading current articles
technologies and the future can give
or a direction that the research team
in the news, individuals can begin to
perspective on where experts believe
might want to pursue.
piece together cyclical patterns within
the world is moving. This information
trends such as human nature constants,
often provides the â€œmeatâ€? or the
and/or themes throughout time.
foundation for scenario planning as they
Look for information on the fringes
Examples of recommended sources
are the most reliable regarding their
by obtaining information from people
to find reliable current articles are Fast
impact on the future. These trends can
(e.g.. strangers, specialists, and even
Company, BBC News, The New York
be found in a variety of outlets such
friends). Multidisciplinary people and
Times, and Strategy+Business, just to
as infographics, videos, articles, and
unconventional thinkers can bring new
name a few.
books. Examples of recommended
ideas to the research team or reframe a
sources for emerging technologies are
preconceived perspective. Specialists,
BBC New: Future, TED Talks, Wired
such as Neil Howe co-author of The
News, Physics of the Future by Machio
Fourth Turning, brough insight and
Kaku, and Beyond Human: Living
realization of the cyclicality of time in
with Robots and Cyborgs by Gregory
terms of generations and turning points
Benford and Elisabeth Malartre.
throughout history. Some of the most
People with a completely different outlook or mental model than those inside the organization working on the issue.
An area not defined by the mainstream. A location that can provide a unique and uncommon mindset.
valuable insights can come from those
outside of scenario planning.
Science Fiction novels are a valuable and fun source of information as well. They are a form of scenario planning Plotting current trends that could play a major role as future drivers
outputs and are an effective example of how to blend emerging trends and drivers into a believable, futuristic story. Many classical, seminal books have been a source of foresight that have frequently forcast the present (e.g. Jules Vern, H. G. Wells, Arthur C. Clark, and William Gibson)
Schwartz, P. (1991). The Art of the Long View. New York: Random House.
Things We Found Inspiring
An example or broad theme that applies to a person or context.
Howe has also identified the concept
also notated for the past and current
Further discussion regarding predictions
The generational archetypes and Four
of Turnings that work in conjunction
generations. There also are four future
of education and toys for each of
Turnings studied by Neil Howe and
with generational cycles. A Turning is
generations following the cycles created
these generations based on their
his writing partner William Strauss
noted as a social mood or era. A cycle
by Howe, and each have been named
archetypes and relation to the Turnings
create a unique framework that can be
of Four Turnings lasts approximately 80
based on their archetypal model.
should be explored.
useful in understanding the impact and
to 90 years aligning with the timing of
scenarios. A generation is considered
generational shifts. The Fourth Turning
to be a cohort of individuals born over
is considered a time of crisis while a First Turning is where society emerges from a crisis and continues to rise through the Second and Third Turnings.
Generational Archetypes The four variants of generations that have been tracked to cycle regularly. Archetype
humans to view crises as an opportunity
for long-term gain rather than a cause
Reputation as child
community, affluence, technology
pluralism, expertise, due process
vision, values, religion
liberty, survival, honor
Howe emphasizes that understanding the cyclical nature of time allows
for panic. The ajoining chart provides comparisons of societal norms during each Turning. After developing a cursory
Using Turnings and archetypes as driving forces for scenario prototyping
a period of approximately 20 years. Members of a generation share similar experiences from childhood through their elder years. From this, Howe has identified four generational archetypes that cycle throughout time and he has traced these cycles back to the
Strauss, W., & Howe, N. (1992).
Arthurian Generation born between
Generations, the history of
1433 and 1460.
america’s future, 1584 to 2069. New York: Harper Perennial.
The Four Turnings
archetypes and Turnings, this
Periods of times that have been found to cycle in relation to generations. Turning
generation that have been born in recent
history through 80 years in the future.
Each generation is based on Howe’s
Vision of future
archetypes. The parents’ generation and
Gender role gap
organization’s past, future, and present customers. The chart on page 12 lists
their influences are also noted along with the Turning into which they were born. Educational trends and popular toys are
Generations that are born after a spiritual awakening.
Generations that are born during a great war or other historical crisis, a time when great worldly perils boil off the complexity of life.
understanding of the generational knowledge was then applied to your
10 / 11
Generations that are born after a great war or other crisis, during a time of rejuvenated community.
Generations that are born during a spiritual awakening, a time of social ideals.
Past Generations Generation
Silent Generation (artist)
Baby Boomers (prophet)
Generation X (nomad)
Shift from local to national control
Increased math & science curriculum
Montessori & alternative methods
Parents/Influencers Turning Education Trends
Current Generations Generation
Charter schools & increased options
Parents/Influencers Turning Education Trends
Due to technology’s influence and reach
The following section is a summarization
to all parts of the world, individuality
of the eras constructed by the SCAD
is transformed into a mindset of mass
graduate students. You will be able
vision. This vision affects the behavior
to find their process within the
of many sub-cultures, causing their
workshop section of this toolkit (pg.
12 / 13
32). You and your team can then use these (or your own) developed eras
With an ever growing need for
in order to pinpoint opportunities for
technology, accelerated production and
market strategy become imperative as investors seek out new marketplaces,
utilizing communication technology to
Technology is the Main Player
aid in the diffusion of their products to
The Post-Contemporary Era is primarily
every corner of the planet.
characterized by further development and advances in technology. Technology dominates the individual’s and the collective’s activities and environments. Due to its role in daily life, advances in
production of all technology becomes
Generation ID (nomad)
Turning Education Trends
not only accessible but affordable too. This furthers the diffusion of technology across the globe, becoming ubiquitous throughout geographic locations and cultural demographics. During this time, technology is deeply
However, while the needs for more
nested inside every discipline. Its
technological products escalate,
influence concentrates within education,
the usage of resources escalates
healthcare, communications and
dramatically as well. The world’s limited
supply of non-renewable materials spirals down at an ever faster rate than
Anticipating future generations based on infancy through adulthood
anticipated. Unfortunately only a few
cultures and the disappearance of many
in many more activities than simply
Increases in production yield more
people remain deeply concerned with
traditional sub-cultures. To earn money
shopping. Social Complexes will
pollution across the planet, thus the use
the rising ecological problems.
for survival in this materialistic lifestyle,
become the only location where
of outdoor space for family activities
individuals place more time into work
individuals can still enjoy their life
decrease exponentially. This influences
Post Industrial Era: (2013-2053)
with longer hours and greater stress.
outdoors due to severe climate change.
people to play indoors, seeking out new
The people of this Era rely on a largely
Employment is variable with immense
materialistic lifestyle. With the massive
competition for new jobs. Fluxuations
However, business also becomes more
need for material products and the
in the various global economies
complicated as non-renewable resources
The competitive environment of this
resources it takes to produce them,
exaserbates gaps within employment.
reach a point of termination. This tipping
middle class society makes education all
humanity endeavors to find new land
This is largely the rseult of economic
point pushes adults to work harder and
that much more important as an emblem
for replenishing resources. This leads
ression, automization of manufacturing,
for extended periods of time simply to
of social status. However, it also furthers
to greater migration across the planet.
and increassed labor exportation,
survive in such highly competitive market
to widen the gap between people.
A migration that also moves into the
ending with an expansion of those
environments. Added to that is the
virtual world as well.
task of searching for new resources for
End of the Contemporary Era: 2048-2068
energy and production in substitution of
Most of the technologies that are
traditional fossil fuels.
already known to us have come to their
The Technology Peak: (2033-2053)
experiences in virtual landscapes.
The Era of the Technology Peak is a
Layering generations, trends, and scenarios on a timeline to develop a robust understanding of future landscapes
The expanse of free trade networks gives rise to regional unions. These regions start conforming to broader social structures enabling the concept of “One Country.” This fosters hybrid and fusion
14 / 15
period where most technologies reach
The Era of Experience: (2013-2068)
a maximum point of development.
The Era of Experience is an extension
At this point, technology is available
of the service and experience economy
everywhere and to anyone in the world.
that emerged out of the beginning of
This ubiquitous technology maximizes
the 21st century. It overlaps with the
the online market space. Every family
Post-Contemporary Era, The Technology
owns 3D printing technology and
Peak, The End of the Contemporary
is able to order and print products
Era, and marks the beginning of the
directly from home.
