Download ‘Scenarios: An Explorer’s Guide’ (PDF, 1494 KB)
The future is ‘terra incognita’: although we may be able to guess the outcome of events that lie close to us, as we project beyond this we enter an unmapped zone full of uncertainty. Paradoxically, the range of options this reveals can seem paralysing.
No one can definitively map the future, but we can explore the possibilities in ways that are specifically intended to support decision-making. At Shell we use scenario building to help us wrestle with the developments and behaviours that shape what the future may hold and prepare ourselves more effectively. We also believe it can inspire individuals and organisations to play a more active role in shaping a better future - for themselves, or even on a global scale…
In this book, we use a metaphor of exploration and map-making to describe how we think about building scenarios. Like a set of maps describing different aspects of a landscape, scenarios provide us with a range of perspectives on what might happen, helping us to navigate more successfully. Exploration - of a territory or the future - involves both analytical thinking rooted in whatever facts are clear, and also informed intuition.