Course introduction

The scenario method is a useful, creative, and increasingly popular way for managers to reframe their perspective and improve their organisational resilience. The course shows how to recognise the driving forces that will affect the future business context and consider the present-day implications. By building detailed and imaginative narratives, participants will learn how to confront uncertainty and become more confident in conditions of change. The lecture content contains the cutting-edge practice of the scenario method and the blended approach permits flexibility, agility, and collaborative project work.

Pre-course activities

Here is a pre course quiz.

You probably don’t want to take movie recommendations from me, but if you wanted to watch something before the course that will help your understanding of key learning outcomes, I recommend: Children of Men (2006)


Course content
Public resources

  • Oxford Scenarios Programme, Webinar, September 2017 – this provides an excellent overview of two fascinating case studies: Rolls Royce and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

For my report on SMRs see here. For my analysis of the situation in Belarus see here.

Before using my flight from Lebanon as an example of the instinctive (but anxiety inducing) desire to assign probabilities to uncertain events, I used the example of Everton’s 2023 relegation battle. To learn about that, see these two articles:

Here is a recording of my webinar from December 2021 on Scenario Planning for the Energy Industry:

In 1997 Wired published an article called “The Long Boom” in which Peter Schwartz and Peter Leyden provided a “history of the future 1980-2020”. You can read it here.

Recommended further reading:

Learning Objectives: Build and use scenarios. Think creatively about alternate futures. Link scenario planning to strategic issues. 

Why is the scenario method so important? Because, as Adam Martin mentioned in his interview with Peter Boettke, in economics the emphasis on choice is because we live in a world of scarcity. The conditions of uncertainty, however, also means that we require imagination. Scarcity and uncertainty are the context. Choice and imagination are the consequence.