Neo-Nomad generation. The increasing rise of the global middle class creates
The department store brings about
massive need for better products and
new social interactions evolving into
services. Manufacturing industries seek
a “Social Complex” or “Social Mall,”
to build new networks for outsourcing
a place where people can participate
in different countries while building relationships between one another.
Resources have run-out Climate change results in growing scarcity of food production Cautiuous unbalance in the social structure Economic crisis Like the 20th century after the first industrial revolution, everyone believed humanity could do anything with technology at their finger tips, everything was possible with the push of a button. People‘s vision of future became euphoric.
A demarcation in time and frames a period of time.
However, in the current era all
Nevertheless, humanity will still find its
to place for viable land, supplies, or for
development and activity is based on
Localization and self sufficiency
way, as life often does. New research
plundering. Developing new energy
excessive use and exploitation of energy
New material and research in education happen locally
and funding is driven into renewable
solutions to support war and long
resources, and the development of new
distance transportation become a main
technologies from them. Sustainability
focus for governments and remaining
becomes the most important issue
and raw materials. While some people tried to tread the path of sustainable practices, they lacked the patience. Instead, the pursuit of self-gratification has arisen as the primary focus while this new Nomad society perceives itself as self-sufficient. These excessive activities
Influx of constant conflict Tech development depends on new materials and needs Focus shifts to agriculture Fight for food and energy
result in negative climate change and foster scarcity of food as species
As the collapse of the Contemporary
continue to be driven into extinction.
Era comes to a close, which includes the Technology Peak, communication, globalization, and industrial eras, mankind suffers in the wake of a global storm, unhinging the social beliefs it one held dear.
of the times. Since the end of the Contemporary Era, most food
War begets war, with no end in sight.
producers, such as plants have died,
Eventually, there is a tipping point,
agricultural development transcends as
someone accomplishes the arduous
the most important task that person can
task of cultivating a new historic value
system, utilizing their innovation to save lives and put an end to the
Cross Road: (2073-2083) New social structure New emergence of tribalism Subculture empowerment WWIII
People move back to local regions
The scarcity of food
focusing on the goal of self sufficiency.
Restructuring generations to plot aptly on a timeline to create an era map
Finally, natural resources nearly cease to exists, exacerbating social conflicts, causing splintering, and unrest. The global economy collapses bringing to bear a time of great uncertainty.
16 / 17
continuous conflict. With this guiding light in hand, mankind will learn to leverage its newest asset, continuing its development ushering in a new era of innovation. Humanity will restore itself, and like the Phoenix, it too will arise from the ashes. A new dawn in human history is just on the horizon.
However, this is an age that is not easy
Chaos begets chaos. Society’s social
for one to live in. Many still live with the
structure reaches a point of schism,
harrowing memory of what many call,
humanity’s worldview shatters leaving
“the Collapse of the World,” still seeking
only one social motivator, guilt. With
their way in this new form of globalization,
a scarcity of food, some focus on
while enduring conflicts both big and
planting more food, while others obtain
small. Food and resources form constant
resources through stealing. The
Rebuilding human civilization
trigger points for new conflict.
scale of local conflict increases, thus
Seeking out mechanization
reviving old notions of tribal alliances
and confederacies for attacking and protection. A new darkness has befallen the world. People migrate from place
Dawn of New Humankind: (2083-2093) Increase in population New baby boom Mounting labor needs
Points in time that refer to the beginning of a transition or changing event.
It is a time for restoration and rebuilding
communities. Buildings, skyscrapers,
There are great lessons to be learned
and monuments will be rebuilt as a new
from the past, which in turn can help
face for society. In order to make up for
shape a desired future. In that spirit,
labor shortages, there will be a need
one direction forward used during
for mass automation of machinery for
research was to examine the history
production. Additionally, society must
of play and toys. This research focused
enact various policies for promoting the
on what we thought to be significant
re-growth of the population.
milestones in the historical evolution
18 / 19
of the artifacts of play and their Some professional disciplines will see
a reoccurring rise in popularity such
A visual diagram for viewing multiple points in time.
as architecture, industrial design,
These interests were heavily nested
mathematics, medicine and health,
in repeated patterns throughout the
agriculture and other related programs
timeline that had direct or indirect effects
to manufacturing. As dawn was brought
on the conditions of play and toys. Some
a new day, how will humanity shape
of those involved the mimicry of toys and
itself in the generations to come?
play within everyday life. It was observed that toys act as a representation of the mindsets of society; while play was the result of what the imagination made possible for toys. These artifacts would take on the shape and form of the prevailing societal influence and that, in turn, would inform play. At times this pattern would also act in the reverse, and in others there would be no clear evidence to support which came first.
Layering major world events, technology, and social movements to hone in on play trends
For this purpose the timeline was an
ideal visualization tool that marked the
By researching through a plethora
trajectories for the path play and toys
of information, scenarios of deeper
would most likely take. The benefit
substance and insight can be planned.
is the ability to use this trajectory
As Schwartz states in The Art of the
in planning scenarios that take into
Long View, â€œinvestigation is not just a
account the historical context. The
useful tool for gathering facts. It hones
result is a more grounded and holistic
your ability to perceive.â€?
framework for imagining the future and its relevance to scenarios.
Discussing timeline visualizations to create the most intuitive, robust visual possible
Components of Synthesis
Phase 2 Synthesis
Introduction to Synthesis for Scenario Planning
After research is collected, it is
amount of data is by clustering based
necessary to organize and synthesize
on similarities. This process is called
the resulting data in order to have
affinitizing and consists of identifying
useful and manageable information
common connections, casualties and
that can inform the scenario making
other kinds of relationships among the
process. This phaseâ€™s goal is to
data. This exercise allow a group to have
organize the collected information,
a better grasp of the information that is
interpret it, and find connections and
held and what information is missing in
relationships that will serve as the
order to build a stronger understanding
foundation for the development of
of the studied environment.
20 / 21
One way to consolidate the vast
Axes of Logic
A tool for building scenario mindsets and narratives.
A process of clustering data by likeness, seeking out patterns.
scenarios. This phase involved three steps: 1. affinitize information and
Customized PESTEL Framework
trends into categories, 2. assessment
PESTEL is a strategic management
of trends according to their level of
framework used to describe and analyze
uncertainty and impact, and 3. grouping
the macro- and micro-environmental
trends into Axes of Logic.
factors in terms of Political, Economical,
Social, Technological, Environmental
This Phase Builds Understanding Only with knowledge and context can begin to extrapolate what is to come, building not simply futures of the what might be, but the futures that we ourselves want to create.
Affinitizing Information & Trends into Categories
and Legal. It acts as a system for placing
The collected research comes from a
pre-established categories for this
wide spectrum of disciplines, therefore,
project, others can be added including
it is necessary to consolidate and give
Health, Educational, and Culture (HEC).
structure in order to make it useful
The value of affinitizing trends and
drivers into categories aids in creating
information. In addition to these
a common language between the information, visualizing the intangible
Chermack, T. (2011). Scenario Planning in Organizations. San Francisco: Barrett-Koehler. Schwartz, P. (1991). The Art of the Long View. New York: Random House.
The relationship of cause and effect upon different variables.
Assessment of Trends
already be seen. High uncertainty
Once all of the information has been
Once this data has been affinitized,
Uncertainty refers to the extent of
trends are those whose results cannot
affinitized into the matrix, those trends
assessment of the information is needed
which one can not be sure about the
be seen directly or with great precision.
that are low-to-medium uncertainty
in order to identify the trends that
plausibility of occurrence. The more
These potential trends often form the
and impact represent the pre-
are the most relevant to the project.
ambiguous and incomplete a driver
foundation of the scenarioâ€™s narrative.
determined elements of scenario
For this purpose, groups can be the
is, the higher its uncertainty level
The low to high rating of uncertainty
planning which set the basis for
methodology suggested by Ian Wilson
will be. The level of uncertainty may
is expressed from left to right along
storylines. Trends with high uncertainty
and Bill Ralston in The Scenario Planning
be assessed based on supporting
and high impact represent the many
Handbook: Developing Strategies in
information for a trend, however, it
Uncertain Times. This method sorts
should be plotted on the axes.
information according to the levels of Tool: 3x3 Matrix
22 / 23
alternatives of the future to be explored. Following this, data should then be plotted based on the impact and the
uncertainty and impact that each data
relevance to the project. Here the
point has relevant to the industry.
