Institut for Virksomhedsledelse

Adam Gordon

Limits and Longevity: A Model for Scenarios that Influence the Future

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Normative foresight, including normative scenario planning, seeks to influence and improve outcomes in the external environment. By any measure, success in this is only partially and variably achieved, and there remains great need to understand how scenarios that embrace a change agenda and seek to improve situational outcomes can best achieve their purpose. The Mont Fleur scenarios, created at the height of the South African transition, are considered a landmark in normative scenario practice and success, particularly in shaping the perspectives of leaders from contending stakeholder groups towards an agreed optimal outcome, and legitimating and sustaining their choices towards it. By all accounts, future externalities were influenced: in its case, particularly steering the political transition towards market-led rather than socialist economics. This study revisits the Mont Fleur process to extract understanding of how it set itself up to succeed in its future-influencing agenda, and from this draws lessons for scenario projects that today seek to influence the macro-environment. A six-step template for success in influencing externalities is uncovered, and the paper delineates a stepwise approach to enacting this using a contemporary example.
TidsskriftTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
StatusAfsendt - 18 feb. 2019

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