Why I Wrote this book

I have been doing scenarios for about 20 years, starting with people from large corporations, then more with ordinary people and lately with teachers and students at the high school and university level. I have found that scenarios provide orientation in an increasingly uncertain world. They are one of the few tools I know of that successfully attempt the impossible, namely to bridge the profound gap between the choices today with the consequences tomorrow. They help you make better decisions today for an uncertain future tomorrow.

 

Scenarios are a tool for ordinary people to help them think the unthinkable, question the obvious and challenge the official future. They are a tool of freedom and empowerment in all walks of life, private, social, corporate and societal.

 

I learned that they particularly resonate with young people. The young have always created the future they need, and they will continue to do so. As I am getting older, I want to offer what I learned about scenarios as a powerful way to shape and transform the future to young people everywhere - and those who remain young at heart . Maybe it makes their never ending task, namely to create a future in which it is possible for all people to live a life worth living, a little bit easier.

 

As Theodore Zeldin writes at the end of his book: “History, with its endless procession of passers-by, most of whose encounters have been missed opportunities, has so far been largely a chronicle of ability gone to waste. But the next time two people meet, the results could be different. That is the origin of the anxiety, but also of hope, and hope is the origin of humanity.”  (Theodore Zeldin, 1994, An Intimate History of Humanity, pg 472, Sinclair-Stevenson, ISBN 978-0060926915)

 

In fact, this book is the outcome of one of those meetings. Thirty young students met in the fall of 2015 in de Küper for a long weekend to learn about scenarios. I tend to talk and teach without notes, without powerpoint slides, and without visuals. Their feedback was that a few visuals and a few structured notes “would have helped”. Well, here are both - and I hope they help.

 

A very special thanks goes to two of the participants of de Küper, without whom the weekend, and thus this book, never would have happened: Thank you Anne van Bruggen, thank you Jorinde Vernooij.

 

 

 

 

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