This criteria will be analyzed based on
team should evaluate the relevance of
relevance and pertinence to the subject
each trend against the business and
matter. Here a group should consider
how its impact could challenge either
the correlations and secondary aspects
the market, the consumer behavior,
that can have influence on the business
or its manufacturing. For example,
or situation at hand. By looking for the
decisions of impact can be made based
causality of trends and drivers, data points
upon your organizationsâ€™s market,
can be placed with greater accuracy.
manufacturing, retail, and other factors. High impact trends will be placed higher
Scrutinizing current trends to pinpoint levels of uncertainty and impact Ralston, B., & Wilson, I.
Making the Assessment
on the axis while those with low impact
Assessment of information can be done
lie closer to the Axis of Uncertainty.
using a 3x3 or a 2x2 matrix. These mark
Using the data located within the high
the level of uncertainty from high to
uncertainty and high impact area can
medium to low along the horizontal axis
be combined in order to establish and
and the level of impact from high to low
explore different mind sets for the
on the vertical axis. The first step is to
scenarios. This process allows for a wide
plot the information along the axis of
range of alternatives and helps develop
uncertainty. Trends with low uncertainty
storylines with robust and holistic views.
(2006). The Scenario Planning
tend to have the highest likelihood
Handbook. South Western
of happening as their presence can
Grouping major trends and converting them to bipolar opposite axes
Conducting a Workshop
Tool: 2x2 Matrix
Developing Axes of Logic
These initial ideas form the beginnings
Synthesizing as a Team
Axes of Logic help to build a frame of
of the scenario plots. Further
This process was developed and
reference and mindset around a scenario.
exploration is required after this
executed by a team of graduate
Each trend creates its own axis using
process, but the general scenario
students from the Savannah College of
opposing extremes of that individual
propositions are shaped and ready to
Art and Design (SCAD).
trend to build polarity with the actual
trend hosted in the center. This activity
24 / 25
acts as an all-inclusive perspective for
In the scenario planning process,
A creative and exploratory process
workshops are a necessity. They offer
in its own right, mind mapping is a
the capability to bring a team together
Plotting Axes in a 2x2 Matrix
technique for extrapologating ideas
to achieve goals and expand ideas,
Once the axes have been developed,
and their interlocking connections. In
while bringing diversified mindsets into
the next step is to take two axes and
the workshop sections to come there
the same arena. There are many points
How-to Plan a Workshop
combine them into a 2x2 matrix. The
will be outlined applications for using
of value that workshops add to scenario
Every workshop must be planned and
resulting four quadrants blend the two
mindmaps to generate scenarios
development, most notably, that by
designed for execution. During the
topics generating multiple mindsets.
working in small groups, creativity and
planning phase there are a myriad
idea generation are multiplied by each
of variables that must be taken into
additional group member. Secondly,
account to ensure success. Here is a
This is a tool for exploring the future by
by including different perspectives, a
short list of items to be aware of items
extrapolating the past. Backcasting as
workshop can expand and take a group
to keep in mind.
a method allows for groups to define
from siloed thinking through
their the points in time that lead up to a
to collaboration. Below you will find
What to Achieve/Goal Setting
a helpful step by step guide for
Before any workshop can be facilitated,
designing and staging a scenario
a series of agreed upon goals must be
established. Goal setting will vary from workshop to workshop, but these are a key feature for ensuring that you take away just as much as you put in.
Backcasting trends to demonstrate their evolution and etymology
Discussing impact and uncertainty of trends and their relationship.
The established parameters by which a measurement can be gained.
Number of People & Why
thus it is also good to account for
Buckets: Building Categories
Just as with goals, metrics are a
Depending on the desired goals and
recording devices. These items can
Framework tools act as general
necessity for the planning phase. By
plan for the workshop, numbers play
be photographs, video and vocal
categories to which information can
setting criteria for judging a workshopâ€™s
a key role in its success. Too many
recordings, and handwritten notes.
be placed. They allow for structure
successes and failures the facilitation
people within a single group can lead
team can ensure a level of measurability.
to distraction. If a workshop requires
identification. As noted previously
For a helpful starting point, metrics that
more than five active participants they
Color coding is a helpful way to gage
in the Research Phase of this toolkit,
can be included are: group cohesion
should be broken into two or more
group participation if the workshop
STEEP and PESTEL are useful for their
and collaboration, novel information
groups. A group should only consist of
team is composed of members from
generalizations to ensure that a variety
and conversation, and number of
three to five participants at any given
different departments or organizations.
of different data points can be included.
time. This will ensure that each group
It acts as a perceptual tool and aid
Of course, STEEP and PESTEL are not
is manageable and that all participants
for both instant visualization and the
the only way to take ownership of data
Making an Agenda
can be active in the workshop. It is also
parsing or organization of ideas.
gathering. It is also suggested, that if
Putting a plan into action will require
helpful to use participant numbers to
both process and strategy. A clear
identify how many facilitators a group
workshop agenda will keep the group
should have. The planners should take
on track and on time, ensuring stability.
into account at least one lead facilitator and one who acts as an assistant.
and simple points of reference for
workshop success. It is best to hold a workshop in a room with open walking space to accommodate movement. A workshop also has material necessities as well. Materials should be provided in a highly visible manner, and usually Group participants to disperse knowledge and background for more well-rounded discussion
consist of easel pads or large sheets of butcher paper, large whiteboards and markers, large and small notepads, and sticky notes. Sessions should also be recorded for further reference,
The process of building multiple, lo-fidelity variations.
buckets are to added they should be
Workshop 1: Identifying Trends, Impact & Uncertainty
specific to the situation or organization
The following section can be used
plot trends and drivers it is best to use
as a guide for executing a scenario
(e.g. adding Marketing or Parenting). To sticky notes because they can be easily
Part 1: Identifying Trends & Drivers
Part 2: Introducing the Matrix
Location & Things to Provide Location is a key component for
26 / 27
The first step is for the group to build a robust list of drivers and trends. This can be executed by using different framework tools such as STEEP (Social, Technology, Environmental, Economic, and Political) or PESTEL (Political, Environmental, Social, Technology,
Make your own buckets
Part two operates in a two-step process. At this point, a matrix is used to plot the data gathered through the identification phase. The matrix can be either a 2x2 or 3x3 depending on the desires of the workshop planners.
Tool: 2x2 Matrix
Economic, Legal). Tool: 3x3 Matrix
Overlaps & Differences
points. Conversational mapping will
As a group, the workshop participants
The second step is to then rate along
Looking for overlaps and differences
allow the group to see a visual dialogue
should first measure uncertainty
the vertical axis the level of impact or
stimulates groups to seek out patterns
of the overall reflection process. In
along the horizontal axis. To do this,
importance of the data. Like uncertainty,
and the relationships between them.
turn, this will offer a reference point to
participants will plot their trends and
impact is also rated as low to high. As
This is a time for questions and discourse
language used, their relationships to
drivers, that were gathered during the
a helpful tip, it is best to rate impact
where applying a familiar process, such
stories, and their tires to other points
previous exercise, based on a low to
based upon the relevance to the goals
as comparing two matrices, makes an
throughout the conversation.
high uncertainty scale.
of the workshop, whether that be
important task a part of a normal activity.
relevance to an organization, situation,
When conducting comparisons, it is
Part 3: Building Scenario Prototypes
or environment. This way impact can be
helpful to know where to begin: first look
This is the point at which the workshop
assessed using causality, or the relation
for commonalities in language between
scenario prototypes come about. There
of cause and effect. For example, how
the groups. This can include words or
are many different approaches that the
would impact be measured as it relates
groups of words. Secondly, compare
workshop can take at this point. You will
to a growing, global middle class?
the locations of these terms. How did
find a series of methods below.
