Millennium Project
Annotated Scenarios Bibliography
Excerpt from the 2007 State of the Future (CD section)
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all www  millennium-project.org 

This Scenarios Bibliography is done by Susan Jette and is a collection that started in 1996 and is being updated with about 50 scenarios each year.

The scenarios annotated bibliographies are organized in the following domains:

I. International Economics and Wealth
II. Environmental Change and Diversity
III. Technological Capacity
IV. Demographics and Human Resources
V. Governance and Conflict
VI. Regions and Nations
VII. Integration or Whole Futures


I. INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS AND WEALTH

The World in 2050. How Big Will the Major Emerging Market Economies get and how can the OECD Compete? PricewaterhouseCoopers. John Hawksworth, director, Macroeconomics. Copyright @ March, 2006.

The PWC report discusses how OECD countries will grow to the year 2050 in purchasing power parity comparisons to the emerging market economies along an overall trajectory of anticipated carbon emissions and climate change policy. The report looks at a number of indicators for G7 countries: US, Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy and Canada, plus Spain, Australia, and South Korea; and the emerging market economies known as the E7: China, India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Mexico, and Turkey. Among a number of major findings, the report acknowledged that there was no single way to measure growth of OECD against the emerging economies such as China and India. Considering all of the factors, there is overwhelming evidence that the E7 economies will be 25% larger than the G7 economies by 2050. Within the G7, due mainly to population aging, China and Russia are likely to diverge negatively from the rest of the G7 countries. India is the youngest economy with a working age population that will show positive growth over the period to 2050. The report shows that the country most likely to show the fastest growth throughout this period is India. By 2050, India will likely have a GDP close to 60% of that of the US (using market exchange rates). China, although it will slowdown on the overall, will be around 95% the size of the US by 2050. Brazil will be a similar size as Japan; India and Mexico will grow rapidly, becoming larger than Germany by 2050; Russia will not grow due to population aging, but by 2050, it will be a similar size to France; Turkey will be a similar size to Italy by 2050. These long-term projections are subject to uncertainties and thus the report models six scenarios and explores two scenarios in detail. The report cautions that the rapid economic growth of the E7 and moderate growth of the G7 combined will have serious consequences for carbon emissions because of global energy consumption. If countries continue with the “business as usual” approach to emissions policy, the world will experience a doubling of global carbon emissions by 2050. The long-term consequences of global warming will be serious. Two key scenarios (see report for more detail): Scenario 1) Baseline. A baseline scenario in which energy efficiency improves in line with trends of the past 25 years, with no change in fuel mix by country; this ‘business as usual’ scenario acts as a benchmark against which to assess the need for change, rather than as a forecast of the most likely outcome. Scenario 2) Green Growth + CCS. This scenario incorporates possible emission reductions due to a greener fuel mix, annual energy efficiency gains over and above the historic trend, and widespread use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. Of the scenarios considered in the report, only this ‘Green Growth Plus’ strategy stabilizes atmospheric CO2 concentrations by 2050 at what the current scientific consensus suggests would be broadly acceptable levels. The G7 economies - the US, Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy and Canada - may need to take the lead in reducing their carbon emissions, given that emissions from the faster-growing emerging economies will almost certainly continue to rise over the next few decades. The author concludes: "Our analysis suggests that there are technologically feasible and relatively low-cost options for controlling carbon emissions to the atmosphere. Estimates suggest that the level of GDP might be reduced by no more than around 2-3% in 2050 if this strategy was followed, equivalent to sacrificing only around a year of economic growth for the sake of reducing carbon emissions in 2050 by around 60% compared to our baseline scenario." "But if this is to be achieved, it will take further concerted action by governments, businesses and individuals over a broad range of measures to boost energy efficiency, adopt a greener fuel mix, and introduce carbon capture and storage technologies in power plants and other major industrial facilities." John Hawksworth


Outsights on the Global Economy – Four Scenarios for the Global Economy. Global Outsight Group. Project participants include: Mark Beatson. Director of Innovation Economics, UK Department of Trade & Industry, Roger Bootle, Managing Director, Capital Economics, Waltraut Burghardt , Senior Director, International Finance, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank, Peter Cornelius, Senior Economist, Global Business Environment, Shell International & Tapan Datta, Director of Economics and Strategy, Emerging Markets. Copyright 2006.

This paper presents four scenarios for the future of the global economy. It discusses key driving forces wih primary dimensions of security and technology. This paper focuses more on non-economic drivers. Four main themes were identified at the workshop: 1.) Technology. How fast will technology develop and be adopted? How much does information technology (IT) impact productivity? What will be the impact of social attitudes and security concerns? 2.) Social attitudes. How will demographic changes be reflected in cultural and social differences? Is the "clash of civilizations" inevitable or over-hyped? What part will ethics play in economic life? How will the work/life calculus play out in different societies? 3.) Environment. At what point - and in what magnitude - will pollution, climate change, and limits to the availability of certain resources make themselves felt in the economic sphere? What role will regulatory regimes play? What happens when health is treated as an environmental issue? 4.) Governance. Are we moving towards more closed versus open models of governance, with freer or protected trade regimes? How will rising security concerns influence political interventions in economic life? How far will the BRICs reshape geopolitics? What role will the media play in the ways we are governed? Here is a brief overview of these highly detailed scenarios. Contact Global Outsight Group for the full report. Scenario 1) Fortress skcolidloG (Goldilocks in reverse). “This is a world of high technology in which fierce competition reigns, with conflict over everything from resources to religion. Rapid development of technology is valued as a means of enhancing security. It is a world of trade blocs and protectionism, slowing the distribution of resources worldwide and eventually slowing growth - and making it potentially very unequal between economies. This is the world economists and policy makers hoped would never emerge again after the lessons of the 1930s. Insecurity is real, not just a high perception of insecurity. (Goldilocks economy refers to an economy where the pace of growth is just right, not too hot and not too cold.) This scenario finds the military driving R&D and innovation in search of greater security, yet security is in reality (not just in perception) much worse than today. The high level of insecurity drives the world into introverted blocs. Among other flashpoints, resource-hungry economies such as China and Japan are drawn into conflict as they attempt to secure their supply lines in a global economy that is initially growing fast and where sustaining growth depends increasingly on the power of the bloc to attract the necessary means of production.” Scenario 2) Fast, Free & Filthy. “This is an alternative high-tech world in which environmental concerns come to the fore, having started with fast, conflict-free growth that ignores the costs of environmental degradation. Eventually, technological innovation is called upon to combat pollution and overcome resource constraints, allowing growth to continue apace in the long run. This scenario avoids conflict through global political cooperation rather than confrontation - with resources and the environment key areas for action. For example, despite massive demand for water, potential water wars are averted through good-faith treaties, the sharing of resources, development of new clean water supplies, advanced desalination technology. Renewable energy is developing rapidly.” Scenario 3) False Horizons “A scenario that is driven by deep value changes, many of which seek to reduce the power of big business and curb the advance of technology. This unstable scenario - a mix of conservatism, welfarism, regulation, anti-business, alternative approaches to security - opens (but does not resolve) a debate on how value shifts may change the direction of the world economy and how long such shifts might last. achieves general security through cooperation, reinforced by a values shift that seeks to counter inequalities and perceived injustices: e.g. potential resentment between haves and have-nots is countered by welfare spending. The values shift is driven both by a moral shift as well as by the understanding that security is linked to income i.e. the shift is not entirely disinterested. But it is not clear how long this shift can last: hence the notion of false horizons.” Scenario 4) Fears & Phobias. “This is a highly insecure world which combines the technophobia of False Horizons with the politics of identity (nationalism even to the point of xenophobia). Nations and economies look inward. also witnesses international cooperation but only where absolutely essential (e.g. to share critical water supplies). There is no ability to deal collectively with less directly threatening issues such global warming - the temptation to "free ride" is irresistible. At the national level, this is a world of highly restrictive regulation, with heavy-handed curtailment of trade in goods, services, people, knowledge and capital. This primarily inward looking, look-after- oneself world is tense, full of fears and a sense of insecurity as a result.”


Corporate Dealings with the Network Economy William deRidder, Futures 38.9 (Nov. 2006). 1103 (16).

The formation of networks in a network economy help companies create new business opportunities. Companies develop new products, open up markets and are continually reorganizing within networks. Companies that want to actively deal with new technology, changes in consumer behavior, and economic drivers will have to work successfully in a network economy. This article focuses on network formation and network economy. The network economy has led to the formulation of the following three laws: 1) David Sarnoffs Law, former-chairman of the RCA Corp: the value of a non-interactive network is proportional to the number of users; 2) Bob Metcalfe's Law, founder of 3Com Corporation and inventor of the Ethernet: the value of an interactive network increases with the square of the number of users; 3) David Reed's Law, researcher HP Laboratories and MIT Media Laboratory: the value of a social network (with open peer-to-peer information exchange) scales exponentially with the size of the network. These laws can be metaphors for worlds observed in scenarios. Sarmoff's Law applies to a reality in classical economics where companies serve their customers in a formal market relation. Customers are seen as solitary, rational actors who maintain a relation to the firm. Metcalfe's Law shows us networks of customers that share information and make choices together. It is assumed that there are no dominant players in such a network. Reed's Law connects to networks where a few dominant actors are present, but there are also a large number of participants that exert little or no influence in the network. In this article, networks have been named according to the 'laws' that best describe the nature of the network concerned. Here are excerpts from the article that describes the three laws and their implications in detail. Scenario 1) Future of Corporations in Sarnoff networks. “The near future will bring deployment of technology. New applications will enable a further reduction of production and transaction costs. For this reason, the search for economies of scale will be a constant battle against time. Market competitors will also try to realize increasing returns by using cost reductions to lower the selling price. Sarnoff networks will in particular bring forth commodities and this development will be strongest in such networks. Merges and takeovers will likely prove to be inevitable, as will be the loss of employment. Possibly, the largest threat Sarnoff networks contain is embedded in the low value of the informal networks concerned. The formalization of the organization, often through empowering protocol and formalized relations, limits the ability of these companies to adjust to not only to new technology, but also to new developments in their market. Where the level of uncertainty rises in the years to come, and the success of organizations will be more dependant on their ability to adjust to new, barely predictable developments, companies based on a Sarnoff network will struggle, in spite of their relative size and financial power. Barbabasi adds: 'These days the value is in ideas and information. We have gotten to the point that we can produce anything we can dream of. The expensive question now is: what should that be?' Nonetheless, a market for mass produced goods will always remain. This market in developed nations may be mature, developing economies offer many chances. Several companies, such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble have already been successful with so called Bottom-of-the-Pyramid products; cheap mass-produced goods in small packaging offered to poor consumers in, mostly, urban areas in the third world.” Scenario 2) Future of corporations in Metcalfe networks. “Many companies focus on the opportunities that a network organization may offer them. Amongst others they look after the possibility of reducing the number of management layers emphasizes horizontal organizational structures. New external alliances are sought and found. Increasingly, companies realize that they cannot survive without these networks. Connectivity with other organizations and institutions has progressively become a prerequisite. Management literature of recent years is filled with analyses, prognoses and recommendations concerning these issues. Consequently the network-company has matured on the drawing boards. But practice is unruly. Even if an organization attains a high quality level, success is not guaranteed. Even more frustrating is the observation that when a business is successful, this success cannot always be attributed to the quality of its products. Watts has remarked: 'The difference between a hugely successful innovation and an abject failure can be generated entirely through the dynamics of interactions between players who might have had nothing to do with its introduction.' In recent research it has become abundantly clear that random networks and rational actors are not common in reality. The future of Metcalfe networks in a growing network economy lies with smaller companies or parts of companies in which personal service based activities are the core business. Especially many smaller and medium sized businesses serve many customers that can be described as actors in a random network. As long as they realize the limits of this situation, chances are slim that these organizations will expect too much of their innovation, production and sales efforts. Ambitious companies focus on Reed networks. Quite possibly they are a part of such networks already without realizing it themselves.” Scenario 3) Future of corporations in Reed networks “Companies that sell products that satisfy the growth needs of the buyer and serve markets containing a distribution system typified by the 'power law' are part of Reed networks. They find themselves in a structure that contains certain characteristics. The most important of these may be the existence of dominant companies and, because of this, the lack of a large segment of middle-sized firms. As a result of this there is a quest for a dominant role in the market. This position is attractive, not in the least from a financial viewpoint. It is this position that often leads to enormous profit. The battle for the largest share of the market is magnified by the expectation that these markets will exhibit a great amount of growth over the following years.”


