Scenario Thinking for an Unpredictable Year

How does one plan for an uncertain future with multiple health, social, and economic factors at play? Scenario Thinking might offer a path. Typically, scenario thinking is used when thinking out 5-10 years or more. But in our current disrupted environment, none of us can even see six months ahead so the same tools might be useful in assessing possible futures for later this year. According to Katherine Fulton and Diana Scearce in their e-book, WHAT IF: The Art of Scenario Thinking for Nonprofits, Scenario Thinking is a process through which scenarios are developed and then used to inform strategy. It begins by identifying forces of change in the world. Those forces then are combined in different ways to create a set of diverse stories about how the future could unfold in each of these futures. Because scenarios are hypotheses, not predictions of the future, they are created and used in sets of multiple stories that capture a range of future possibilities, good and bad, expected and surprising. This tool can help you develop plausible futures for the next phase of the pandemic and test how your strategy could adapt to each.

Download the tool at the link on the right of this page, and read more about it in the blog post: Scenario Thinking for an Unpredictable Year: Status Quo is Not an Option

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