28 / 29
Tool: Conversational Mapping
one group rate one term compared
Using the Uncertainty x Impact matrix as a vehicle for discussion
It is common to be asked, How do I rate a low to high uncertainty? A helpful tip is to discuss where there is current activity around a certain trend or driver.
to another? What are the differences
For workshops that contain multiple
and similarities in thinking between the
groups working independently on the
groups? Are their placements similar?
same process, looking for comparisons
Did one group note a particular set
between groups calls for a time of
of drives that another did not? How
reflection and conversation. To do this
differently did each group approach
it is best to take each groupâ€™s matrices
the project? Did one group focus more
and place them side by side.
internally while another externally?
If one of these data points can currently
be seen as active in the news, internet,
To help record the discussion that takes
or market place, then it can be assessed
place during the reflection, it can be
that this point could be placed in the
helpful to have two or more workshop
low to mid uncertainty range. This does
assistants mapping the conversation.
not always hold true, for example, trade
This is a technique very similar to mind
laws are very certain but their time of implementation and specificity are highly uncertain.
mapping where an individual draws links
and connections between conversation
Using conversational mapping to record and visualize connections during a group synthesis discussion
High Impact/High Uncertainty
participants can begin setting the
axis within a 2x2 matrix. Using each axis
Before building the workshop
situation and context for a story to
as a guide, participants should then
Now that the workshop is complete
prototypes it is necessary to identify
blossom. The story prototype should
build environments around different
and a series of scenario prototypes
the areas of high impact and high
include a year or timeframe based on
quadrants within the 2x2. It is not
have been developed (numbers will
uncertainty. These are the key areas
the initially agreed upon goals of the
necessary to plot every quadrant, but
depend on the goals of the project,
from which a scenario is made. It is
workshop (e.g.. if the goal is to examine
at least two should be used together to
but it is good to have a range of three
here that the groups will choose a
20 years into the future, then choose a
build a scenario. (Although, sometimes a
to five) these can be taken and further
series of data points to use to frame
time within that scope). Other elements
“forced” quadrant adds to the thinking.
refined into full-length scenario narrates
their scenario plots. What makes this
should also be taken into account
quadrant a high value point is that it
such as protagonists, the physical
leverages what is the most unknown
environment, and the drivers and other
At the end of the workshop, it is
with what is considered the highest
elements that form points of interaction.
important to synthesize the scenario
impact, allowing for the greatest Point of Interaction
The intersection of many actions into one instant.
Tool: Axes of Logic
plausible futures to be generated.
30 / 31
through secondary workshops or through group writing sessions.
prototype into a small storyboard Axes of Logic
to visually illustrate the ideas the
Axes of logics, help to frame mindset
participants have put into them.
Leveraging Conversational Mapping
plots for a scenario. To do this each
Storyboarding should not require an
group should choose between two
extreme amount of effort; however,
If the workshop contains more than one
to four data points from the high
having an industrial designer, illustrator,
group, and the conversational mapping
uncertainty and high impact quadrant.
or video planner as part of the
process is utilized, this can act as a
It is best to choose based on low or
workshop team can bring the necessary
creative combination tool for bringing
least commonality for later steps. Each
skill sets to visualize a scenario. When
in information across all groups. To
of those chosen are then placed in
storyboarding, it can be helpful to frame
conduct this exercise, choose a series
the center of a horizontal axis to build
whole sections of a plot in multiple
of three to four of the highest rated
separate logics. The reason for placing
panels, or depending on time, one
data points and choose three to four
them at the center point is to consider
frame can be used to illustrate each
elements from the map. These will
them as “business as usual” or taking
scene within the plot. Ultimately, this is
act as the scenario’s environment to
the mindset that this is nothing new.
a decision for the group to make.
which a plot is derived. At this point,
Now each group must build extremes
Bringing written scenarios to life through sequential storyboarding
based on the central point of each logic, these can be positive or negative. The next step in this process is take
Ralston, B., & Wilson, I.
each axis and plot them against another
(2006). The Scenario Planning Handbook. South Western Educational
Workshop 2: Era & Projection Mapping
As mentioned earlier within the toolkit,
page 11/12), that drive the evolution
Eras are periods in time, amalgamated
the work of Neil Howe and William
of time and society. Understanding
This section of the toolkit offers a
through their similarities in events
Strauss has been used to understand
the concept of Turnings and their
series of helpful workshop processes
and environments. They are tools for
the evolution of generations and
application in long term planning act
for understanding and leveraging
understanding the past and envisioning
identify archetypal markers that cycle
as a strengthening tool for
era and projection mapping for
the future; just as much as they are
throughout time. This has led them
understanding times of societal high
seen, they are felt, and they are
to build a generational framework
and catastrophic low.
experienced. However, eras are also
that is cyclical and based on four
dynamic and layered. While there may
core archetypes: the Hero, the Artist,
When building long range scenarios
be an overarching paradigm such as the
the Prophet, and the Nomad (refer
Planning plays an integral role in
(those in excess of 20 years) it is necessary
Renaissance or Enlightenment, there are
back to the charts on page 11/12).
working with long range scenarios.
to develop eras to map time placement.
always smaller, more tightly knitted
According to Howe and Strauss,
Depending on the situation and
This process allows those in the scenario
eras that fit within or overlap these
these cyclical archetypes consistently
goals of the project, it may not be
generation process to categorize time
recur throughout time. Utilizing the
necessary to adventure so far out into
generational framework in scenario
the future. Ultimately, it comes down
based on projections. As teams move into more in depth scenario writing, these
building can help organize an
to the dependencies of the project
time plots will act as reference points
People form generations and they
understanding of the mindsets at work
parameters. However, it is suggested
marking similar events, or the emergence
in turn are defined by them.
within a particular time period.
that for looking even into the near
of a new paradigm shift.
Generations are social constructs for
32 / 33
future (5-20 years) that scenario projects
categorizing individuals born within a
certain timeframe, an average of about
Similar to generations, these are
20 years. Generations are thematic,
also a cyclical framework develop by
just as eras, containing archetypes
Howe and Strauss. Just as there are
that are collectively expressed
four generational archetypes, so too,
through similarities in ideals, desires,
are there four Turnings. Turnings are
described as markers in time, repeating
leverage projection of time into their
cyclically. A Turningâ€™s cycle is similar to that of a generation with an average of 20 to 30 years. Each of the Four Turnings exhibit certain elements, such Exploring the future always requires constant conversation
as they conflict, unification, or culture wars (refer back to the charts on
Sticky notes allow for quick prototyping and constant readjustment
The degree to which a scenario is believable.
process and backcast. Doing so allows
Rating More for Better Discourse
relevance to the mission, or relevance
for greater plausibility when narrating
Depending on the desires of the
Looking for Common Themes - After
to the project objective. A third metric
scenarios by allowing causality to be
workshop planning team, each station
the rotation sessions have been
should also include Blindspots, looking
viewed in the long term. If a scenario
can approach the scenario process
completed the groups should come
for challenges to the norm, or as yet
project is looking to understand a
differently, using methods supplied in
together to identify overarching themes
unseen new market potential.
situation in the coming 20 years then
the previous workshop descriptions; or
throughout their prototypes. Due to
the team should project 20 years further
each station can organically build their
group dynamics, each scenario will
Weighting Based on Percent
to explore the cause and
own approach through amalgamating
invariably have an elemental tie to
While using the Likert Scale for assigning
effect of the desired timeframe.
another. Each team should bring their
numerical value is a plus, it is also a
scenario outline up and tell the whole
good idea for the group to identify
group a short story, incorporating the
weighted percentages on the value they
Each station should contain supplies
elements of the scenario. It is suggested
place on each individual metric. This will
to be used by the teams such as sticky
that while this is going on a workshop
be based on the nature and goals of
To conduct this workshop it is necessary
notes, markers, and easel pads.
facilitator or assistant is compiling the
the workshop itself, in some instances
common themes into a document.
plausibility may outrank relevance or
This is taking a holistic approach to better understanding.