Postcards from the Future: The Futures of Branding. Nathan Shedroff and Davis Masten. AIGA

Postcards from the Future is a new book developed by two brand professionals about the future of the brand industry. Workshops were started within the AIGA’s Center for Brand Experience. The authors, Shedroff and Masten took the results of the workshops and created eight visions in which branding plays key—and often scary—roles. The book combines both visuals and in-depth analysis, making it a source of fresh and challenging thinking to designers, marketers, brand professionals, executives, and cultural anthropologists. The following are brief overviews of eight brand visions. For the detailed report, contact the AIGA. Scenario 1) Economic Nirvana. “In world economies, whether due to new priorities, technologies, understandings, or cooperation, the vast majority of people are now able to meet all subsistence needs (shelter, food, healthcare, work, education, etc.) and have, for the first time for many of them, something called leisure time and new opportunity to pursue other interests. How does this effect the development of global brands? Or, local ones? Do brands face more competition or less? Does everyone become more or less brand-conscious? Does increased prosperity increase the quantity of brands? What about the quality?” Scenario 2) Economic Peril. “The world economy suffers a tremendous collapse. Whether due to lack or resources (or accessibility), too much demand, insecure speculation, or political conflict that destroys the carefully balanced and orchestrated coordination of trade between countries, all monetary systems are severely devalued and a majority of people have problems meeting subsistence needs. Do people even worry about "brands" in this climate? Are they more concerned with quality, substance, or "real" value as a result? Or, are they even more oriented to brands that help them make quick judgments and decisions about their needs? Are they so busy with survival that issues of style, fashion, and more ethereal concerns mostly go unaddressed?” Scenario 3) Demassification. “In a world where technologies have finally made it cost-effective--even profitable-to make customized products for all sorts of customers of almost every type. People can now extensively customize their designs for cars, clothing, pre-made foods, jewelry, curricula, and pets just like many houses have been for a long time. What does this do to traditional brands? If these products can now be changed substantially, are they even the same products any more? Do brands disappear? Can they compete? Do the customization processes and experiences themselves become the significant brands? Do product brands fade and corporate brands become more important?” Scenario 4) Remassification. “For whatever reason (economic, technological, social, or cultural), customization has either not been successful or not been possible. There is a new interest in cultural connection to others and building shared experiences and identities. Status as a member of a group is more important to most consumers than status as an individual. These groups might be cultural, religious, corporate, professional, local, regional, national, or ideological. What might help brands compete in such a competitively reduced set of brands? How do people choose (or do they) which groups/brands make the most sense? How does our construction of identity change or influence the formation of these brands?” Scenario 5) The Mavericks. “Traditionally, only a small percentage of the population has broken-away from the "pack" and pursued their own, ideally original identities. These people tend to be less brand-influenced and more motivated to either eschewing brands or developing their own brands. Imagine what would change if many more people became mavericks in their personal and professional lives. Could the stable order of work and life be maintained without the automated responses by consumers and expectations by companies around mass adoption of consumer brands? What happens when everyone not only establish their own, personal brands, but also forges their own path?” Scenario 6) Environmental Concern. “Through a combination of events and communications, the greater world of consumers finally gain a deep concern for the environment-what they might think of as nature. Not only are environmentally-oriented brands becoming more popular, but also processes that are thought to help the environment are adopted in full force (such as reuse, recycling, composting, reduction, etc.). How do these new concerns change the adoption, perception, and creation of brands? What do products and services that are seen to either have no clear relation to the environment or are actually bad for the environment do to react to these market conditions? Do they reposition? Change their products, services, or resources (if they can)? Do they hibernate?” Scenario 7) Privacy is a Rarity. “Due to an escalation of surveillance technologies, we are watched almost everywhere and at every time-certainly in the public space. Only inside our homes (or in some cases, our rooms) are we physically private and we are almost never private in a virtual space. Cameras watch our driving (and GPS pointers and satellites monitor our speed and route), our working, and our movement in restaurants, bars, casinos, shops, and plazas. Microphones listen into our conversations with customers, colleagues, peers, and family members. Workers from nannies to store clerks to managers-and even some executives are monitored via camera, phone, and email. What effect does this have on the appearance and development of, identification with, and visualization and presentation of brands? Are people less likely to adopt or display brands? Will they tend to use brands as camouflage? Can brands somehow augment our sense of privacy?” Scenario 8) City as Brand. “In an evolution of an already established scenario, more and more cities begin sophisticated, integrated brand development and management projects in both strategies and tactical presentations. Using New York City as a focus, since it has both opportunity and pressing need to reframe itself, what directions can the city take in evolving its already strong brand? How should it differentiate itself from other cities and, indeed, where is it already positioned? What mechanisms can be used to both create and promote new or newly articulated values? Is it possible for a city to have a brand? Is it possible to create or manage a brand for an experience as complex as a city? Who makes the decisions and how can it be managed? Is agreement needed at all levels-or any at all? Is there a process that can be employed? Is there a client? How does one measure success?”


Society in 20205 – What Next for the Make Poverty History Generation? Tom Hampson, Editorial Director of the Fabian Society . Fabian Society, 11 Dartmouth Street, London, SW1H 9BN. Independent Newspapers UK, 2006.

The respected forecasting group Henley Centre Headlight Vision tested public attitudes to help it guess what kind of a society consumers might impact in 20 years' time. Would the values of the “Live8” generation last? In three of the four likely scenarios for 2025, “selfishness appears to outweigh caring about others.” It turns out that consumerism and individualism may prove a more dominant force by 2025. Caring about others or the problems of poverty may take a back seat. The following presents an overview of the scenarios. Contact the Fabian Society for the pamphlet containing the complete scenarios.. Scenario 1) Choice Unlimited. This is a scenario in which today's consumerist culture would become stronger; ethical consumption less mainstream and people would engage with international issues only sporadically. This is the type of scenario in which most people would have "personal home stylists" who would refresh their wardrobes, kitchen and interiors every four to six weeks. Scenario 2) My Home, My Castle. In this scenario, consumers would look inward; are suspicious of each other and encourage the Government to concentrate on consumers rather than global issues. The government look inward, community suspicion grows and government is encouraged to focus on the citizens rather than international issues. Scenario 3) The Puritans Return. This scenario would see people focusing much more on local issues, a rise in self-righteousness, the poor regarded by the masses as undeserving and the government expected to set a "moral" agenda at home. Scenario 4) The Good Life. In this scenario, community involvement grows and politicians come under under increasing public pressure to focus on global social and environmental justice. Green issues would be part of mainstream politics and climate change at the top of the agenda. After this study was published, the Trade Justice Movement was inspired to come up with a visioning exercise to the year 2025 (with additional contributions from Jubilee Debt Coalition.) The group discussed the reality of the business cycle and agreed on the following global and economic trends that are most relevant to business and global consumerism: 1) Growing power of trananational corporations – TNCs will continue to grow in reach, wealth and power. 2) Increased inequality – The rewards of growth are increasingly concentrated in the hands of a very small percentage of the global population. This trend is likely to continue in the West and to spread to emergent economies with unpredictable political, economic and cultural consequences; 3) Climate change - Global warming will be headed to well above 2 degrees C resulting in runaway climate change, with impacts already felt hard in poor economies; 4) Civil Society – More diffuse in the North and South; more militant. Southern involvement in campaigning changes; 5) Conflict, migration, the impact of HIV/AIDs, Water – may also become more pressing issues; 6) Trade – Multilateral/WTO trade system collapses into stasis and irrelevance, retreat into protectionism; more bilateral and regional agreements, increased south/south trade; 7) Oil and commodities – Major global oil shocks; OPEN crisis, huge switch to alternative fuels; 8) Economies and geopolitical power – China 2nd biggest economy in world; India growth too. China likely to continue its dramatic growth through 2010; 9) Migration – Increased protectionism against migration. Unsustainable population growth will be very big, fueling illegal migration and unsustainable use of environment; 10) Power will probably continue to shift to the larger developing countries (China in particular) – this will affect existing institutions and may lead to a new South-South trade agreements and new institutions. 11) World Bank/IMF – will continue to implement fiscal austerity on poorest countries; 12) Increased availability of communications technologies – while the increased availability and accessibility of communications technology potentially developing global solidarity.


Global Economic Prospects 2007: Managing the Next Wave of Globalization. 2007 World Bank - The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The World Bank, Washington, DC. ISBN 1014-8906.

This World Bank report examines the stresses and benefits of integration in a global economy. The discussion centers around a long term growth scenario, called the “central scenario” from 2006 – 2030. The results of the scenario describe “a world in which the gross domestic product (GDP) in high-income countries is slated to nearly double and that of developing countries will more than triple. The progressive expansions of China and India, the two largest developing economies and home to half the people of the developing world, are projected to drive the process. Their impact on the global economy will be increasingly felt as their exports and energy use, for example, approach the levels of the European Union and the United States.” World Bank The report then takes a series of projections and simulations built around this central scenario to examine aspects of the evolution of the global economy . The next wave of globalization will see the growing economic weight of developing countries in the international economy, the potential for increased productivity that is offered by global production chains, and the accelerated diffusion of technology. The World Bank also writes extensively about three growing consequences: growing inequality, pressures in labor markets, and threats to the global commons. The following is an excerpt from the report’s central scenario. The full report is available through the World Bank. Central Scenario to the Year 2030. “The medium-term outlook for the world economy remains positive. And while the pace of economic expansion is slowing, developing economies are projected to grow by an average 7.0 per cent in 2006, more than twice as fast as high-income countries (at 3.1 per cent). Over the next 25 years, developing countries will move to centre stage. Global economic growth is forecast to be faster in the 25-year period between 2006 and 2030 than the corresponding period 1980-2005. The output of the global economy rises from $35 trillion in 2005 to $72 trillion at constant market exchange rates and prices in 2030. This is an average annual increase of 3 per cent--2.5 per cent for high-income countries and 4.2 per cent for developing countries. In the central scenario, even though the incomes of developing countries will still be less than one-quarter those in rich countries in 2030, these incomes continue to converge with those of wealthy countries. This implies that countries as diverse as China, Mexico and Turkey will have average living standards roughly comparable to Spain today. While rich and poor countries alike stand to benefit from global economic growth, certain stresses already apparent--in income inequality, in labor markets and in the environment-- become more acute. - By 2030, the world's population rises from some 6.5 billion to 8 billion, with more than 97 per cent of this growth in developing countries. Over the next 25 years, rapid technological progress, burgeoning trade in goods and services, and the increased integration of financial markets will facilitate faster long-term growth. However, some regions, notably Africa, are at risk of being left behind. Moreover, even though many in the developing world are likely to enter what can be called the 'global middle class', income inequality widens within many countries. At the same time, low-wage competition from China, India and other developing countries--not only in goods trade but also in services--will place additional pressure on an integrating global market for labor. Unskilled workers, in particular, may fall farther behind. Managing these forces places a new burden on national policy makers--and on the international community as a whole--to ensure that the opportunities of global integration are broadly shared. The coming globalization also sees intensified stresses on the 'global commons'. Addressing global warming, preserving marine fisheries and containing infectious diseases will require effective multilateral collaboration to ensure that economic growth and poverty reduction proceed without causing irreparable harm to future generations.”


The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Program: 2007 – 2036. Development Concepts and Doctrine Center, published by UK Ministry of Defense, January, 2007.

Strategic Trends is an independent view of the future produced by the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Center (DCDC), a Directorate General within the UK’s Ministry of Defense. IT is a source document for the development of Defense Policy.
Key findings included eight major trends that were transformed into a scenario over the next three decades. These trends are: 1) Resource competition – economic growth and increased consumption will result in greater demand and competition for essential resources.; 2) Climate change - compelling evidence to indicate that climate change is occurring and that the atmosphere will continue to warm at an unprecedented rate throughout the 21st Century. Over the next 30 years, the resource-related challenges to global stability will be diverse, wide-ranging and significant. Climate change and a shifting environment; increasing demand for natural resources, particularly food, water and fossil fuels; a growing and rapidly globalizing economy; urbanization and the emergence of new health challenges will all have major impacts and unpredictable effects. While the global economy is likely to grow during the period, improving material conditions for many people, the combined, uneven effect of these impacts will be to increase uncertainty for many, creating new sources of insecurity, instability and tension; 3) Economic growth combined with the continuing rise in the global population - will intensify the demand for natural resources, minerals and energy. Oil is likely to remain the principal source of motive power, particularly for vehicles, and growing competition for this diminishing resource will lead to a significant rise in energy prices. It is possible that this will cause a slow down in economic growth from 2020, although this may be offset by new sources of energy: coal derivatives, hydrogen fuel cells, bio-ethanol and for power generation, nuclear fusion. 4) Energy market instability - may lead to political and even military interventions in order to protect access and safeguard supply. 5) Food price spikes - increasing demand and climate change are likely to place pressure on the supply of key staples; 6) Evolving family systems - In response to globalization and the pressures of a more uncertain world, networks based on family, clan or tribe structures and extended kinship groups, in common with a more communitarian approach, are likely to proliferate, especially in areas of declining or low prosperity and opportunity. 7) Strategic shocks - an analysis of trends and probable outcomes can only go so far in describing the future, the unexpected also needs to be taken into account - shocks will happen. The discussion in this repot outline ways in which discontinuities may occur. 8) Middle class proletariat - the middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx. The following is an excerpt from the scenario developed by an examination of trends to 2030. The complete text of the report can be found at the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centersite. Scenario: Ring Road Issues. “During the thirty-year period, covered by the study, human activity is dominated by three pervasive “Ring Road Issues”, namely, climate change, globalization, and global inequality. During the next three decades, there are constant tensions between growing interdependence and heightening competition among the nations. As a result, all aspects of human life changes at an unprecedented rate, throwing up new features, challenges, and opportunities. Three areas of change, or Ring Road issues, touches the lives of every human being on the planet by 2040 and aggravates climate change, globalization, and global inequality. The increasing pace of climate change alters the physical environment in which a rapidly growing population lives and its access to habitable land, food and water is under strain. The world economy expands at an unprecedented rate and its different segments become more and more integrated, creating globalized interdependencies and enabling multiple supra-national linkages in all areas of human endeavor. This does not benefit all strata of the society in equal measure. There are gainers and losers. A sizeable section of the society sees substantial improvement in material living conditions while others continue to face hardship and deterioration in their plight. These people suffer from fluctuations within a globalized market-based economy, making their lives full of uncertainties. In all the most affluent societies, rapid, large shifts in global markets, which are increasingly sensitive to uneven supply and changing demand, result in potentially dramatic change in personal fortune and confidence. Globalized communications field aspirations, heightened expectations and serves to expose differences in advantage and opportunity, stimulating grievance and raising the significance of global inequality as a social and political issue. During the next three decades, thanks to globalization, the volume of world trade rapidly expand, cutting across national barriers and overcoming distance. This leads to internationalization and integration of markets for goods, services and labour. Even though this boosts the pace of economic growth, it brings risks for national markets of developing countries, as they are exposed to destabilizing influence of global market. The ups and downs in the global market impact national markets, as they are transmitted through new and more efficient means of telecommunications. Labour comes under intensive pressure. It is “subject to particularly ruthless laws of supply and demand.” To quote the study: Socially, looser forms of political, cultural and economic association multiply, whose existence is largely virtual and dissociated, linking members who are physically dispersed, but who share common interests and seek competitive advantage of association. Politically, globalization raises levels of interdependence between states that are increasingly integrated within the globalized economy. Notwithstanding the increasing global production and improving material conditions for most people, the income disparities widen and poverty continues to be an insurmountable challenge.”


