Where is the most uncertainty for your organization? Introducing scenario planning to extend the time-frame of strategic thinking


Earlier this week I ran a scenario planning workshop for the board and management meeting of a major Central European company, where we explored the value of scenario planning for the conglomerate.

Scenario planning for macro-strategy

Most people are familiar with scenario planning as a macro-strategy tool, used by organizations such as Shell, the CIA, the Singapore government, the World Economic Forum that want to explore global or industry landscapes decades ahead.

Many organizations in dynamic industries (which today is every industry) can get massive value from building high-level scenarios that can be used for shaping their future.
Read more

The Global Economic Policy Uncertainty index is at an all-time high: the implications


A group of top economists has created an Economic Policy Uncertainty Index for 17 countries, using media reporting and economic forecasts to show how much uncertainty there is economic policy.

The Global Economic Policy Uncertainty Index is currently the highest it has been since the beginning of the period analyzed starting at the end of 1996.
Read more

The World in 2030: Four scenarios for long-term planning and strategy


Recently I did the opening keynote to the top executive team of a major organization at their strategy offsite. It’s not appropriate to share the full presentation, however I can share the rough scenarios I presented for the world to 2030. The scenarios were presented after having examined the driving forces and critical uncertainties for the company.

As always, a strong disclaimer comes with any generic set of scenarios like these – scenarios really must be created by the users themselves for specific decisions and in context (for the full disclaimer see my scenarios for the future of financial services).


A traditional scenario process identifies two dimensions to uncertainty, that when combined produce a matrix of four scenarios. Once the framework is created, the full richness of trends and uncertainties uncovered in the research process are integrated into the scenarios. Here the two dimensions selected are:

RESOURCES AVAILABILITY: Resource Poverty TO Resource Affluence

Availability and real cost of key resources including energy, food, water, and environmental stability.

COHESION: Cohesion TO Fragmentation

Cohesion of society, government, nations, and institutions.

Together these dimensions yield:



• Economic divergence: developed world stagnation
• Protectionism rises and markets localise
• Little global action on climate amid massive impact of global warming
• China and India fragment
• High-impact terrorism: bio, nuclear, radiation
• Infrastructure becomes primarily private
• Inexpensive and highly mobile labour
• Immigration tensions and rioting
• Urbanization accelerates, often in squalor


• Economic shift to East
• Billions become middle class
• New energy sources/ planetary engineering
• Innovation yields food and health to the poorest
• Artificial intelligence applied to real-world issues
• Robotics attenuates impact of aging workforce
• Life extension for the wealthy, retirement age rises
• Remote work leads to more distributed living
• Affluence drives tourism and travel


• Climate becomes extreme and volatile
• Food and water shortages, famine and pandemics
• Global coordinated action on climate
• Trade liberalisation accelerates, EU extends
• Corporate activity driven by triple bottom line
• Social entrepreneurs invest $100 billion and seed a billion enterprises
• Cities become compact and resource efficient
• Rise of public/ shared transport


• Fluid global economy
• International outsourcing of most functions
• Mega-corporations become lean and micro-business rises
• Market solutions for environment
• Governments lose control and ability to tax
• Agents seek best price for everything/ customer loyalty is zero/ commoditisation of everything
• Distributed energy and manufacturing
• New capital markets, volatile financial markets

Contact keynote speaker and futurist Contact

Energize your event with leading futurist and inspirational speaker Ross Dawson’s compelling and inspirational presentations that leave audiences stimulated. Contact Ross Dawson’s office today to discuss the precise keynote topic and title that will best meet your requirements.

Scenario Planning – Strategy for the future of global financial services


Recently futurist Ross Dawson gave a keynote on The Future of Global Financial Services at the Vision 2020 Financial Conference in Mumbai.

As a part of his presentation Ross described four possible scenarios for the future of global financial services, running through 10 driving forces, 10 critical uncertainties, and the resulting scenarios, as listed below.

* 10 Driving Forces for Global Financial Services

* 10 Critical Uncertainties for Global Financial Services

* A Scenario Framework for Global Financial Services

* Four Scenarios for Global Financial Services


1. Economic shift

Economic power is shifting to the major developing countries. The BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) together host close to half the world’s population, and their pace of economic development means that before long there will be multiple economic superpowers. In addition, global economic growth is shifting to the virtual, and developing countries will gradually wean themselves from primary and secondary industries to be significantly based on knowledge-based services.

Read more