A location where groups converge to participate in aspects of a workshop.
to set up a series of individual stations throughout a room or rooms. Depending on the numbers of those in the workshop and the desired number of teams (we suggest small teams of three), the number of stations will be dictated based on these constraints. Scenario Prototype Stations with Many People This is an optional workshop used to explore many multiple scenario prototypes using many participants (12 or more in number). The objective is not to generate high quality prototypes, but rather generate high quantity. This exercise is not only one of creative generation, but it one of fostering collaboration with fellow participants.
vice versa. Ultimately, the percentages
Group Rotation Rotation is a key aspect of this exercise.
Using Metrics to Rate
should total to 100. By weighting each
It allows for individuals to work with new
To build a better case for a scenarioâ€™s
metric a statistical numerical can be
members and experiment in new ways.
plausibility, the participants should rate
calculated for later plotting.
This should also be a time conscious
each scenario as a group based on
endeavor, accounting for a at least 30
decided a metric system. It is useful
Using a Spreadsheet
minutes per session.
to use to use a Likert Scale for the
A digital spreadsheet can as
rating, either a 1 to 5, 1 to 7, or 1 to
a marking board for rating the
10 should suffice.
prototypes. It is a highly useful tool when compiling data.
What Metrics to Use Metrics should always be specific to the particular goals of the project. First and foremost, each scenario should be rated based on Plausibility and Relevance. Relevance may also include relevance to the organization,
34 / 35
A psychometric scale used to gage variables in questionnaires and interviews.
The degree to which a scenario is relatable to the key issues of the project.
The unforeseen areas of conflict or opportunity.
Tool: Visual Diagramming
Part 1: Plotting through Time
Leveraging Generational Archetypes
Leveraging Trends & Drivers
Using Howe’s archetypes as a
Now it is time to return to the matrices
Drawing out a timeline is a visual
foundation, the participants can take
used in previous workshops that
asset and is one that is necessary for
their work to a whole new level of
plotted trends and drivers based on
the workshop. By thinking visually, the
depth. These archetypes act as a
High Uncertainty and High Impact.
team has the ability to make tangible
cultural frame of reference and can be
The matrices’ sticky notes will become
their intangible thought. It acts
stacked based on each generation’s
transferred across the timeline.
as a medium for fostering conversation
age and position. At certain points in
and participation. This can be done
time one generation will be the acting
Rating Through Time Based
with a large easel pad or whiteboard,
primary workforce while another is at
whichever the participants decide
a point of retirement and another still
Here is the point at which the workshop
just newborns. Due to the nature of the
participants will rate their trends and
project’s scope, either global or local,
drivers along the timeline. This is a
it is important to take into account
process of marking out uncertainty,
that every region experiences different
similar to what was done with the
generations at slightly different times.
matrix before. Trends and drivers can
What might be a strong generation
be placed along the timeline at points
of Millennials in the U.S. and Europe,
where those in the workshop feel it
might be a slightly lagging generation
is most applicable. For example, one
of Millennials in South East Asia. Not
trend may already be seen as a budding
every generation or generational title
innovation, however, its entrance into
lines up universally.
the market may not be for another decade or more. These are necessary
Digitizing parts of synthesis can serve as a springboard for the entire group during a workshop, by supplying print-outs or hanging on walls
Marking Generations Once the timeline is drawn, it is important to mark out generations. Depending on the length and scope of the project this could be one or several generations of roughly 20 years in length. It makes for a valuable reference point when building upon generational mindsets.
points to take into account.
36 / 37
Using the Many Prototypes (optional) Using the many prototypes methodology applies the various scenarios to the timeline similar to that of trends and drivers. Here the group will plot out the basic outline of each scenario based its plausibility and possibility in time. Secondly, the group will utilize the metrics system they applied during the previous workshop by rating from high to low their scale. By doing this, the group will have
An outline helps build a narrative by identifying the cause and effect and linking them through time
The visualized flow of positive and negative points throughout time.
Tool: Time Wave
constructed a “time wave” visually
As answers and questions are drawn
Looking for Commonalities
Part 4: Building Era Archetypes
depicting both high and low points
visually, the group should then examine
Building Era Titles & Mindsets
throughout time. When building new
cultural pressures by looking to see
The next step within this process is
Developing names for eras is directly
eras later on, this will be a helpful
what are the key generational overlaps
to look across generations. Are there
related to the Pattern Recognition
visual diagram for capturing events
and archetypes that are in play. How
events or tipping points that are marked
phase of the workshop. As participants
does the leadership of one generation
by the rise of one generation that echo
notate their descriptions of generations
affect the reactions by the generation
their wake into generations further
and events these will become the
Part 2: Building Time based Events
that immediately follows? Again, this
down the road? Is there any causality?
guiding force for naming eras. It is
adds further layering, enriching the
Does one series of events cause cultural
important to remember that where one
To build events and turning points to
scenario development process.
revolutions between generations
era begins another era does not always
as seen with Boomer generation
end, but rather they overlap and flow
throughout the 1960s and 70s?
over, under, and through one another.
give structure and breadth, it is useful to capitalize on mind mapping. This
Part 3: Pattern Recognition (Affinitizing)
exercise will combine many factors
Looking for Commonalities in Decades
from the plotted trends or scenario
Now that the workshop team has
Recognizing Time Waves
prototypes, archetypal mindsets, and
created a rich and flowing timeline of
Time waves were mentioned earlier
Howe’s generations. This fusion builds
events it is time to seek out patterns
within this workshop as a visual
creative, believable, and immersive
and ask even more questions about
diagramming tool. They are referred to
narrative threads that emerge from
the nature of the future. At this point,
as waves for their ebb and flow of the
linking patterns. Here is a process
the participants should first look across
positive and the negative throughout
example for guidance: Assume that one
decades for commonalities. Have there
time. By visualizing time waves, can any
of the plotted trends is “Emergence
been cycles of financial depression?
large cycles be noted, such as Turnings?
of Africa as a manufacturing Mecca.”
What about materials usage? It is
Do peaks in the waves arise out of crisis
It shall act as the center point on the
helpful to seek out patterns and
or cultural enlightenment? How does
mind map. From there, the participants
overarching themes. Do some themes
one wave beget the next?
must ask questions, such as What would
resonate while others are shorter lived?
be the cause of this?, Why Africa? and What pressures have caused this paradigm shift? It is once again a time where communication among participants is most crucial.
38 / 39
Scenario planning is iterative, always refer back to previous actions and frameworks. There is never a need to reinvent the wheel.
Titling & the Value of Words
With an in-depth timeline built, rich
Words hold immense power and that
social and generation constructs
power must be leveraged during the
mapped, and well defined eras in place,
naming process. Names should be
participants are well prepared to
no longer than a single word or short
build comprehensive narratives to
phrase. Brevity is an asset that should
not be denied. For help, have each participant list out a series of different eras in the past and ask why that title gives power and how does it describe the time from which it came? Summarizing Eras The final phase that participants should undertake, is one of synthesis. Titling an era covers only a fraction of the breadth the workshop team has accomplished. Now it is necessary to digest and immerse oneself into to the material to summarize the compiled data. Summaries can take many forms, however, they should not only include an overview of the era along with its titles, there should also be a list of the positives and negatives that are faced at that time. For a sample, refer back to the Era Analysis section of this toolkit for a guided reference.
Schwartz, P. (1991). The Art of the Long View. New York: Random House.
40 / 41
Writing Scenarios Phase 3
Trends & Drivers
The task of developing future scenarios
Through the gathered research, the
for any subject matter (activity, entity
team will be able to identify many
or element) requires specific research
varying forces. The relevance of these
aimed at covering the wide range of
forces to the scenario planning process
topics that can affect it. These topics
can be determined on the basis of
can be as diverse as the taskâ€™s scope
uncertainty and the level of impact
permits, and should tap into the
on the subject matter. The matrix
core of the subject matter as well as
consists of a scale from low to high of
in issues that could at first glance
uncertainty and impact, which is directly
appear off topic.
related to the effects, or how important the data point is for the subject matter.