Raising Our Game: Can We Sustain Globalization? The Past and Future of Sustainability Bill Baue. Policy Innovations. June, 2007.

Established in 1987, SustainAbility advises clients on the risks and opportunities associated with corporate responsibility and sustainable development. This report looks to the year 2027 to examine future scenarios for the world’s sustainable development. It brings macro trends into a pattern so readers can understand six dimensions that are encompassed in the four future scenarios. The report uniquely creates the acronym G.A.M.B.L.E. (growth, acceleration, mainstreaming, barriers, leadership, and equity) as the six common aspects to all of the scenarios – indicators that also pose as changing variables. The report ends with seven recommendations, or "new rules" to face the trade-offs involved in choices between environmental and social value. What is in the Cards for the Future? The report proposes four potential scenarios (based on a card game metaphor) for how the future will unfold over the next 20 years, depending on how business attends to social and environmental sustainability. Each scenario corresponds to a card suit (Clubs, Diamonds, Spades, and Hearts) on a matrix with environmental wins and losses on the horizontal axis and social wins and losses on the vertical axis. Scenario 1) Hearts Scenario. “This is the future that the Brundland Commission “pointed us toward," the report states, as it balances environmental sustainability with social development. It projects a scenario where a pandemic slows global transportation, forcing simultaneous attending to human health and curbing environmental impacts. The crisis inspires creative destruction and innovation that ultimately leads to true sustainability. The report acknowledges that the concept of sustainable development has stood the test of time since it was first injected into the political mainstream in 1987 by the Brundtland Commission, though the marriage between sustainability and development has always contained tension. This is a world which demography, politics, economics, and sustainability gel. It is the future that the Brundtland Commission pointed us towards. The early years of this scenario, however, are rough, with a global pandemic shutting down global trade. But in this case the challenges come in forms that drive positive responses, underlining the importance of shared solutions and inclusiveness. Over time, virtuous spirals of improvement set in, in most places. The outcome: a second Renaissance, but across a larger canvas.” Scenario 2) Spades Scenario. “Democratic societies open out higher living standards to growing populations. One key consequence is that natural resource prices rise, but another is that ecosystems are progressively undermined, with most governments unwilling to take the political risks of asking voters to make sacrifices in favor of the common good. The challenges are managed to a degree, thanks to more open societies, but not well enough. Deteriorating environmental conditions gnaw at the islands of affluence.” Scenario 3) Clubs Scenario. “This is a world in which, among other things, the elites learn how to use environmental sustainability as an excuse for denying the poor access to their fair share of natural resources. One outcome is a slowing of the destruction of ecosystems locally, but this future is characterized by protracted periods of social tension – broken with increasing frequency by insurrections. The waves of change build fitfully, chaotically, with closed societies and communities often operating in denial for extended periods. Over time, this erodes islands of sustainability. One outcome is a slowing of the destruction of ecosystems locally, but this future is characterized by protracted periods of social tension – broken with increasing frequency by insurrections. The Spades and Clubs scenarios play out the potential consequences of over-weighting environmental sustainability at the cost of social stability, or over-weighting development in ways that compromise environmental viability.” Scenario 4) Diamonds. “This scenario is bleak – a domino-effect world, in which instead of Adam Smith’s invisible hand, our invisible elbows knock over a series of economic, social, and environmental dominoes. Demographic trends and the spread of western lifestyles devastate ecosystems. The challenges come in forms that disable decision-makers and overwhelm society’s ability to respond effectively. Over time, as fear closes down thinking and creativity, vicious spirals develop in politics, governance, economics, and technology.”


Global Scenarios on Microfinance- Part I. CGAP Executive Committee, World Bank. Focus Notes No. 39, October, 2006.

A major driver for financial inclusion worldwide has been microfinance, a concept that gained extraordinary momentum over the past ten years. The authors at the World Bank ask whether this is strong enough to be irreversible? Will it gather the momentum to reach the billions who still have no access to microfinance? This report takes a regional look at the low to middle income nations and considers regional stability factors in demographics, technology, and new financial structures. Part I herein looks at two scenarios of how wireless information technology impact regional microfinance. According to the World Bank, BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) are forecast to overtake the G6 industrialized countries over the next 40–50 years in terms of the size of their economies. If one or more of the BRICs were to become unstable and falter, global growth prospects would be seriously compromised. The report asserts that developed country capital, structures, standards, and advice is declining in influence when it comes to BRIC and in turn, what happens in the BRICs will affect the LICs (low income countries). It is becoming apparent that what happens in the BRIC will affect the LICs (low income countries) so that LICs seeking economic growth and political influence will increasingly follow the lead of the BRICs. BRIC models for economic growth are increasingly compelling. Over the next decade, cell phones may be the key to bringing microfinance to very poor and remote peoples. Wireless technology could radically reduce transaction costs and create anytime, anywhere access, even for very poor and remote clients. Most of the microfinance community believe that the government’s best role is to create a friendly policy environment for microfinancial services and not to provide them directly, at least when it comes to credit. However, in the BRICs, many of these countries have populist governments and are increasingly getting directly involved in delivering financial services directly to the poor. The following scenarios provide an overview of the effects of wireless technology on microfinance in these regions. Scenario 1) Massive Access “Wireless technology revolutionizes the way financial institutions and other businesses offer financial services to low-income people. Hundreds of millions of poor and unbanked clients gain access to cell phones, either by owning their own or using someone else’s. This sparks the interest of domestic banks because the costs of executing low-value transactions can be lowered substantially. Because international banks are capturing most of the corporate clientele, domestic banks turn more to retail business. They invest in delivery systems that can reach more people at lower cost, thus improving access for lower-income clients. In BRIC countries, the movement down-market starts with the burgeoning number of lower middle-class consumers. Major mobile phone operators form a new hub that enables international remittances to be securely and cheaply routed to mobile phone numbers. Innovation in handsets and software design spurs rapid customer adoption even among poor and illiterate clients. Regulators appreciate the potential of technology and especially the combination of cell phones, smart cards, and POS, to extend access. In addition, they see wireless technology as a fast and transparent way to track transactions, making it easier, among other things, to comply with international standards that combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. They amend regulations that limit banking transactions to conventional bank branches, allowing other infrastructure to do double duty as virtual branches. Once customers can make payments, transfers, cash withdrawals, and deposits outside of conventional branches, banking becomes more convenient and less intimidating for them. User-friendly products, some tailored for illiterate and semi-literate customers, attract many poor clients. The increased volume of remittances and internal transfers stimulates demand for other services. Higher volumes and lower costs allow deeper penetration. In the BRICs, as well as LICs such as Bostwana, Kenya, and Namibia, governments opt to make social transfer payments to their “stem” of poor citizens through banks and other financial institutions, using electronic payments and wireless technology. Once deployed, this wireless backbone can handle huge numbers of transactions, including not only financial services but also other development activities. For instance, cell phones and wireless Internet kiosks transmit basic health education to poor households, market information to remote farmers, and rainfall conditions to holders of weather insurance. Easy access to information makes it far simpler for those in developing countries to tap into global best practices. It also ensures that governments are held more accountable.” Scenario 2) Deeper Digital Divide. “Technology is adopted mainly to serve the easier-to-reach, wealthy clients and the substantial middle class in BRIC countries. The high fixed cost of technology infrastructure allows large banks to push out small players. The large banks find other opportunities more attractive than extending the lower income frontier of the retail market, thus leaving most of the poor outside the system and worsening the digital divide. As financial institutions move toward automated processes, clients interact more with machines than with people. Poor people who do not fit lenders’ automated profiles lose out on the benefits of conventional microfinance, including the personal relationships with loan officers that make uncollateralized, unscored credit possible, and interaction with other poor clients, which builds confidence and empowerment, especially for women. Governments in developing countries are concerned that increasing numbers of financial transactions, including deposit collection, occur outside of the banking sector, beyond their limited capacity to supervise. In reaction, they tighten financial regulations, prohibiting banking services via cell phones and other electronic means outside of bank branches. Governments also clamp down on nonbanks, such as telecommunications companies, offering card and cell phone-based payments/banking services. The trend away from legalizing immigration in Europe and the United States blocks access to bank accounts and possibly even easy cell phone subscriptions for immigrants in the North. This makes it harder to send funds safely and cheaply back home to family members. The traditional donor community and other international actors supporting microfinance assume that technology can solve the access problem commercially: they think most of the job is done. They lose interest in financial inclusion. Most poor people are left behind, and entire LICs as well. This shift in interest leaves countries like Sudan and Zambia with limited support for building financial access, even while they remain on the fringes of the wireless revolution.”


Global Scenarios on Microfinance – Part II. CGAP Executive Committee, World Bank. Focus Notes No. 39, October, 2006.

A major driver for financial inclusion worldwide has been microfinance, a concept that gained extraordinary momentum over the past ten years. The authors at the World Bank ask whether this is strong enough to be irreversible? Will it gather the momentum to reach the billions who still have no access to microfinance? This report takes a regional look at the low to middle income nations and considers regional stability factors in demographics, technology, and new financial structures. Part II herein looks at two scenarios of how state institutions impact regional microfinance. This is part II of the overview of global microfinance scenarios that look closer at the trend of new state credit programs in poor countries. According to the World Bank, “The pendulum seems to be swinging back from widespread privatization and liberalization toward more state control—and possibly even nationalization in some cases. In between, there are several other options: requiring institutions to lend to priority social sectors (India, Colombia); requiring financial institutions to serve the communities from which they receive deposits (as with the U.S. Community Reinvestment Act); linking government contracts to banks’ social performance (South Africa); creating fiscal incentives to invest in priority sectors (as has been done in the Netherlands); or fostering moral suasion for banks to commit to access targets (South Africa’s Financial Sector Charter).” World Bank As states exercise more control over retail financial services, some may heed the accumulated lessons of microfinance experience. Armed with good practice guidance, governments could potentially provide these services directly and do a good job. On the other hand, governments may continue naturally to succumb to the significant social and political pressure to deliver subsidized, uncollectible loans. Scenario 1) Successful State Involvement. “A few governments take an informed, long-term approach to the use of their massive state bank infrastructure to offer sustainable financial services. They follow examples such as Bank Rakyat Indonesia, a state bank that successfully built firewalls between politics and the technical business of banking, resulting in sustainable provision of more than 31 million savings accounts and 3.2 million small loans outstanding at present. Based on sound practices and fuelled by massive injections of start-up capital, access skyrockets. Loan repayment is high, and state banks become profitable. BRIC and other governments channel social transfer payments to the poor through state and other commercial banks, enabling many people to have bank accounts for the first time. Governments professionalize their state savings banks, which become better at collecting, protecting, and investing poor people’s savings. Other governments successfully motivate private banks, for instance by entering into public/private compacts to extend access. They also encourage developments like credit bureaus that enable the poor to develop credit histories transferable from one provider to another. They work together with banks to develop common financial architecture like interoperable ATMs and POS machines and cell phone-based transaction networks that reduce costs and increase mobility of poor people’s money. The few success stories where governments in both BRICs and LICs have really insulated credit from politics and replaced traditional approaches with sounder practices draw imitators throughout the developing world. For one thing, aid flows, except in the poorest countries, are increasingly small relative to private capital flows and even smaller compared with remittances from workers abroad (see Figure 5). In 1988 remittances were less than half of official flows: by 2001 they were more than twice the size of official flows. As the cost of wiring money drops, and the number of migrants increases, remittances are likely to become an even more important source of money for the poor. The composition of the international donor community is also changing. New actors are emerging on the scene, both governments and private players. The BRICs and some of the oil-rich Islamic states are playing an increasing role as donors. Fortunes made in business, and especially in technology, are now being deployed to solve some of the problems of development. Warren Buffett’s spectacular $31 billion contribution makes the annual budget of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (already the largest private foundation in the world) bigger than the GDP of over 40 countries.” Scenario 2) Flood, Distortion, and Collapse. “BRIC and populist governments reject so-called international “good practice.” They blame the free market orthodoxy emanating from the West, and especially Washington, for deepening poverty and social divides in their countries. These same governments experience immense pressure to deliver resources quickly to poor and remote constituencies. In addition, a number of governments (especially in BRICs and some Middle Eastern countries) are so concerned about the potential impact of youth unemployment that they rush to create unsustainable microcredit schemes as a solution. As a result, state-owned “Banks for the Poor” crop up in dozens of countries. Interest charged on the loans is far below the cost of delivering them, and borrowers are not compelled to repay them. This kind of unfair competition squeezes out sustainable private MFIs. In BRIC countries, the governments finance these efforts as part of their welfare policy. In LICs, donors grudgingly agree to bankroll these new state players, in fear of being completely left out of the development debate in countries increasingly hostile to free-market ideas. Some countries reinforce each other’s stances, as happened in 2006 when oil-rich Venezuela donated $100 million to the Bolivian government for state-run microcredit, threatening to undermine Bolivia’s well-established and viable private MFIs. South-to-South dialogue and technical support hasten the spread of the new state credit initiatives throughout the developing world. Interest rate ceilings are imposed at levels too low for private microcredit players to survive, and so the subsidized and weak state-run Banks for the Poor are left as the only source of financial services for the poor. Thus poor people have access to their services only as long as the subsidy and political interest lasts.”

