4 Quick and Clean Scenarios for the New Year

scenarios2Now that both feet are firmly planted in the New Year, it’s time to share our 2017 “Quick and Clean” scenarios for conflict and security.  Using the quick and clean scenario framework from the 4 Steps model (see below the line), we have quickly developed four scenarios about conflict and security looking out over the next ten years.

As with all good scenario work, these scenarios do not attempt to predict the precise future the world we come to experience in 10 years’ time; rather they are forecasts of logical possible futures.  In particular, these annual Quick and Clean Scenarios use current top of mind issues (TOMI) to forecast different pathways the world could follow in the coming decade.

As an exercise, the Quick and Clean Scenarios are shared to: a) help frame thinking about the future, and; b) to help provoke more critical thinking about the many trends and emerging issues (TEI), emergent patterns, and straight up black swans that may ultimately come to play significant roles in shaping the world in the years ahead.  Collectively, the scenarios are a reminder that no matter what issues currently dominate our thinking, over the long term other forces and dynamics always play important shaping roles.

This year’s scenarios include:

  • Inertia Reigns: Uncertainty, anxiety, and inertia prevent either dramatic positive or negative change from occurring.
  • Sustaining Innovation: Gradual changes and additions at the surface and edges of global systems bring stability without revolution.
  • Zero Hegemon: As the Post-WWII architecture of politics and economics crumbles, rising powers assert themselves to redraw significant portions of the world map.
  • Cyber Crucible: A global cyber conflagration draws the world to the brink of techno-economic collapse and gives birth to a new international security regime.

Read the complete (and very short) report below.


Quick and Clean Scenarios 2017: Annual Scenarios Exploring Top of Mind Issues in Conflict and Security.

4 Steps to the Future: A Quick and Clean Guide to Creating Foresight.

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