Being conscious of how different
This Phase is the Capstone
systems, (be that understood as
Deciding on where to locate trends
economic, environmental, social,
within the areas of the matrix is up to the
political, etc.) affect the subject matter
team members, either by an individual
is key to directing the research scope. It
decision or a consensus after an open
is from this extensive research bank that
discussion. The forces in the areas with
the groups can become well equipped to
higher uncertainty and higher impact will
identify the myriad number of forces that
be most relevant to address for scenario
form all the different systems consisting
building, because these lead to the most
of past, present and future trends.
different and significant future that form
This phase will be the culmination of all your hard work and planning. While fun, it is necessary to maintain a strategic approach to retain the foundational elements.
the foundation to write about within The Trends and Drivers systems map
the scenario. It is important that other
serves as reference point throughout the
elements located in the low and medium
whole scenario planning process; as a
areas are not forgotten as they frame the
tool the team can go back to it to guide
details when creating scenarios.
approaches in developing scenarios.
42 / 43
Tool: Systems Map
Tool: 3x3 Matrix
It’s an Iterative Process
To better understand the dynamic
3 X 3 Matrix
Each new scenario project is different,
processes of scenario planning, two
The elements of the system maps were
Mindmapping is an approach to
and the development team must
teams of SCAD graduate students
separated and scaled in the uncertainty/
developing scenarios that visualizes how
leverage the appropriate tools for
formed to explore cultivate a mindset
elements of the scenario relate within
each. This comes from the premise that
for scenario planning. Here you will find
the systems that make up the narrative.
you cannot contextualize information
a breakdown of each team’s approach
Before, we discussed identifying forces
the same if the narrative is different. It
and the narratives that evolved. The two
around systems for organizing trends;
becomes important to tailor specific
teams, Red and Blue, independently
mindmapping is similar in that it relates
tools for each scenario to appropriately
leveraged similar and different tools for
forces around the systems that construct
address the narrative.
the narrative. PESTEL Analysis
44 / 45
PESTEL analysis is a way to deepen a
When creating a scenario about the
team’s understanding of the political,
future it can be helpful to show a visual
environmental, social, technological,
narrative that allows all members of
legal and economic circumstances that
the team to understand and have
set the stage for scenarios, narratives,
context for how the scenario would look
and projections. If a PESTEL analysis is
and feel. Storyboards help make the
employed before a narrative is created
abstract more realistic.
the narrative stands a better chance of
Team Red Approach Trends and Drivers Systems Map The trends identified by the team members during research were explored by using mindmaps. This method enabled the team’s conversation around relationships of cause and effect. Using this approach, trends were analyzed based on systems.
being robust and plausible because such Backcasting
a tool forces the team to think about the
Once relevant trends and drivers were
The ability to backcast can make the
important aspects relevant to the project
identified by the group, it was helpful
distant future more accessible by
that can easily be glossed over when
to map these according to the systems
allowing team members to create a
thinking about an abstract of the future.
they belong to. The team gathered
scenario that includes a series of events
It is a tool for grounding the team.
all of the forces identified around an
leading up to the ideas that frame the future and/or storylines. It is a tool for guiding history in scenarios.
environment while at the same time highlighting those that appeared more relevant to the task. Team Red found it to be a useful tool to reference a mindset for the subsequent scenario planning process.
For this step each team member chose a few data points to place on the matrix by themselves while other elements were organized based on group
Using the 3x3 matrix to cluster trends can provide insight into company blindspots and create direction for pertinent scenarios
discussion. At this point, it was very important to establish and how rate each element played in its impact on your organization. Scenario Mind Maps
Tool: Systems Map
Returning to system thinking, the narratives for the scenarios were envisioned by the team members based on relationships of causality. Team Red discussed and explored the
Tool: 3x3 Matrix
many implications that chosen drivers
Structures For Scenarios
technology helps humanity. Robots
to the people who never stood a
could have for a future trend. From
Scenario mindmaps were the team’s first
form the base of the pyramid,
chance? Thus evolves a lower than low
this exercise narratives were created
step for constructing the scenario. Next,
obediently taking care of all those
class, one of extreme poverty, where the
that explored future developments
the team organized the elements
activities that humanity does not want
structure of the government remains in
within areas such as social, economic,
of the scenario according to its specific
or finds too dangerous.
its top down hierarchy.
environmental or political. With further
context within a framework that
development of key narrative points
communicates the narrative. These
The question that arises is, What
Building scenarios through polarized
such as characters and conflicts, these
models were developed as a
happens with society? If we start
thinking is not the proper approach
stories evolved into scenarios.
visualization method and serve as
thinking about toys, about play, or any
to take. Extremes only bring about
organizers of the narrative’s elements
other facet of life, we need to take into
black and white outcomes, never truly
consideration the environment and the
reflecting reality. However, there is still
society around which these can evolve.
an opportunity to mold and merge. The
Robot’s Era Our biggest dreams vs our biggest fears
Robot’s Era Fragmented world
Scarcity of resources Food, energy, space, clean environments
Toys As companionship and educational support (only for the privileged)
The few remaining natural resources are onle for the privileged
The technological advances evolve in a way that everyone is highly intelligent There is not scarcity of resources anymore
The technological advances evolve in a way that only few people get benefit from it
Food technology, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, new clean energy sources championed world’s problems
No poverty, no hunger Toys Administrators
As companionship and educational support for everyone
Lower than low class
next task at hand was to mix the poles,
In the scenario titled Robot’s Era, the
In this scenario there is a single social
finding a path of opportunity to create
team explored how our biggest dreams
class due to the fact that the world has
a narrative, because as history has
about technology come true but also
moved beyond its difference into a
shown, not everything ends well and
how these can become our biggest
new state of being. Work is thus taken
neither does it all end horribly. History
fear. This is an example of forming a
over by robots while people expand
will always be a mixture of the two. This
narrative which takes into consideration
the creative job market. Here there is
is where Team Red found a scenario
the process. Technology is taking us to
no hierarchical government; it has been
opportunity, exploring what is already
a different place; it is shaping the way
substituted by the Administrators who
happening and incorporating elements
we interact, the way we communicate,
serve the people.
that could happen. The pyramid acts as
the way we grow, and the way we play. Social Classes High class Robots Low class lower that the robots
Social Classes Unique class: devoted to creative works Robots: Menial jobs (production, maintenance, security)
There is not middle class Catastrophic gap between High Class & Low Class
Socio-economical structure Leader as an administrator
Socio-economical structure Top-down Leadership
But what happens if all goes wrong? On the positive side of that story,
What if we turn the tide from positive to
Busy Parents: Too Big to Fail
humanity moves into a golden age:
negative? What if humanity can solve its
Imagine for a moment, global warming
technology evolves, issues of global
problems and yet catastrophe strikes?
rapidly continues for the worse; a
food development are solved, medical
The gap between those in a favorable
problem humanity must fix immediately.
advancements cure disease and
position and those that are not will
All of society must channel their efforts
affliction. This is a happy world where
expand and deepen. If robots remain
into righting an ecological wrong. As a
humanity’s labor force, what will happen
consequence parents do not have time
Visualization of the Robot’s Era People can not make their way up
People can make their way up
Education System Homogeneous Standardized education Not non standard systems (loss of Montessori)
a model from which narratives evolved.
46 / 47
for their childrens’ personal care. There
Maybe the children only see their
technology has reached its maximum
Council’s mega trends publication
is not even time to care for a pregnancy
parents once a week or once a month
and now updates are only software?
Alternative Worlds: Global Trends 2030.
or care for the infant in its first years.
or once a year. How can connections
The newest and latest information
Rather than natural child birth, people
be kept? Here we can begin to see how
comes in the form of plug-ins. Artifacts
By looking for patterns the team was
begin having children by surrogacy
toys could act as a new interface.
become generic with information acting
able to cluster their drivers into six
as the change agent. By thinking about
key groups: Economic, Materials/
and sending them away to be raised. This leads to the creation of cities for
this, we also start exploring ideas about
Technology, Disruptive Technology,
children, a location for their growth
Returning back to technology, it acts
toys. Maybe there is a new trend for
Global Shifts, Communities/Social, and
as a change agent, shaping the way
toys within that framework. What if the
Individual Mindsets. These acted as
we interact. Now begin imaging, what
shape of the toy is no longer relevant
buckets to help build context.