The Coming Global Knowledge Society: How to Analyze and Shape Its Future. Peter H. Mettler. Futures Research Quarterly. Spring 2005. p. 51.

The author describes global trends and the dynamics of trends by examining two scenarios of the future with two different timelines: 2030 and 2070. The following global trends were highlighted in the scenarios: 20 million people, completely self-determining and economically almost self-sufficient are heavily networking globally in respect to science, knowledge and know how, with strong feelings of responsibility for future generations as well as to help develop less developed regions. • Social futures, e.g., wealth-distribution, life-expectancy and population policy, as well as future studies in leisure, sport, professional activities, etc.; • Cultural futures, in particular the dialectics between individual and (world) society, as well as future studies on values, tolerance, morality or criminality; • Urban futures, in particular of megapols, as well as questions such as: "Would megapols be capable of forming countervailing forces to TNCs?" And/or: Would they be developing into a fourth political power besides the UN, nation-states and global-economy-players?; • Security futures, e.g., how the military and the armament industry, the technology of ABC weapons and their international proscription, the aerospace industry or SDI/NMD might develop; • Ecological futures, in particular man-made climate changes, weather doomsdays, water shortages and genetic manipulations in respect to agriculture and food as well as to humans; • And finally the question, how a decline of world population to -5 billion people could come about by 2150? Scenario 1) 2030 – Virtually the Same as 100 Years Ago. “The year 2030 is reminiscent of what it was like 100 years ago and what the situation led to then. Superpower Structure: The situation is comparable with that of 100 years ago in that now, as then, there are hardly any fixed points of reference any more; chaos prevails. Traditional factors—such as states, their military and security forces (the state's monopoly of power and strength), their economic power (with commissions from the state or income from the state's tax monopoly) and their territory—have largely lost their significance: the TNCs that have taken their place are neither wanting nor able to take these functions over. TNCs are aware of their responsibility only towards their shareholders, or at best towards their customers. In countries, (large) regions and even (sub-)continents—the Islamic world, China and/or India—internal wars have broken out (ideologies, separate regions and army units fighting against each other). Some of this is about spheres of influence. And in some places there have already been millions of casualties. Old and new ideologies are about conquering the world and eternal happiness, as well as condemnations of opponents, going as far as new calls and plans for genocide. Two entities play special roles: Urban Agglomerations: The chaotic conflicts are mainly fought in the urban agglomerations: in each of the approximately 50 megapols with more than 35 million inhabitants there are different victors, who enter alliances with like-minded rulers of other megapols (wherever they may be in the world), and are not afraid to use hunger as a weapon for suppression within the regions. Telematics: Telematics starts to be used to usurpers' ends, Orwell's visions were comparatively benign. Population: The world population declines, for the first time in over 200 years. Migratory movements involving hundreds of millions of people leave behind completely devastated areas. To combat this migration, local armies in the shape of citizens' vigilante groups are in the making. Military Structure: Although the armies of the former national states no longer exist (owing to the fact that the states are bankrupt), there are still huge arsenals of weapons available, constituting an incalculable risk (like the old Soviet nuclear weapons did after the implosion of the USSR in 1989). In particular, there are signs that fundamentalist fanatics are contemplating (and planning) how they could get hold of them. Scientific and Technological Development: Science and technology are scarcely global any more either: they are compelled to serve the high and mighty and do research and/or development for their purposes. Economy: Due to the almost complete collapse of world trade, there are extremely acute supply shortages: between 1980 and 2010 the range of varying production processes was given up in favor of specialization and market niches almost everywhere in the world (comparable with the situation in the USSR's successor states after the former had imploded). Education, Cuture, and Religion: Helplessness and rashness prevail, along with incriminations and the search for transcendental explanations for the disaster; but there is also a return to classical religions and values. The latter result in the most varied recommendations as to how to overcome the crisis.” Scenario 2) 2070 or Outcome of the Renewed Experience. “Where there is danger, help grows too. Superpower Structure: History does not repeat itself, but historic parallels do keep occurring: due to the situation in the year 2030, which retrospectively (i.e., as seen from the year 2070) can be seen as the climax of the crisis, a new power structure developed, which has not yet (i.e., by 2070) managed to lay down new basic rules that have any chance of retaining their validity for any length of time (e.g., after the Viennese Congress), but which have, nevertheless, succeeded in dissuading the world from using its weaponry and forcing it back to the negotiating table. Since then, more and more proposals for a new version of the UN and a new world economic structure were put forward. Four world players are likely to make up this new UN / world: • The parliament of the approximately 100 largest megalopolises, comprising about 1/3 of the world population. • The parliament of the approximately 100 largest TNCs, making up for around 40% of the world's GNP. • The parliament of the approximately 350 (nation) states, which still have approximately V4 of the world's GNP at their disposal. • The parliament of the approximately 20 economic blocks, which account for around 85% of the world's GNP. Their intertwining links no longer permit any single "entity" to grow beyond a given size (+7%), and the hierarchical systems (at least 4 levels) incorporate so many early warning systems that crises can and must be dealt with at an early stage: UN Megapols' TNCs' States' Economic blocks'. Urban Agglomerations: Since poverty vk'as greatest here, some of them joined to form a democratic alliance against those megapolis that were ruled in criminal ways. Their example encouraged the inhabitants of megapols ruled in criminal ways to gradually get rid of their rulers. They were assisted herein by both, the old (political) structures still in existence (e.g., international concerns, national states and political economic blocks such as the EU) and by telematics, which had been impossible to keep under total surveillance for a long time. Apart from this, people—in accordance with their own needs—made themselves relatively self-sufficient locally (i.e., in municipal districts) and could thus be blackmailed only to a certain extent. In a new sense, Mao's old saying, "Let 1,000 flowers bloom" came back into favor again. Telematics. During the last decades, the vast worldwide telematics network has passed its democratic test. Dictatorships covering small areas (even including those ruling several hundred million people) were not able any more to conceal the truth from the people they suppressed. And luckily, almost everywhere worldwide there was already so much telematics know-how available that local "experts" were unable to hinder communications to any substantial degree or penetrate even the most suppressed people. Population: The view that there is an optimum population for each area is now scarcely questioned. It has finally been recognized that the education of the population and its scientific and technological knowhow —not just its sheer numbers—constitute the capital of each region. Since medical sciences had managed by 2055 to increase average life expectancy by over 14 years (and remained stable since), world population has now stagnated at the level of 12 billion. Military Structure: There are just a few military units with geo-strategic tasks (and abilities), which report to the UN; apart from this, there are security forces specific to individual territories, with technically superior equipment but rotating staff. The territorial forces from two to three neighboring territories can prevent any invasion attempts by individual units, whilst the units with geo-strategic tasks can dissolve any alliance between several territorial forces. Scientific and Technological Development. Numerous experts (from all areas) opposed usurpers worldwide, committing themselves to more local/regional attempts to solve problems. Now, however, world associations exist again, even if they are not geared towards individual disciplines as they were previously. The percentages of all four parliamentary budgets earmarked for science and technology are rising again, but the qualification requirements are tougher than ever before: the more funding an expert or a program/institute gets, the tougher they become. Economy: The term "economy" (including the above-mentioned GDP rates) is currently being replaced by complicated regional development indices, which are now nearly fully developed, and which subordinate thinking in terms of finance and capital to thinking in terms of quality of living. Education, Culture and Religion: It is here that the actual fate-turning revolution has taken place. The egoistic, partial and particular manners of thinking—decisively shaped by the Occident—which so frequently resulted in criminal actions, realized its own limits in view of all the dangers, dimensions and complexities. But the old dangers have not really been eliminated/overcome, nor is there any safeguard against new dangers which will certainly emerge. Emphasis again is put on the concept of socially and environmentally tolerable flexibility.”

Global Innovation Outlook 2.0 – IBM. Samuel J. Palmisano, Chairman and CEO, IBM Corporation.

The Global Innovation Outlook provides a platform for candid and open conversations about important issues of our day and in the future. Contributors include IBM’s top researchers, consultants, and business leaders. The Global Innovation Outlook also included 180 experts on business and business innovation. 2020 Scenario of the Corporation of the Future. In 2020 the corporation is modeled after Hollywood’s studio system where talent is recruited for very specific projects. The corporation creates an outside entity, subscribes internal and external talent to it, “creates stuff” (via project management), then deploy assets. “By 2020 the change is driven by a new generation of workers more comfortable with the idea of job fluidity rather than job permanence. The 2020 employee’s primary identification is less with the company and more with the “company they keep”—the larger network of colleagues and peers who share their interests, expertise or worldview. The employee of 2020 are coders or computational biologists or designers or educators first, and employees second. But a more fluid, flexible and mobile workforce is just one factor driving this change by 2020. Also helping to redefine the notion of the enterprise is the confluence of collaborative innovation, networked technology, and viable new business models such as business process outsourcing, customer-driven design and peer-to-peer production. Thus by 2020 the “specialized enterprise” comes into being. The ’90s version of this idea focused on “core” vs. “non-core” functions and activities. The goal was to contain what was core, and ship out the noncore to lower-cost providers. By 2020 the nature of competition becomes increasingly intense, global and unpredictable—requiring strength across the board. The objective therefore, is to decompose the enterprise into its component parts, understand with great precision what is truly differentiating—where the enterprise has strengths and weaknesses—and then make decisions about how to build, buy or partner for world-class capability. In this model, companies can focus their energies on their true point of differentiation, instead of trying to master many domains and ultimately squander competitive advantage by dispersing focus and investment. Rather than existing as static and fixed organizations, the enterprises of 2020 essentially become an aggregation of specialized entities with complementary interests—expanding, contracting and reconfiguring themselves in a way that best adapts to or even anticipates market dynamics. Paradoxical as it may sound, these super-flexible configurations prove more stable over time.”


Scenario Planning at British Airways – A Case Study. Long Range Planning, Vol. 29, No 2. 1998. Given the competitiveness of the airline industry, British Airways' Chief Economist, DeAnne Julius, proposed the use of scenarios to the Chairman's Committee. Because the expected benefits were somewhat intangible the decision was made to treat the exercise as an "experiment" to see if the process was suitable for use within the company. The exercise was divided into two phases: scenario development and scenario workshops. Each phase was led by a senior member from the Corporate Strategy department. The aim was to link the scenario workshops to the business plan of British Airways. Driving Forces for the scenarios included the information revolution, economic restructuring, and global competition. (See report for the complete scenarios.) Scenario 1) Wild Gardens. In "Wild Gardens" global integration goes so far that it is impossible to build lasting new structures of governance to replace the old, crumbling structures. In this world it is the Darwinian battle of winners and losers which shapes the future. There are Boom and busts in OECD, fast growth in LDC’s. In terms of values, there is no clear direction, Europe widens to numerous countries, and the party splits and strange coalitions. Niche players flourish in the airline industry, new players enter and exits thus shifting alliances and commodity market behavior. Scenario 2) New Structures. In "New Structures" shared values and new ways of organising are found which enable growth to continue in a manageable, rather than in a socially disruptive, way. Drivers include the market forces of competition and costs and need for flexibility. In this world there is a earch for order and stability, infrastructure investments, and long-term horizens. Europe grows strongly but there are setbacks in Asia and LDCs. Values are inner-directed. Euro-enthusiasts deepen the EU. Asia focuses on security. In the airline industry subsidies end in Europe, more European mergers, large, powerful distributors, huge environmental costs, airport constraints slow growth, HS trains and video-conferencing takes off.


Around the World – Collective Forethought: A New Paradigm in Strategy
Klaus Heinzelbecker and Adrian Taylor. Heinzelbecker headed the BASF AG Chemical Group, responsible for the management of the scenario project and the steering of different project teams.

