Scenario planning is the capability of organisations to understand their business environment, to think through what this means to them and then to act upon this new knowledge. Scenarios are a range of pictures and stories of the future that are constructed using drivers and trends that shape the future.
Scenarios provide alternative views of the future. They identify some significant events, main actors and their motivations, and they convey how the world functions.On a practical level, it is just about crystal ball gazing and estimating the future.
The key feature of scenario planning is asking 'What if?' questions that ponder 'if circumstances where different', 'the impact of x, y or z'.
Shell Oil where the pioneer's of scenario planning during the 1970's, developing a comprehensive process to understand how the world was changing, focusing on oil supplies and what it meant for the company. Shell's present scenarios look at the world in 2050. In the first scenario – called Scramble – policymakers pay little attention to more efficient energy use until supplies are tight. Likewise, greenhouse gas emissions are not seriously addressed until there are major climate shocks. In the second scenario – Blueprints – growing local actions begin to address the challenges of economic development, energy security and environmental pollution. A price is applied to a critical mass of emissions giving a huge stimulus to the development of clean energy technologies, such as carbon dioxide capture and storage, and energy efficiency measures. The result is far lower carbon dioxide emissions.
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The use of scenarios within the tourism industry is documented in the paper by Ian Yeoman and Una McMcMahon-Beattie 'Developing a Scenario Planning Process Using a Blank Piece of Paper' which was published in Hospitality and Tourism Research.
Ian presents his views on technology futures to the OECD – 21st June here.
Ian profiled in Qatar Airways Oryx Magazine about the 'life of a futurist' here.
The future history of Revenue Management here.
The future of ping pong here.
Ian publishes research paper on scenario planning and policy in the Journal of Tourism Futures here.
The Future of Food Tourism reviewed in Annals of Leisure Research here.
Ian speaks to the EU on the future tourist here.
Fifteen years of Revenue Management here.
Ian appointed series editor by Channelview about the future of tourism Read More.
The Future Tourist: Ian speaking at the European Travel Commission on the 8th September in Vienna More.
Dr Ian Yeoman to keynote at CHME 4-6th May at Ulster University on the future of food More.
Ian to speak on the future of tourism at the New Zealand Airports Association on the 11th September: More.
Ian to speak at Sri Lanka World Tourism Day conference: More.
The Future of Science: Ian guest edits the Royal Society's journal here.
New publication: New Zealand's Sustainable Future and Maori Identity.
The Future of Food Tourism at Wellington on a Plate – 25th August 2015 More.
New publication: The Future of Knitting Tourism.
Ian will be speaking on Emerging Trends in Food Tourism – 9th April, Lisbon. More.
The future of hospitality: Hotel Yearbook 2015.
FACTOR interview: Ian on the future of travel here.
New publication: The Future of Book Festivals.
New publication: The Future of Family Tourism.
New publication: The Future of Urban Spas.
Previous News items can be found here.