If in this environment parents are not
happens if instead of investing in
anymore, but rather it is the content
there but rather traveling and working
technology for robots it was invested
along with new subscriptions? So now
around the clock. The toy, then, evolves
in ourselves. What if humanity became
instead of purchasing new items, users
part of that computing power that
just buy a subscription and the new
is everywhere and in everything?
information comes straight to you. Now
What if the wireless Internet was truly
backcast to the near-term, physical toys
ubiquitous? WiFi would be a word
are a subscription based service, like
of the past, rather than hotspots,
early Netflix DVDs. The effect on toy
hotspaces would exist, the Internet
design would focus on materials that
would be everywhere. How would that
could be steralized and refurbished.
Ubiquitous Technology: Era of the Subscriptionto Internet is everywhere like air
between the parents and their kids.
Rich class is the owner of Hardware Mattel as a hardware super power for toys Family Dynamic Goes back to regional Family Cults Support
be a new interface of interaction
Clothes Clothes are intelligent Monitor body
Less materialistic Simplicity No extra items No so many devices because everything is integrated into the chips
Toys Grow with child Form no longer important (generic) Updates to the software & plug ins
Communication Virtual & Real are one
Information Magazine/News on updatable tablets Chips to enhance your body Army Sports Entertainment Babies Start walking at birth End of Obesity Nanotech nourishment
Massive Middle Class Creating and consuming contents
Software generation is a worldwide language The masses are the content generators (Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter)
Regional States Homogeneous so no need to travel
Cult to the past Old world things are given more value Vintage = $$$
Loss of Renaissance Man
Small low class can move up
affect change? In this scenario our world would become the Era of the
Team Blue Approach
Subscription. Some of these things are
Trends and Drivers
already happening; we have devices
Team Blue examined and analyzed
with constantly updating information.
48 separate trends that can be seen
End of Moore’s Law: Next computer is almost same as the previous in power & capacity
as drivers across the globe. The 48 Work is service Upgrade Service Subscription for clothes by season There are no longer recurrent purchases
Learning Development is the priority over beauty Apprenticeship as the way we learn School is so yesterday’ You just need to know one thing deeply
Super human (enhanced) Death of the ugly baby Beauty is not scarce, it is common Lower class makes their way up by using their enhanced bodies
Editor’s Era Curator Creative because you have to individualize yourself Perception of Beauty Changes because is everywhere People Nature
Visualization of the Ubiquitous In this scenario, technology is diffused everywhere changing the way we Economic Technology Social Technology
consume products and information. It is the end of Moore’s Law, so the power of computers is growing on a slow basis. This causes new ideals in not only businesses and products, but affects our daily lives and
What if we translate that to everything?
trends were collected from three key
What if clothing were imbued with
areas: previous research conducted
such technology and we simply
by a team working for World Wildlife
download the latest versions or trends
Fund Switzerland, articles from Time
of the season? What if devices were
Magazine, and the National Intelligence
generic, because the development of
Clustering trends into categories allowed us to examine patterns and derive insights into the macro forces affecting the world today. Following this clustering process the team began plotting the
48 / 49
Innovation that redefines a market or environment.
A high level transition marked across different geographical locations.
The views and understanding carried by a single person.
data points on a scatter plot analyzing their impact and uncertainty based on the information that was obtained. Backcasting In order to more accurately envision the world to come Team Blue backcasted scenarios about the future by establishing a version of the future and looking to the future’s past. Whereas forecasting looks ahead in an attempt to predict the future, backcasting creates the future by looking backwards in an
A storyline through which characters, artifacts, and environments interact.
attempt to find the pressures that lead
Andy’s trip to school where his B.O.B.
to the ending environment. Instead of
Team Blue then built a PESTEL analysis
wristband projects a holographic
moving from a point in the present,
to deepen the understanding of
message from his dad into his palm,
backcasting involves creating a scenario
the political, environmental, social,
telling him that our human-like robot
that one anticipates in the future, and
technological, legal and economic
B.O.B. would be there waiting for
follows the steps backwards from that
circumstances based on the initial
him at the bus stop when he returned
scenario to the present situation.
trends and drivers research . Following
from school that day. Once at school
this, a target story diagram was
Andy places his wrist on an interactive
created to visualize the key influencers,
desktop and his B.O.B. wristband
As the foundation of the team’s
environment, and the scenario’s
downloads all of his homework so
scenario, they began using the four
that he has no need for a backpack or
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carrying heavy books back and forth.
generational archetypes created by Neil Howe and William Strauss in their book
Andy’s education is super focused
Generations: The History of America’s
As a child of the Nomadic generation,
and relevant to the world he lives in,
Future, 1584 to 2069 . This scenario
Andy grew up with a toy system that
capitalizing on the best interactive
his calendar and giving him relevant
projected 36 years in the future, three
was an omnipresent part of his life. In
technologies. While eating lunch Andy
weather, news and advice based upon
generations past our current adult
this concept of the future, technology
thinks about how much he can’t wait to
the course of his life.
generation. As a result the group
plays an integral part of Andy’s learning
get home and play with B.O.B. Once
planned for the year 2049 in which the
from how to walk in early childhood
school ends he gets off of the bus and
“Nomad” generation would be active
to a day at elementary school. In this
runs off with B.O.B. to play with his
To bring this narrative to life we
parents of young children.
future children sleep in environmentally
buddies and their toy systems outside.
sketched storyboards for the team’s
controlled conditions, encapsulated
idea of how a lifetime toy system might
Using the aforementioned axis, trends,
by a glass dome that projects a starry
As a way of envisioning how this
work. Storyboards allowed Team Blue
and drivers, the team created a matrix to
night over their bed for optimal sleep
scenario might work at further
to visualize how such a system might
brainstorm logical sequences for
patterns. The environment outside is
increments into the future the team
grow with Andy, the Nomad child of the
each generation plotting trends and
not much different than what we know
developed story frames of the evolution
future, in detail.
influencers from previous exercises in
it today, however, the urban landscape
of B.O.B. growing up with Andy, as a
order to contextualize the scenario work.
has evolved to be more forested than
mentor in high school to a more virtual
concrete jungle. In the team’s narrative
presence in the form of wearable
the Best of Buddies (B.O.B.) system
technology that leverages B.O.B.
takes many forms as visualized through
as his personal assistant managing
Bringing the narrative to life through storyboarding
Storytime Screening Scenarios
Insights and Knowledge
With everything that has been noted
As previously mentioned, using metrics
How many insights were obtained
throughout this book, you can explore
to screen scenarios is imperative to
throughout the process? Do the
the culmination of the scenario planning
maintaining an objective viewpoint. The
numbers of insights denote significant
work done by the SCAD graduate
following will help you develop your
opportunity for strategic planning?
students. These scenarios will provide
own apt metrics.
Does management have a diverse
an insight into the finalized work along
understanding of its plan for the future?
with complete scenario narratives. It is
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the expressed hope of this group that Relevance
this toolkit will prove to be a highly
Have the results that have been
valued utensil for further endeavors and
generated by the team have relevance
explorations of scenario planning.
to the project, organization, or situation? Design How strong do each of the scenario
Choosing scenario path through time to leverage a scenario story arc
titles feel? Are they creative, appealing, and engaging? Or lackluster and dull? Empathy Using metrics to objectively evaluate scenarios on Relevance to Fischer-Price and play, Plausibility, and Blindspots
Do each of the final narratives build a
How well were the narratives and plots
feeling of empathy? Do the characters
constructed? Do they reach a depth that
and events within the scenario feel
is applicable to the project? Are they
engaging and believable?
challenging enough to promote change while still remaining plausible? While it
may be hard to place a numeric value
Does each scenario build an environment
to a qualitative story, judging a narrative
from which one can explore new
helps frame the relevance of the
possibilities? Is the scenario expansive
enough? Can strategic ideas can be experimented anywhere throughout the
Chermack, T. (2011). Scenario
narrative? How well does each scenario
Planning in Organizations. San
cultivate and explain the outcomes to
â€œwhat if, why notâ€??