The Chemical Advisory Group for Europe conducted a scenario workshop examining the external business driving forces for the scenarios. This included the regulatory burden in Europe compared to the rest of the world; relative costs of Europe vs. elsewhere in, e.g., labor, energy, and logistics; degree that globalization continues with regard to trade and investment; volatility and absolute levels of feedstock price; public perception of the industry's reputation and innovation. Drivers relative to the chemical industry include restructuring by scrapping inefficient plants and invest in better ones and innovation not just in products and processes but also business models.
Scenario 1) Sunny: Bright Future Ahead. “In this scenario, the EU in 2015 has access to competitive feedstock, and there is strong demand from local converters that reduces the pressure on prices. The innovative climate, with support of the general public, encourages new technologies such as biotechnology, and the emergence of suppliers using new raw materials.
Customers and important industries stay in Europe. Overall costs do not improve, but also do not get worse. The mostly positive external environment encourages the chemical industry collectively to do its homework, finding new business models and proactively restructuring.
This, in turn, spurs investment in the EU market and provides a flow of qualified workers, who no longer come from the synthetic chemistry background alone. This emerges as a normative scenario, where win-win relations can be developed for governments, greens and industry if all play their cards right. Certainly, the hope must be that this will be taken up as the basis for discussion on how to move forward.” Scenario 2) Cloudy – Realistic Optimism. “The external environment is not as favorable, with geopolitical tensions causing feedstock prices to rise and increasing their volatility. This situation is further aggravated by high energy prices within the EU, and decreased refinery capacity, both of which push up production costs considerably. Europe faces extremely tough competition from Asian finished products and Middle Eastern intermediate products. However, the regulatory authorities in the EU realize the problems, and give industry a helping hand in its restructuring, by supporting innovation and giving reasonable time delays for implementing regulations. Thanks to the positive message from the regulator, restructuring is undertaken whole-heartedly across the industry, with scrap and build taking place and specialization in niche markets. While there is a shortage of qualified labor, this is partly made up by bringing in qualified staff from developing countries. It is clear from this that, even faced with a threatening external environment, there is hope if the authorities can be won over, and if all Cefic member companies join forces to transform the industry.” Scenario 3) Rain – Be Prepared. “This scenario starts from a rather favorable external situation, where feedstock prices are reasonable, and there is bearable pressure from Asian competitors. Even if some client industry segments are leaving Europe, important clients remain active. However, the EU legislative machine is stuck in a "muddling through mode" following enlargement, and is unable to steer policies to reform, or indeed in any particular direction. The result is an increasingly unclear regulatory situation, which damages business confidence. Lacking this lead, the chemical industry fails to get its act together. Innovation is focused on short-term cost saving, restructuring is slow, and major investments flow to other parts of the world, leading to a brain drain, as top talent leaves in search of more dynamic horizons abroad. This scenario reinforces strongly the notion that the industry's fate lies in its own hands, too. A favorable outside world is not
enough to guarantee success as, by failing to seize the opportunity given them, with each company thinking only for itself, problems ensue.” Scenario 4) Storm: Whom to Blame? “A threatening geopolitical situation is coupled with a deliberate subsidy of feedstock in some producer regions combined and with a heavy and increasing legislative burden imposed by the EU authorities that fails to replace national regulations, but rather comes on top of them, with each country implementing EU laws in a different way. Even though Asia is not sucking in so much in investment, the problems of Europe are sufficiently large that few companies wish to build up local capacity there. Chemical companies therefore tend to cash-cow their EU assets, letting the productive resources age and decline. Innovation and innovators leave the European market, making it harder to recruit new talented human resources, even from outside the EU.
This scenario is clearly a minatory tale of just how bad the picture could get in the absence of good will from all those involved.”


World Out of Balance – Three Scenarios for 2015. Adapted from the book, “World Out of Balance” by Paul A. Laudicina. Copyright 2005. McGraw Hill Education.

A.T. Kearney's Paul Laudicina offers three scenarios that depict possible visions of the global future. Based on five key drivers of change - globalization, demographics, consumption patterns, natural resources/environment and regulation/activism - the author envisions three possible and plausible scenarios for the ten-year global outlook. Scenario One: Castles and Moats. “In this darkly pessimistic (though not necessarily most-probable) scenario, the world in 2015 is plagued with instability. Terrorist groups have continued their campaign of well-coordinated attacks against the United States and its institutions abroad. They succeeded in eroding global confidence in what was once seen as the world's preeminent political and economic superpower. Although most of al Qaeda's leaders have been caught and killed, many questions are still unresolved. They include Palestinian statehood, ongoing conflicts in Central Asia and the Caucasus region, as well as worsening standards of living in Middle Eastern countries. Fortress world - As a result, among Western nations, national security trumps all other concerns. Civil liberties have taken a backseat to security concerns, as governments subject their citizens to constant surveillance. With xenophobia on the rise, immigrants, foreign workers and even ethnic minorities are viewed with suspicion. Fewer and fewer people are willing to travel, work or live abroad, knowing that they will be subjected to intense scrutiny. As a siege mentality sets in, rising nationalist and populist sentiment is the catalyst for heightened levels of economic protectionism. Governments now consider it a high priority to protect jobs and prevent them from going overseas. And barriers to foreign investment and cross-border travel ensure that countries can safeguard their own unique ways of life. Countries no longer believe in the efficacy of multilateral arrangements and prefer alliances with small groups of like-minded countries they feel they can trust.” Scenario Two: Patchwork World. “Let's now switch to another, less calamitous, view of the world of the future. The state of the world and the business environment is characterized by a muddle-through mentality. Few governments show much leadership or vision — or even have enough high-quality talent to try to do so. The corporate sector responds in kind. Companies seek growth and profits by working their relationships and looking for advantage wherever they can find it in a fairly chaotic and turbulent world. Large patches of the globe are mired in poverty and violence, although the good news for North America, Europe and Australasia is that much of the trouble is localized. It does not spill over excessively into the zones of affluence, though they would be getting even more affluent if global growth rates were higher. The United States and the expanded European Union prove to be more resilient than others, given their vast internal demand and relative self-sufficiency. Widening divide - However, trade barriers in export markets have a damaging impact on key industrial sectors in Japan, China and Southeast Asian nations, curtailing overall macroeconomic growth in these countries. Government aid and emergency financing grow more scarce, leaving the developing world to fend for itself, while the world's wealthiest consumers account for a greater share of global spending power than at any other time in modern history. Rise of the middle class - In advanced markets, these on-the-go consumers show a penchant for sophisticated, easy-to-use goods and services that simplify lifestyles and address personal needs. Meanwhile, middle-income spending shifts to emerging markets such as China, India, Mexico and Brazil. Collectively, roughly two billion people — 29% of the world population — form the basis of this growing middle class. However, purchases of cars and first homes are sluggish, owing to economic growth rates that are lower than expected. Despite the broad convergence in purchasing power, a truly global "middle class" consciousness fails to take hold. National governments find it increasingly difficult to regulate corporations, in part due to the mass exodus of talented senior policymakers seeking more lucrative careers in the private sector. State, Inc. - Confronted with tight budgets and growing obligations to care for their aging populations, governments turn to corporations to handle a number of formerly public sector services. These include technical training programs, law enforcement and healthcare. As corporations assume a more visible role in the public sphere, they become increasingly sensitive about how they are perceived by the general public. As government oversight declines, a broad coalition of activist groups step into the breach to enforce certain standards of corporate behavior.” Scenario Three: Open Borders, Lingering Fears. “The United States and China are the dominant economic, political and demographic players on the world scene — with large, robust markets that are highly intertwined, with muscular roles in the world that sometimes collide. This is a time of intense business activity and technological innovation, and the rising tide of affluence continues to lift living standards in countries open to the global economy, even as further trade liberalization remains gradual. In the richest markets, companies tap into new consumption patterns emphasizing high-end, lifestyle-enhancing products and services. Trade in services is booming, and secure digital connections allow far-flung, truly global production and distribution networks to emerge. Rising expectations, coupled with a demand for constant innovation, makes consumers less tolerant of products and services that are cumbersome to use and do not deliver on their promises.”


Russian Prospects – Political and Economic Scenarios. Kaare Stamer Andreasen, Master of Social Science in Geography and Eastern European Studies , Jakob Kelstrup, Master of Arts in Russian and Eastern European Studies. Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies, March/July 2005.

