Developing resilience with the help of scenario planning

In these days of the COVID-19 crisis we realise even more how vulnerable our society, our economy, our destination, our industry, and our business is for changes in the environment. Especially when such changes disrupt our daily lives.

The future is plural

Of course we could look back by the end of the year, identify some interesting trends and assume that they will continue over the year(s) to come. This is the business of many trend watchers. However, what we have learned over the past decades is that there is no single future that we can predict by extrapolating trends: the future is plural.

4 steps to prepare for the future

Different alternative futures may unfold. Follow our steps and take the challenge to be prepared for all of these futures.

Step 1: Driving forces

Try to understand the forces that may drive the future of society, our destination or business both directly and indirectly. This requires a continuous process of scanning for early signals of change, trying to give meaning to these observations and identifying which forces may be impactful and cause feelings of uncertainty.

Step 2: Future scenarios

Explore how the development of these forces may interact and thus create pictures of possible futures in the form of scenarios. Future scenarios we need to prepare for if we want to be able to resist future changes and become more resilient.

Step 3: Strategic foresight

In order to achieve greater resilience, we need to take a forward view, prepare for such future scenarios and undertake action with reference to and within the context of these futures. This is the domain of strategic foresight.

Step 4: Adaptivity

The force field is subject to gradual or sudden change, and so are the scenarios that we create from it. This implies we do not only need to monitor the environmental force field and to foresee future changes to inform our strategies. An important condition is to be flexible, adaptive, agile to adjust and prepare our industry, destination or business in time on a structural basis.

Developing the competence of strategic foresight

Does your tourism organisation need support with following up the above mentioned steps? We are here to support the tourism industry with our knowledge and expertise in the fields of strategic foresight, scenario development, scenario planning, and building adaptive capacity and resilience.

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