Bob Fee Program Coordinator of Graduate Studies, Design Management Hometown: El Dorado, KS Favorite Toy: Kit Carson Cap Gun
Oak Borriraklert Design Management, MFA Candidate Hometown: Paisali, Thailand Favorite Toy: Hotwheels & Robot model-making kits
Rich Ekelman Service Design, MFA Candidate Hometown: Burlington, NJ
The Nitty-Gritty Details
Favorite Toy: Cozy Coupe
The following section will provide the minute details that aided the group in this journey. The meat-and-potatoes if you will.
Carol Lora Design Management, MFA Candidate Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico Favorite Toy: Ken
54 / 55
Luxury & Fashion Management, MFA Candidate
Design Management, MFA Candidate
Hometown: Des Moines, IA
Hometown: Turscaloosa, AL
Favorite Toy: Barbie
Favorite Toy: Jurassic Park Toys from 1990â€™s
Design Management, MFA Candidate
Design Management, MFA Candidate
Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico
Hometown: Bowling Green, OH
Favorite Toy: Malibu Barbie
Favorite Toy: Nintendo 64
Azadeh Seyed Abrishami
Design Management, MFA Candidate
Design Management, MFA Candidate
Hometown: Ponce, Puerto Rico
Hometown: Tehran, Iran
Favorite Toy: Polly Pocket
Favorite Toy: Play with ants, Lego, and clay
Design Management, MFA Candidate
Design Management, MFA Candidate
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Hometown: Katy, TX
Favorite Toy: Erector Set
Favorite Toy: Slinky
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Reading List Rundown Beyond Human: Living
The 2012 Best
with Robots and
Service Design, MFA Candidate
Cyborgs by Gregory
Writing by Michio Kaku
Hometown: Bowling Green, OH
Benford and Elisabeth
and Jesse Cohen
Favorite Toy: Littlest Pet Shop
The Next 500 Years:
Physics of the Future:
Life in the Coming
How Science Will Shape
Human Destiny and Our
by Adrian Berry
Daily Lives by the Year
Industrial Design, MFA Candidate
2100 by Michio Kaku
Hometown: Shanghai, China Favorite Toy: Gundam from Bandai
Scenario Planning in Organizations by
Geography of Time
Thomas J. Chermack
by Robert V. Levine
Rethinking Education in The Age of Technology by Allan Collins and
to Language by Brian MacWhinney
The Winter of History by Neil Howe
Born to Be Mild by Alexandra Marshall
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Definitions Letters from 500 by
Archetypes: An example or
Cognitive Maps: Applying metaphor
Robert Lee Potter, Judy
by Barry Wellman
broad theme that applies to a person
to the notion of mental models.
Morris Welder and Stefan Bright
or context. Prophet: Generations that are born after a great war or other
Art of the Long View
crisis, during a time of rejuvenated
by Peter Schwartz
community life and consensus around a new societal order.
Critical Uncertainties: Intimately related to predetermined elements, they can be identified by questioning assumptions about predetermined elements.
Nomad: Generations that are born
Endogenous Variables: Internal
during a spiritual awakening, a
variables that are often produced in the
Globalization: A Very
time of social ideals and spiritual
feedback within the system, and they
agendas when youth-fired attacks
then become coupled with the inputs to
by Manfred Steger
breakout against the established
institutional order. Hero: Generations that are born after a spiritual awakening, during The Diamond Age by
a time of individual pragmatism, self-
reliance, laissez faire, and national (or sectional or ethnic) chauvinism. Artist: Generations that are born during a great war or other
Exogenous Variables: Variables that are easily identified as external and are not often hidden. Friction: the nuances and double checks that occur in the social interactions among humans in work processes.
historical crisis, a time when great
Forecasts: A judgment or
The 500 Year Delta:
worldly perils boil off the complexity
understanding crystallized in a figure
What Happens After
of life and public consensus,
which acts as a substitute for thinking
What Comes Next by
aggressive institutions, and personal
for the person who uses it.
Jim Taylor and Watts
sacrifice prevail. Generation: The aggregate of all
Wacker Challenging: The degree to which
people born over roughly the same
a scenario distances itself from the
span of a phase of life.
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Impact: The degree to which a variable
Meaning: A metric for exploring
Plausibility: The degree to which
Relevance: The degree to which a
can have the greatest effect to an
if the participants and members
a scenario is believable.
scenario is relatable to the key issues
organization or system.
of the organization internalize and
Key Decision Factors: The key
take ownership of the scenarios they develop.
scenario is written.
externalities or outcomes about the future that one would like to know
Nine Performance Variables:
about to improve the quality and
Constructed by Rummler and Brache,
relevance of one’s decisions.
it is a matrix tool used to explore performance improvement
Mental Models: Relatively enduring
within the process level throughout
and accessible, but limited internal
an organization. Official Future: A term coined by the Stanford Research Initiative (SRI)
Metrics: The established parameters
to mean status quo scenario chosen
by which a measurement can be gained.
Design: A metric for examining if a scenario well executed, crafted, and organized. Story: A metric for looking at a scenarios plot.
to exterior variables.
organization working on the issue.
Evolution: A plot evolves slowly
Representations: The way humans build
“stand-ins” for reality in their minds.
Revolution: An unpredictable, Cycles: Events and variables that face transitions of growth and decline. Infinite Possibility: The perception
Scenario: A storytelling tool for changing and understanding people’s perceptions. Scenario Logics: The general frameworks or plots of a scenario.
that a given force will continue to
Planning: A discipline of building
My Generation: A plot featuring
one’s perceptions about alternative
a set of internally consistent and
major social shifts that present
imagined futures in which decisions
themselves in the form of generations.
decisions might be played out.
about the future can be played out,
Friendships: A plot featuring
Sign Posts: Key indicators within the
improving decision making, fostering
within a scenario.
human and organized learning and
Empathy: A metric that looks for
environment and personality.
mental model than those inside the
Scenario Planning: A tool for ordering
for systems thinking in application
Play: A metric for exploring creative
a completely different outlook or
grow and expand, infinitely.
for the purpose of changing thinking,
actions of a group are the response
Remarkable People: People with
Symphony: A metric that looks
the suspension of disbelief by
Challenge and Response: The
conceptual representation of an external system.
of the project. Plots: The underlying storyline that a
Performance Diagnosis Matrix: Developed by Swanson, it is a matrix tool designed to explore a number or critical variables to consider in the context of performance problems.
friendships, separation, and reconciliation. Epic: A group travels from one
future environments in which one’s
world that aid in identifying shifts of upcoming events on which an organization can act.
destination to another. Social, Technological, Economic, Predetermined Elements: Predictable
Environmental, and Political (STEEP)
elements that do not depend on a
Forces: A tool for examining and
particular chain of events.
structuring information into categories to explore external environments.
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Stickiness: Refers to the difficulty
Third Turning: Marked as an
in information transfer between or
Unraveling, the mood of this era
is in many ways the opposite of a High. Institutions are weak and
Strategic Conversation: The
distrusted, while individualism is
engagement of multiple stakeholders
strong and flourishing.
participating in and ongoing dialogue about organization strategy. Titles: A critical element of scenarios that allow readers to connect to a story. Turnings: A theory of generational cycles developed by Strauss and Howe. First Turning: Marked as High, this is an era when institutions are strong
Fourth Turning: Marked as a Crisis, this is an era in which national institutional life is torn down and rebuilt from the ground upâ€”always in response to a perceived threat to the nationâ€™s very survival. Variables: Any number of changeable attributes within a given situation.
and individualism is weak. Society is
Wicked Problems: They are large
confident about where it wants to
complex problems that contain many
go collectively, even if those outside
uncertainties and determining variables
the majoritarian center feel stifled
with no clear solution.
by the conformity. Second Turning: Marked as an Awakening, this is an era when institutions are attacked in the name of personal and spiritual autonomy. Just when society is reaching its high tide of public progress, people suddenly tire of social discipline and want to recapture a sense of personal authenticity.
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A Collaborative Guide to Forecasting and Scenario Planning