Today’s Russia has widespread freedom, democracy, and growing affluence. Will that still be the case in 15 years? 15 years ago, the Soviet Union was a goliath of an inefficient system and injustice. How well can we imagine a Russia of the future? The authors encourage readers to develop their own conclusions. The scenarios are profiled to enable individual companies and organizations to understand consequences within each scenario that shows developments along the chosen uncertainty axes over time. These economic scenarios for Russia are based on two uncertainty axes: one axis concerns whether Russia moves towards a more centralized form of government or towards a more decentralized form of government. One concerns whether Russia evolves towards a market economy (free enterprise) or whether it evolves towards a planned economy. The other uncertainty axis concerns whether Russia’s economy becomes based on raw material production or whether it becomes a differentiated production and service economy.
Scenario 1)Russia has a Working Liberal Economic System. “The Russia of 2020 has a working liberal economic system, but it has failed to develop a differentiated production and service economy. The raw material-dominated industrial complex still constitutes a substantial part of the Russian economy. Russia is hence very sensitive to fluctuations in global raw materials prices. In times of global recession the Russian economy is weak and dependent, and in global boom periods the Russian economy booms. The purchase power of Russian consumers rises and falls almost synchronously with global raw materials prices. Market Economy at Half Steam. - Market forces control Russia’s economic and industrial development, but the country has failed to diversify its foreign and domestic investments and thus develop a more differentiated industrial structure. One of the reasons for this is that Russia still hasn’t modernized its investment laws and the entire bureaucratic and administrative organization sufficiently to encourage far more foreign investments over and above the big investments in the oil and gas sector. Although membership of WTO has helped improve conditions for foreign investments in the Russian economy, it is still subject to too much government interference with sensitive parts of the energy sector. But Russia is still the EU’s biggest trade partner and deeply integrated with the global market. Hampered Middle Class - The development of a strong middle class has been hampered by a lack of diversification of domestic industry. As a result, the development of a Russian middle class to carry Russia into the 21st Century and contribute to a strong economic growth is not much further along than it was 15 years ago. The Russian consumer society is geographically unevenly distributed. Unequal regional development and the lack of investments across sectors has given the economic growth centres in two or three regions in European Russia a greater selection of goods than the rest of the regions. There is steady migration from rural to urban areas, as the regions around Moscow and St. Petersburg still lag behind the growth centres. The labour market is riddled with moonlighting, and there is major unemployment outside the raw materials sector. In addition, there’s not the same flexibility concerning changes in occupation in Russia as there is in Western Europe. David vs. Goliath.- Russia is experiencing lopsided economic development; the resource-rich regions do much better than other regions. Some attempt is made at regional redistribution and balancing of economic resources, but Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the resource-rich regions do better than the rest. The central government keeps a tight rein on the regions to prevent the resource-rich regions from seceding. Most regions are quite far from being self- sufficient and have to participate in inter-regional division of labour. In Russia’s struggle between the centre and the periphery, the richest regions succeed at the expense of those with fewer resources, those that don’t have the economic clout to negotiate with Moscow for privileged status. Oil Sets the Agenda - The high oil prices and Russia’s sale of gas to the EU still provide a positive trade balance. Unfortunately, not enough of the profits from oil and gas have been reinvested in other sectors than the energy sector. The money contributes to a continued economic growth in Russia, but the Russian growth rates are relatively small compared to those of e.g. China and India. Large parts of the raw materials sector are under the control of multinational companies. The greatest foreign investments in Russia have been in the oil and gas sector. The latter is still partly state property. The pipeline network has been partially modernised, but the Russian government has refused to invest extraordinary capital. The export of gas to the EU is the biggest source of income for the Russian state. There has thus been little real improvement in the climate of investment, except for the mandated WTO regulations that Russia has had to introduce. The most mature part of the market is thus the raw materials sector, where we see a lot of business and a well-developed retail business in the economic growth areas. The economy is booming in the districts where the raw materials sector dominates. There’s little unemployment as most of the labour market here revolves around the raw material sector and its associated service jobs. WTO Has No Effects on Exports - Russia still imports large quantities of foreign goods. Due to the membership of WTO, Russia has been unable to protect or develop its domestic industry as much as it would have liked. The membership allows Russia to export more of its domestic production, but lack of investments on the domestic front has rendered the country dependent on imported goods. This dependence on imports combined with the poor selection of goods in the peripheral districts has led to comparatively high prices on consumer goods. The financial sector has experienced a boom in loans by Russian consumers, and the financial sector in turn has invested more in the private sector. The WTO membership has thus had a positive effect on the financial sector.”
Scenario 2) Russia Becomes a New Economic Superpower. In this scenario, Russia has grown into a heavyweight in the global economy by 2020. Russia contributes strongly to globalization and is clearly part of international business life. Many Russian companies are players on the global scene. The Russian economy is very dynamic and has many participants. The former economic structure dominated by the raw materials sector has been replaced by a more diversified economic and industrial structure. More and more small and medium-sized private companies crop up. Things are going well. The emergency measures that were introduced to the Russian economy after the turn of the Millennium, among them a stabilization fund to soak up oil revenues, has led to large foreign investments across the sectors. This in turn has led to noticeable modernization and economic growth in areas like physical infrastructure, telecommunication, and the service sector. Russia’s middle class has grown, and the country possesses a well-educated, motivated, flexible, and globally oriented workforce. Russia is growing steadily stronger in areas like research, innovation, and development. The country has a strong domestic production plus a great growth of export-oriented production. Business life is characterised by strong national and international competition. Many small and medium-sized businesses have appeared, and private enterprise flourishes as never before. The government is very anxious to create good conditions for entrepreneurs. Growing regions. The Russian market is mostly characterised by great competitiveness. Two manifestations of this are a great amount of production for the domestic market and gains made by big modern Russian retail chains at the expense of the international chains. Foreign retail chains were too hesitant about expanding their businesses in the Russian regions, and the Russian chains took advantage of that to exploit the ‘first mover’ initiative in these areas. As the purchasing power of Russian consumers has grown greater and greater, this strategy has enabled the local chains to report greater profits than foreign chains. Regional expansion of retail trade has caused the income and employment figures of big cities other than Moscow and St. Petersburg to grow too. The Volga region, the Urals, and the Southern and Eastern regions in particular show high growth rates. A typical market economy There thus is a lot of business-to-business trade going on. The black economy’s share of the Russian economy has grown smaller due to e.g. more transparent tax rules, increased encouragement for investments, and reduced government interference in economic activities. It is no longer as necessary for local and foreign investors alike to have good political and administrative connections in the Russian business world in order to do business as it was 10-15 years ago, another sign that Russia has become a typical self-regulating market economy. The implementation of a functioning legal system has been of great importance. A more differentiated production and service economy has generated greater international confidence in the Russian market. Hence, in 2020, far more investments are made in Russian business. At the turn of the millennium, foreign direct investments (FDI) in Russia lagged far behind investments in other emerging economies, like the Chinese and South East Asian economies, but by now they’ve reached a much higher level and are on a par with the Central and Eastern European nations in terms of per capita FDI. The confidence in the Russian market is a consequence of careful attention paid to long-term improvements to the investment climate. This attention has resulted in more transparent property rights and investment laws plus a greater transparency regarding official handling of investment cases. WTO shows the way Russia’s membership of WTO has forced it to improve the investment climate. Thanks to WTO, foreign investors perceive lessened risks associated with Russia’s business world, although there is still some way to go before reaching Western standards and corruption is still to be found in certain parts of the Russian business world. Russia experiences increasing foreign and domestic investments in the shape of portfolio investments and direct investments. Russia has a transparent market with international accounting standards. Many Russian companies are quoted on the international stock exchanges. Faith in the Russian market, combined with the global economic success of Russian companies, generates opportunities for global actors to make big money on the expanding Russian market. Various foreign and domestic investments have led to a gradual shift in the Russians’ choice of employment. Where the oil and gas sector used to generate the greatest income and contributed the biggest share of the GDP, in 2020, the workforce is spread more evenly across various sectors. Service jobs thus play a greater part in the economic growth. Prosperity and contentment. The Russian people are generally content with the way things are. The rising economic standard of living, the excellent prospects for the future and the many fine opportunities make for an optimistic and dynamic Russia. Globalization is perceived as something positive that, at the same time, can be used to reflect Russia’s unique qualities. People take pride in being Russian, and Russian culture is in focus. The prosperity also benefits Russia’s marginal districts. Geographical location is less important in a digital age. Remote villages in Eastern Siberia participate on equal terms in the international knowledge society. Since a growing part of production is intangible, all the Russian regions participate in the global production. There is a tendency towards economic dispersion in Russia. The Eastern regions turn more and more towards Asia, the Western regions towards Europe. However, this does not foster burgeoning separatist sentiments. Federated Russia is firmly embedded in regional political activities. The outlying regions contribute more and more to the Federal budget. Russia has achieved political maturity, and an efficient public administration provides an equal distribution of resources.
Scenario 3) 2nd World In this economic scenario, the Russia of 2020 is characterised by government interference with the economy. Not the same interference that was common during the Soviet era, but still with some of the same signs. The Russian economy is still based on raw materials, and only feeble developments have been made towards a more differentiated production and service economy. The Russian economy is growing very slowly, almost not at all. Russia’s business life is dominated by great oligopolies, and there are growing internal inequities and lopsided economic growth. Bureaucracy, political cronyism, and corruption are basic facts of life. Fettered market economy/signs of planned economy. The economic initiatives that were launched after Russia’s independence created a broad foundation designed to help the economy of all of Russia’s industrial sectors mature, but the process has been mired by Russia’s growing dependence on high global oil and gas prices. Russia has failed to reinvest the income from its oil in other sectors of the economy. As a result the country remains dependent on the raw materials sector. Gas and oil are thus the mainstays of economic growth. However, investments in the gas sector have been inadequate and parts of it have yet to be modernised. The Russian economy is becoming more and more planned; many of the former state companies that were privatised in the 1990s are back in government hands. The state has also taken over majority ownership of industries that were showing excellent growth rates, like telecommunication, oil, and finance. This is partly a product of protectionist measures by the Russian government and partly in consequence of the government’s desire to have powerful economic negotiation tools at its disposal. The effects can be seen in Russia’s relations with the outside world, such as cooperation with WTO and trade with e.g. the EU. Russia’s attempt at restructuring its economy towards a market economy has thus failed. Membership of WTO is still not in the cards, due to mounting protectionism. A powerful bureaucracy runs the public administration. The economic structure is hierarchical with the raw materials sector and the machinery of state on top, and on the bottom the less important production and service sectors, whose growth rates more or less depend on the fluctuating growth rate of the raw materials sector. The state of Russia’s market depends on the global economy, as the country has failed to attract enough foreign investments to develop a differentiated industrial structure. More CIS, less EU. Because of its vulnerability, Russia regularly imposes trade restrictions on trade partners like the EU and China. The trade partners retaliate, and the result is ongoing trade disputes. So Russia has turned its gaze towards the CIS countries. Cooperation in the CIS has received a new lease of life because several of the member states see advantages from closer economic cooperation. Russia’s neighbours in the CIS area experience the same sort of fluctuating growth rates as Russia and likewise have trouble becoming truly integrated in the global economy. The only exception is Ukraine, whose independent economic profile is moving it closer to the EU; as a result, the country is attracting large foreign investments. Poor climate for entrepreneurs. The hopes from the start of the 2000s for development of a big middle class in Russia have not come true. The inequalities between different classes of Russian society have become worse. Unemployment is high, and the funds allocated to education and research are inadequate. There’s no demand for well-educated employees outside the raw materials sector and the administration. Conditions within the service and production sectors are bad, and the climate for entrepreneurs is poor. Even though Russia needs well-educated workers, it can’t offer them decent salaries or the degree of modernization that would be needed for their further development. Hence there is a relatively large amount of brain drain as well-educated people seek employment abroad. Barter and black economy Russia is experiencing great regional inequalities. Some of the nation’s 89 regions and peoples were not included in the economic plans and only serve as extraction areas for raw materials. Hence barter is growing more and more prevalent in these areas, and the black economy looms large in the economically marginal regions. For this reason, official economic statistics do not give a true picture of the development of the Russian society.As regards infrastructure, Russia is still lagging behind the goals that were formulated at the start of the millennium and compared to the expectations held by many prognoses. Russia has failed to develop its transport and distribution system adequately because the expected foreign investments failed to appear and because there have been no reinvestments outside the raw materials sector. At the same time, Russia has failed to attract the amount of foreign capital that had been expected to its retail sector. Foreign retail chains have withdrawn from the country because of an unstable investment climate and impenetrable legislation, particularly in the field of ownership law. Inertia and bureaucracy Russia has not been able to keep up with the economic growth rates of the richest countries and looks more and more like a second-world country. Russia’s labour market is characterised by a wage-earner culture. There are no encouragements and no opportunities for social advancement. The state’s interference with and regulation of the economy has created an efficient, but rigid bureaucracy. The many rules and courts hinder the activities of entrepreneurs. Business advisors find it necessary to be able to offer customers access to strong personal networks linked to authorities and trade.
4th Economic Scenario: New Soviet It’s Russia in the year 2020. Russia has developed a differentiated production and service economy and its dependency on raw materials has eased. There is considerable government interference with the economy. This interference has resulted in massive economic planning, and several sectors are protected by tariff walls, subsidies, and other government measures. Russia is trying out an industrialization strategy based on import-substituting industrialization in order to achieve complete independence. The goal is to create a combination of import-substituting industrialization and export-oriented industrialization. However, the attempt is not succeeding too well, and Russia is at a crossroad between protectionism and dependency on imports. Economic growth but no international competitiveness Russia has grasped the necessity of reinvesting oil incomes from the stabilization fund in other sectors than the raw materials sector, so the service sector and small and medium-sized businesses show high growth rates. On the surface Russia thus has a differentiated production and service economy. However, the state frequently takes control of formerly privatised companies, especially in the oil sector, telecommunication, and the dairy sector. Not because these companies are failing, but because of state interference and tax policies.Although developments have been more along the lines towards a differentiated economy, there’s still not a sound differentiated economic structure in place; local products are seldom competitive on the global market thanks to increasing protectionism and erection of tariff barriers.Russia makes considerable use of domestic investments, including domestic entrepreneurs, who have become numerous. However, the result is a more inward-turning Russian production cycle that is more suited to domestic markets than to the global market. The result is that Russia still has a big demand for foreign goods and can only show a small positive trade balance. Corruption is alive and well The regions have become better integrated with the overall economic development. As a result, foreign investments are more distributed among the regions and don’t just wind up in the big growth areas round 3-4 cities. The competition among regions is becoming fiercer and fiercer. A region’s effectiveness depends on political contacts and the state bureaucracy. The Soviet legacy of corruption and bureaucracy of the public sector is still with us. WTO accommodations Russia is not a member of WTO, but it has still had to adjust its economic development according to WTO regulations. Although the country is self-sufficient with most products, a big demand for certain foreign products and industrial spare parts makes it necessary to trade with the outside world. That’s why the EU is still a major trade partner of Russia, in spite of protectionist measures such as import quotas and trade barriers being frequent features of this commercial relationship. Russia hasn’t got had the foreign investments it needed to strengthen domestic production and make Russian goods dominant on the global market. Instead it has used oil revenues to reinvest in domestic production, which has created an economically differentiated, not internationally sound industrial infrastructure. Joint ventures are the most important and most frequent form of foreign investment. The central authorities encourages joint ventures, but they’re still not particularly attractive to foreign investors, since investors have very little influence on the running of the business. A flexible currency Russia’s planned economy leads to a centrally fixed currency that goes up and down according to how it will aid Russian exports. So when economic growth lags behind, the currency is lowered to make it easier to sell goods on the global market, while in boom times the currency is raised to protect domestic production. This makes Russia a less attractive country for foreign investors. The laws are unclear and sometimes hostile to investors from abroad.Regionalization, internationalization, and centralization. The close ties between the individual regions have served to modernise infrastructure and distribution network. There are still parts of Russia that has not benefited from this development, though: the most remote areas, where raw materials extraction is of great importance, but where not enough resources have been allocated to modernise the distribution solutions and warehousing facilities of retail chains. As a result, you can find a few regions that cooperate closely with neighbouring regions and constitute small business enclaves with political contacts to the state as important assets.Russian exports are hampered by not being a member of WTO. Consumer goods are primarily exported to the CIS countries and to 3rd world countries. Furthermore, exports are still dominated by raw materials whose global prices still influence the degree of economic growth in Russia. Russia is experiencing a small, but by no means insignificant, market in connection with Business-Business, as the central decision-making processes frequently make themselves felt in the business world, both on the regional and the national level. The Business-Consumer market is relatively small for foreign businesses because domestic businesses cover all areas and get preferential treatment. Business-Government is in many cases vital and cover political contacts plus contacts to the regional and federal bureaucracies.


The Shell Global Scenarios to 2025 The Future Business Environment: Trends, Trade-offs and Choices © Shell International Limited (SIL), 2005.

The reader is encouraged to refer to the 2001 Shell Global Scenarios (including the scenarios that were developed over a thirty year history of the Shell scenario project), for an apt and coherent background leading up to the 2005 work. In the 2001 scenarios, Shell presented two global scenarios that explored the challenges of a globalizing, deregulated, market-centric world. Today, the tensions captured in 2001 remain valid, but societies also face more complex choices on the nature of regulation, the framework for corporate governance, and welfare reforms. The key questions asked in 2001 were, “Will the resolution of dilemmas arising from globalization be dominated by global elites or by the people of the heartlands?” In 2001, the “Business Class” and “Prism” scenarios highlighted the “connections that matter” and “multiple modernities”. The 2005 Shell scenarios continues the work of 2001 and uses a metaphore for air navigation to show a charter of routes across three interrelated levels:1) the Jet Stream level of long-term, predetermined trends, uncertainties, and forces; 2) the Weather Systems level that reflect key regions as influenced by the Jet Stream context; and, 3) the Market-level of trends and turbulences. Part I of the 2005 Shell Scenarios present a “Trilema Triangle,”which is a unique analytical framework developed to map relations between market participants, civil society and states. Part II presents the scenarios themselves. Part III provides an analysis of critical trends common to all of the scenarios, starting with the international scene (emphasizing the US, China, the EU, Africa, and India), then matters of demography and patterns of economic growth. Part III concludes with a study on energy security and the move toward an energy and carbon industry. Key differences between the three scenarios are captured in Trilemmaps which compare specific features of Shell’s business environment that capture key dimensions. The following are scenario abstracts of Part II’s completed versions of the Shell Global Scenarios to 2025: Scenario 1) Low Trust Globalization: A Legalistic Prove it to me World: “The absence of market solutions to the crisis of security and trust , rapid regulatory change, overlapping jurisdictions, and conflicting laws lead to intrusive checks and controls, encouraging short-term portfolio optimisation and vertical integration. Institutional discontinuities limit cross-border economic integration. Complying with fast-evolving rules and managing complex risks are key challenges.” Scenario 2) Open Doors: A Progmatic, “Know Me” World: “Built-In” security and compliance certification, regulatory harmonization, mutual recognition, independent media, voluntary best-practice codes, and close links between investors and civil society encourages cross-border integration and virtual value chains. Networking skills and superior reputation management are essential.” Scenario 3) Flags: A Dogmatic, “Follow Me” World: “Zero-sum games, dogmatic approaches, regulatory fragmentation, and national preferences, conflicts over values and religion give insiders an advantage and put a brake on globalization. Gated communities, patronage and national standards exacerbate fragmentation, and call for careful country-risk management.”


Fleeting Equality: The Relative Size of the U.S. and EU Economies in 2020. U.S. - Europe Analysis Series. Adam S. Posen, Senior Fellow, Institute for International Economics, The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC.

In May, the European Union celebrated the accession of 10 new members. In one fell swoop, by adding their combined GDP to that of the current EU-15, Europe had finally caught up to the United States in economic size. Both economies at present have an annual income of around $11 trillion. Their per capita incomes differ significantly, with the European Union spreading the same income over 170 million more people. Nonetheless, for symbolic as well as practical reasons, the achievement of parity between the EU and U.S. economies marks a milestone.2 This parity, however, is not going to last. Given differentials in demographics (both fertility and immigration rates) and in productivity growth that will persist for the foreseeable future, American economic growth will outstrip European growth. Absent some change in current trends, the U.S. economy will be nearly 20% bigger than the enlarged European economy in 2020. This analysis paper projects the relative sizes of the U.S., the expanded EU, and the “rest of the world” [RoW] economies out to 2020 under three scenarios—and even under the one most favorable to Europe, parity will not be maintained. Adam S. Posen

Three scenarios are considered. Scenario 1) Baseline: “The United States, enlarged European Union, and RoW, are all assumed to grow at their annual average growth rates of 1993-2003. In this case, the U.S. share of global GDP is essentially unchanged by 2020, the EU share declines by over 3%, and the RoW adds 4%. The U.S. economy more than doubles in size to $24.6 trillion, while the EU economy goes from parity with the U.S. economy in 2003 to $20.9 trillion (15% smaller than the United States) by 2020.” Scenario 2) Demographic Determinism: “The U.S. growth rate is assumed to slow down by 0.02% each year due to declining birth rates, in part due to improved income of Hispanic- and African-Americans. The EU growth rate slows down by 0.07% each year due to rapid aging of the population, which is if anything exacerbated by the accession countries. Part of the growth decline comes from the effect of aging on government budgets, and on productivity growth of meeting those budgets through increases in interest rates and distortionary taxes, with the rest coming directly through shrinkage of the labor force. The U.S. share of world GDP declines slightly by 2020, remaining just above 20%; the enlarged EU share of world GDP declines by 5% (overall global GDP grows noticeably but not disastrously more slowly than in the baseline scenario). The relative gap between the U.S. and the EU economies in 2020 is wider than in the baseline scenario, with the U.S. national income worth $24.0 trillion, and the EU economy $19.1 trillion (a 20% difference).” Scenario 3) European Reform: “The U.S. is assumed to continue to grow at its average rate of 1993-2003, but the EU growth rate is assumed to jump by 0.5% in 2008, stay that amount higher, and gain a further 0.05% a year through 2020. Under this scenario, in 2020, the EU growth rate would catch up with that of the United States. The rationale for such a scenario is that productivity is boosted from integration of the accession countries’ low-wage labor forces or the results of a number of domestic reform efforts in core European economies following the upcoming election cycles. It is assumed that these benefits take a few years to be felt, but with ongoing beneficial effects. In this scenario, the U.S. and EU shares of world output decline at a slower but still noticeable pace by 2020 (the EU share from 21.3% to 18.6%; the U.S. share from 21.1% to 20.0%). The size of the EU relative to the U.S. economy goes up compared to the baseline scenario, reaching 93% of the U.S. size in 2020. These scenarios all likely overestimate the relative size of growth of the RoW, including that of China and India, for two reasons. First, by measuring the economies in PPP terms, rather than in traded goods terms at multi-year average exchange rates, the scenarios tend to increase the size of developing countries’ output relative to that of developed economies. PPP calculations, in their effort to better account for the value of non-tradeables, even in very low wage economies, effectively assume that producing a $1 haircut generates as much purchasing power for the economy as producing $1 worth of high-tech equipment for export. In fact, the high U.S. and EU share of cutting-edge technology production (relative to their share of the world economy) and their ability to borrow on world markets in their own currencies (given the greater liquid assets available to them) means they control a greater share of global income than PPP calculations of world GDP shares imply. Secondly, despite the Asian financial crisis and the travails of certain countries in recent years, the last 10 years have been years of relatively good growth in the major emerging market economies, and projecting out their ongoing growth at the average rate of the last 10 years is on the optimistic end of things (though certainly not unreasonable). This would be particularly the case for China and India, both of which have undergone unprecedented growth spurts of late that may not be sustainable indefinitely. Thus, the scenarios give a lower bound for the U.S. and EU share of the world economy. These scenarios also likely underestimate the relative performance of the U.S. economy versus the EU going forward (barring reform) as well.”


Global Normative Scenario to the Year 2050 Jerry Glenn and Theodore Gordon. Published in the 1999 State of the Future Report: Challenges We Face at the Millennium. This was sketched previously in the 1998 Report details have been added using 1998-99 year's and earlier Lookout Panel responses. as well as other sources of information.

Although the following may look like three alternative normative scenarios, they are intended to be one scenario with three interdependent themes. Each theme represents a different perspective on how change occurs. Some believe technology is the key force that has made change occur. Others argue that changing consciousness and the human capacity is more fundamental to long-term systemic change. Still others say that political and economic policies create the conditions for changes in both technology and human capacity. The following global normative scenario assumes that all three themes are important to the realization of the normative future of 2050.

Normative scenarios represent desirable future worlds. They employ credible cause, effect and feedback relationships to get from the present to a desirable future.

Scenario: A Normative World in 2050: “By 2050 the world had finally achieved a global economy that appears to be environmentally sustainable while providing nearly all people with the basic necessities of life and the majority with a comfortable living. The resulting social stability has created a world in relative peace, exploring possible futures for the second half of the 21st century. Different explanations have been given for the series of astounding successes achieved by 2050. Some believe that breakthroughs in science and technology were the keys, others that development of the human potential was more fundamental, and still others that political and economic polices made the difference. All three themes were important and mutually reinforcing.” Technological theme: Internet has become a right of citizenship. Businesses give free accounts to all customers; employers give them as an employee benefit. The connection of virtually all people to the global information and communications systems accelerated the pace of scientific research and the introduction and diffusion of new technology. Biotechnology, nanotechnology, and closed-environment agriculture fed the world. New and improved sources of energy made cleaner economic growth. Brain-like intelligent systems used neural networks to augment human intelligence and improve decision making. Molecular manufacturing (nanotechnology) lowered manufacturing unit cost, requiring less volume of materials and energy usage, and hence, lowered the environmental impact of a population that had almost reached 10 billion. Vaccinology and genetic engineering eliminated most acquired and inherited diseases further reducing the need for more frequent pregnancies to have a similar sized family. This was a factor in further lowering fertility rates, even though generational mini-booms have continued from the great population explosion in the mid-20th century. Cyberspace had become a major medium of civilization creating a constantly growing, non zero-sum economy and had changed day-to-day life as significantly as the industrial revolution had changed life 200 years earlier. The success of the International Space Station had led to other orbital habitats, the lunar base, and the pioneer communities on Mars. Nearly 250,000 people now work in space communities in orbit, on the moon, and on Mars, giving a new frontier for human imagination and advances in civilization. Breakthroughs in the unified theory of matter and energy have led to a deeper understanding of mass, inertia, gravity and quantum behavior. Health is a widely accepted human right; equity in coverage and accessibility to quality health services and health information exist regardless of capacity to pay, culture, race, geographic location or social ascription. Tele-health and tele-medicine is widely available and easily accessible. Health care providers adopt new paradigms to forecast and prevent potential health problems through personal and public health approaches; early detection through biomonitoring and management of problems that do occur. The invention of secure electronic money revolutionized retail transactions, international trade, and provided extraordinary growth of employment. The synergy of telematics and micro-genetics provided a jump in human evolution eliminating many diseases and increasing human capabilities. Biotechnology has created high yield plant species that are disease and pest-resistant, use less fertilizer and are more tolerant of drought and brackish water. The mapping of bacterial, human, and plant genomes, provided knowledge of genetic processes and to some extent, information about how to control them. The World Energy Organization, created in the early 21st century, coordinated research and helped improve policy leading to today’s safer mix of sources that have reversed the greenhouse effect. Space-related inventions have created new industries, tax sources for social programs, improved living standards, expanded access to tools by miniaturization and production processes that have lowered the costs of many technologies from satellite communications to medical diagnostic techniques. Income from satellite communications, solar power satellites, orbital energy relay satellites (orbital electricity grid), lunar and asteroid mining, weightless manufacturing, and space tourism has led to an enormous growth of private sector ventures in space. This acceleration of the privatization of space applications has avoided the public cycles of interest and disinterest in space support, so common in the last century. Despite the technological progress and scientific insight in which today’s society is based, most scientists and engineers believe that there is still more to come, that the future holds further excitement, progress and discovery.” Human Development Theme: “The acknowledgment that education was the solution to many problems and that the knowledge economy was spreading rapidly, stimulated governments and corporations worldwide to increase their investments in education, training, and applications of cognitive science. The race to educate the world began after the World Summit on Cognitive Development in 2010. Most institutions that had even a peripheral association with education began debating the most equitable and cost/effective ways to make everyone knowledgeable, virtuous, and intelligent. Internet access became a right of citizenship. Educational software was imbedded into nearly everything that could hold a computer chip. The World Cyber Games permeating daily life blending entertainment and education. The transition from a mostly illiterate global population to a mostly educated world was achieved by the mid-2040s. The interconnection of many separate programs into a global system of education created a cyberspace in which all could get the best education at their own pace, learning style, and in their own language. In addition to the vast improvements in educational technology, the content of conventional public education also changed during the early 21st century. Education successfully linked human ecology to decision-making in an increasingly global society. Advances in cybernetics and human cognitive development increased the use of machine intelligence to augment human intelligence, while emphasizing social and emotional development for improved decisionmaking. In short, it became fashionable to be intelligent and virtuous.It was not enough to learn and understand the history and current status of an item; in the world of 2050 an educated person also knew a range of possible futures for that item. The millennium provided the focus to foster collaboration among the various inter-religious dialogues on human values and morals that continued over several decades and through all forms of media. Although cultural and religious conflicts will still need more time to fully disappear, these new initiatives have help to keep them in sufficient check to prevent the kinds of wars so prevalent in the last century. Changes in global frames of reference and philosophies due in part to understanding of the interaction of population and economic growth with environmental degradation gave rise to the more enlightened age of today. The merger of the environmental movements and human rights groups in collaboration with many leading multinational corporations made possible the global educational campaign that made clean air, water, and land to be accepted as a human right. As a result, many changes in environmental policies and behaviors have been made. It became unthinkable to establish an environmentally dangerous project. With global consciousness (awareness that everyone is aware of the world as-a-whole) institutional forms continuously reinvented themselves. Few hierarchical or network institutions existed in a continuous sense as in the 20th century. Instead they became fields for collaborative actions of varying time duration. Every four years the Olympic movement re-enforced this consciousness through its games in both cyber and three-dimensional space. In 2040, when the Mars Pioneers won the first Olympic competition in solar sailing between earth and lunar orbit, humanity seemed to pass some threshold of consciousness. We became aware that we were no longer an earth-only species but will become a space faring one. Our human capacity is just now beginning to be understood. The current debate about a possible signal from extraterrestrial intelligence is revolutionizing our values, philosophy, and views of the human potential as we enter the second half of the 21st century.” Political Economic Policy Theme: “The number of wars decreased as democracies and respect for cultural diversity increased in the early 21st century. Although old cultural conflict wounds of the past still flare occasionally, we can successfully avert and prevent them for growing into larger conflicts. The resulting social stability nurtured economic growth and created 2 billion people in the global middle class by 2010. This increased conditions for further stability and sustainable growth that moved over 5 billion people in the middle class by 2050. The transition from dictatorships to democracies is now complete. Authoritarian regimes cooperated in the transition realizing that democratic processes were increasingly necessary for social stability and the generation of wealth en par with global norms. Improved information technology helped make UN Electoral Units instrumental in this transition by providing effective election design, management, and monitoring. Threats to make development assistance and loans from international organizations dependent on progress toward democracy sometimes proved counterproductive. The incentive of participation in the Global Partnership for Development (GPD) proved effective as a partnership between high income countries and those with less industrial and entrepreneurial cultures to improve economic development. GDP membership required respect for human rights and policies to address environmental security. If they were abridged or thwarted sufficiently, intervention by UN peacekeeping forces could be authorized by the Security Council. A little noticed article in the GPD called for acceptance of periodic NGO assessments of progress on democratization and the reduction of corruption. The corruption reports have become an annually anticipated event and have proven to be an effective instrument through which countries have reduced corruption. As the world progressed toward peace, the reduction in arms R&D, production, stockpiling, trade, and military personnel was accelerated along with the efforts to convert military technology to civilian uses. The World Sustainable-development Organization (WSO) was created to provide a global focus for business, government, and individual efforts to invest into sustainable development. The International Court of Environmental Arbitration and Conciliation has become the key instrument for advising the UN Security Council on environmental security actions. UN Peacekeeping forces were deployed when the ICEAC ruled against a state that was unwilling to stop the leakage of nuclear waste that endangered several countries. Since then the threat of UN military intervention has been sufficient to cause remedial actions. Intergenerational equity has become a major global value and legal principle. Similarly, there are now government incentives for smaller and healthier families, effective long-term contraceptives, low infant mortality rates. Since family planning or spacing has become acceptable in nearly all cultures, it is unlikely that birth rates will increase in the near future. Birth rates have fallen sufficiently that now more people worry about sufficient population growth to the support the world’s increasingly aging population. The synergies among the successes in political economic policies, human development, and technology have resulted in a better world in 2050 that few at the turn of the century believed was possible.”


In the New Financial Cosmos, it Will be Safer to Take a Dare. Robert J Shiller, Yale University economist and author of “Macro Markets: Creating Institutions for Managing Society's Largest Economic Risks.” Peter Coy, senior writer, Business Week.

In the future, the idea of risk takes on a whole new meaning because in the 21st Century, we see that innovation and creativity are considered high priority values. Our values have changed from hard work to innovation; innovation on every level of the workforce. Thus, the need to hedge risks on careers. Skiller describes an interesting scenario in the year 2015: In the New Financial Cosmos, it Will be Safer to Take a Dare. “Imagine a market in 2015 where hedgers and speculators meet to trade futures, similar to today's betting on the value of corn or soybeans. The wagering will concern the future value of a career, a neighborhood, or even a country. If the risk of a stick-your-neck-out choice is hedged, it's suddenly a whole lot easier to take the plunge Think of the invisible losses that society suffers because of fear of failure: the brilliant careers that are never attempted, the great companies that are never launched, the products that are never produced. Society won't eradicate fear of failure in the 21st century. But it will do the next best thing: It will devise new kinds of financial instruments--new hedges--that will reduce the riskiness of new ventures. By so doing, it will embolden a new generation of smart but cautious entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams. All of us will benefit from the creativity this will unleash. The new financial instruments won't protect people from their own stupid mistakes. Instead, these hedges will insulate people from events outside their control that could affect their chosen careers, industries, or even countries. That will make people more the masters of their own fates. Career hedges are just one example of this broader application of risk-buffering by 2015. By 2015, it is also possible to hedge against a decline in the value of houses in one’s area. People might be more willing to spruce up their homes or buy houses in chancier neighborhoods if they could protect themselves against a slide in the local market. Amazingly, by 2015, it is possible for governments to create a financial instrument to hedge on national economic performance. By 2015, an Argentine receives a payoff if Argentina's economy hit the skids. That might encourage bright people to build a life in Argentina rather than emigrating. Hedging a career, a neighborhood, or a country may sound exotic. But consider the risks of the 21st century. It makes sense not to put all eggs in one basket.”


Future of Management. John Jordan, director of electronic commerce at Ernst & Young's Center for Business Innovation. Warren Bennis & Patricia Biedeman co-author of “Organizing Genius” Persius Books, 1998. ISBN 0-201-57051-3. Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business Administration at the University of Southern California, is a well-known authority on leadership. He is the author of Leaders and On Becoming a Leader. He has served as a consultant to many large companies.
Patricia Ward Biederman is a staff writer with Los Angeles Times. Her writing focuses on cultural affairs.

Already, many companies are adopting work groups with no designated leader. In 1987, 28% of the largest 1,000 public companies boasted at least some self-directed groups. By 1996, 78% had some, according to research by Edward E. Lawlor III, head of USC's Center for Effective Organizations. The trend will only intensify as a generation of team-oriented managers climbs higher. Says Lawlor: ``I can see future generations of people getting to the top with more team experience--and being more willing to use it once they get there.''

Jordan describes a scenario in the 21st Century: The Global Corporation Becomes the Leaderless Corporation: “None of us is as smart as all of us.” “By 2020, the trailblazing corporate superstar becomes a thing of the past. Follow the-leader is a game companies will no longer play. The corporate path to success by 2020 is paved by teams made up of the best and the brightest, with their egos checked at the door. Successful companies are leaderless companies. Or, to be more precise, companies whose leadership is so widely shared that they resemble beehives, ant colonies, or schools of fish. In 2004, democratic decision-making in corporations was confined largely to factory floors and new-product laboratories, far from the top of organizational pyramids. But through trial, companies found that democracy had to extend upward toward the top of the pyramid. The lesson of history learned in the 20th century: the collapse of the Soviet Union because its command-and-control economy couldn't keep up with the West's free market. In the 21st century, the same fate will befall companies whose CEOs attempt to control everything. In a world that is becoming ever more chaotic and dependent on brainpower, teams at the top make more sense. By 2020, the outrageously paid CEO who sits behind a ``buck stops here'' plaque will rarely be seen or heard of. By 2020, the Internet will allow companies to be more like beehives because information can be shared horizontally rather than funneled up to the CEO's office and back down again. ``The nature of the process that built the Internet will inform everything that touches it. There's nobody in charge,'' says John Jordan, director of electronic commerce at Ernst & Young's Center for Business Innovation. In 2004, succeeding was like climbing the Rocky Mountains. It wasn't easy, but the path was obvious. Success was a matter of executing on a well-established business plan: Every step up brought you closer to the top. In 2020, it turns out that the Rocky Mountains are fluid and moving,'' ``One minute you're at the top, next you're in a valley.'' Team leadership is ideally suited for this new reality. When the landscape is changing daily, it's crucial to react fast--something bureaucratic, top-down organizations don't do well.”


Scenario of the Global Economy: Pivitol Change to 2010. Organization for Economic CO-Operation and Development. The OECD groups 30 member countries sharing a commitment to democratic government and the market economy. With active relationships with some 70 other countries, NGOs and civil society, it has a global reach. Best known for its publication and its statistics, its work covers economic and social issues from macroeconomics, to trade, education, development and science and innovation.

Scenario of the Global Economy: Pivitol Change to 2010. “The development and spread of team-oriented institutional forms was slow and, in fact, little-noted at the time. What drew much more attention was the gradual and then return to economic prosperity. This began as a US revival, created chiefly as former excesses were finally sweated out of the system. The technology sectors had also grown away from over-capacity and were, by the beginning of the recovery period, were beginning to harness the breathtaking technologies that the previous decade had created. The biotechnology boom began, enabled by legislative and opinion-forming structures which had evolved explicitly to handle issues of trust. The onset of the second business cycle upturn of the millennium, in 2007-8, showed what became a lasting, if gradual and regional capital market revival. This showed what could be done, and the machinery of economic and social growth began to spread in the industrial and the industrialising world. Plainly, some of the worst-afflicted nations were unable to take full advantage of this, and these formed the core of a reactive nucleus which we shall meet again.”
“This resumption of growth is now seen to have been a pivotal point in the past quarter century of social and economic development. It is worth pausing to review the state of play within the industrial nations of the period. A very new approach to public governance now characterised the economically and socially dynamic parts of the world, being right-sized, consultative, evidence-driven, often specialised, multi-layered and innately networked. One earned a political voice less by being elected as a representative than by being available, interesting and generally regarded as useful in decision-taking.”
“This mode of operation was set against the traditional machinery that was (and is) still in place in nations where economic dynamism has been replaced by energetic squabbles over claimancy. As one commentator on Germany has remarked, the period was marked by fury over slicing cakes rather than energy in baking them. The majority of individuals who declared policy activism as their chief civic engagement in the 2010 EU census were over seventy years of age. Similar surveys in Japan showed that only a few percent of the population saw themselves as politically engaged, whilst almost all respondents over 60 were members of a claimants union.”
“These differences were the source of considerable friction. European, and to a lesser extent, Japanese interests tended to interpret their problems as stemming from the actions of others, notably of the more competitive economies. Their weak position greatly influenced the way in which they wished the world and its rules to evolve. Mercantilist measures that protected domestic markets were initially favoured as socially-responsible steps to reduce "globalization". In fact, most penalised the trade from poorer nations, or blocked measures that would forward domestic productivity. Whilst tariffs were generally deprecated, regulations that set unreachable standards (of cleanliness, of ethical standards, of industrial health and safety) effectively barred markets. Diffuse international supply chains were subject to sharp controls. Later, as elderly populations began to react against fast change as a thing in itself, sources of modernity were themselves addressed: the biology industries, self-aware software, direct experience media and aspects of nanotechnology were all widely banned goods during the 2010-15 period. Concerns about 'cultural pollution' were given extreme prominence, at least in some few nations where populism had reached for a retroactive sense of common identity. Friction between these counties - where industrialised or no, secular or theocratic - and the leaders of economic and social modernisation also became pronounced between 2012-15.”
“The sharp distinctions in style between the various tendencies in the wealthy world had forced a formalism into international relations. The tendency to negotiate clear positions, and to see these as both important and binding, brought a new strength to international law. The nature of this binding was a mutual set of sanctions, and an agreement to small multilateral sacrifices in order to avoid these. Agencies such as the WTO acted to systematise these agreements, but did not of themselves have any power. Discipline came from fear of what followed failure. This was to have a profound effect on how the world evolved after 2010.”


E-Business Pulse: Got Your Crystal Ball? Barbara Gomolski is a research director at Gartner Group, a research firm in Stamford, Conn. InfoWorld. 10-15-2001.

The question on everyone’s mind these days seems to be, “What's going to happen to the economy, and what will be the impact on IT and e-business over the next ten to twenty years?" Nobody knows. For IT professionals, these are uncertain times. On the one hand, there is a significant and renewed focus on disaster recovery and business continuance. On the other hand, there are tight controls on discretionary spending and great reluctance to start long-term projects.

Barbara Gomolski discusses three scenarios of the 21st Century: E-Business Pulse: Got Your Crystal Ball? “In 2005, let us consider three possible scenarios of the future of e-business and what they would mean for IT. More important than "getting it right" in terms of which of these scenarios materializes is knowing the tell-tale signs of each case, and being able to adapt to the changing conditions.” Scenario 1) Everything's Coming up Roses. “The most optimistic scenario would be characterized by the speedy destruction of Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, recovery of the global financial markets by 2005, and a significant rebound in the IT industry. If this happens, companies will gradually begin to rebuild their work forces and refocus again on growth strategies, such as e-business. Under this scenario, companies aggressively pursue applications such as CRM and b-to-b by 2005.” Scenario 2) The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Under this scenario, which I believe is the most probable, the United States and its allies make slow but steady progress in the war against terrorism, and the global financial rebound is equally sluggish. In this environment, we don't see businesses return to "growth strategies" until 2005 Until then, IT capital spending and staffing levels are held tight (pre-2001 levels), and companies retrench around core systems and existing customers. E-business is in a relative holding pattern, although Web-based collaboration systems and e-learning get a boost due to companies desire to halt travel. Scenario 3) Brother, Can you Spare a Dime? The bleakest scenario would be characterized by more large-scale terrorist attacks both in the United States and abroad, massive layoffs, weak corporate earnings, bank failures, and widespread bankruptcies in the IT sectors. This doom-and-gloom picture would mean that companies retreat to a defensive strategy by shedding all noncore businesses as well as big chunks of their work forces. In this environment, security and business continuance would represent a major thrust for IT, and emerging technology research around smart cards and user authentication would be on the front burner. Nobody knows what the future holds for the economy, in IT or e-business. But mapping likely scenarios and continuously scanning for indicators is something we need to do. Only then will we be able to respond to the inevitable changes.”


In Search of the New Economy: Encouraging Private Competitors to Fill the Demand for Skills. The Futures Project: Policy for Higher Education in a Changing World, Brown University, February 2001. From website: www.futuresproject.org

This future scenario explores the global challenges coming to higher education and describes various operational models: publicly funded institutions, privately operated institutions, and virtual universities.
The scenario is set in the fictional country of Globalya. Globalya, like many countries around the world is trying to address the growing chasm between the great numbers of students seeking and prepared for higher education, and Globalya’s limited capacity to enroll those students. Seeing opportunity due to Globalya’s inability to meet demand, private interests and institutions are coming into the Globalya and Globalya is experiencing a surge in the number of private higher educational institutions.
Overall, twelve new institutions have applied for authorization for operations in Globalya. Six are for profit enterprises; two are non-profits founded by individual philanthropists; one is a non-profit sponsored by a local company; and three are branches of foreign institutions. An initiative is also begun by the government for the Globalya Virtual University (GVU).
Budget problems in the country result in a 10% budget cut for the public universities. Faculty and students are becoming increasingly frustrated with having to do more and more with less and less. Plans for the GVU are scrapped, even after two years of development. Meanwhile, the cache of having a degree by foreign universities brings students to their doors; state universities are feeling deserted by constituents.


International Trade and the Doha Development Agenda.
Authors: Michael Garrett, Ian Goldin, and Dani Redrik in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, January 29,2003 http://worldbank.org

In this document, the authors set forth four possible scenarios for the WTO’s Doha development agenda.

Best Case Scenario: “A successful agreement results in substantial multilateral tariff reductions. Agricultural export subsidies are sharply reduced and strong disciplines place on domestic market insulation and distorting market support. Textile and clothing quotas are eliminated.

Increased movement of service workers is allowed and trade and investment in services booms. Reform discourages anti-dumping measures and improves the functioning of the safeguard regime.

Developing countries obtain sufficient aid for trade and strengthen domestic institutions. Greater openness stimulates foreign and domestic investment. Success at the multilateral level reduces the emphasis on existing regional arrangements, and new regional structures act as building blocks to non-discriminatory liberalization. Greater market access reduces the risk of macroeconomic imbalances. World market integration, particularly in agricultural commodities, creates more stable prices. Negotiations on the new issues on the Doha agenda are well managed. There are no new disciplines that raise the cost of complying with rules without compensating benefits.

Reduced trade barriers stimulate domestic reform, leading to a substantial increase in world trade, particularly in developing countries.

With a 50% reduction in tariffs, the World Bank model suggests a real income gain for developing countries of US $83 billion or 1%, and an exports life of 14.6%. High income countries see a 0.3% real income gain of US $67 billion and a 2.8% increase in exports.”

Baseline Scenario: “Modest multilateral tariff reforms are achieved including some progress in agriculture and textiles. However, developing countries see many import areas excluded. Resistance to agricultural reform limits reductions in domestic and export subsidies.

Limited progress is made in improving market access for services, but anti-dumping measures and safeguards increase as developing countries apply them unilaterally and retaliate against their imposition elsewhere. Aid for trade is only modestly successful with developing countries reluctant to offer strong or binding policy commitments.

Some progress on regional arrangements helps to reduce trade barriers, but inconsistency makes it difficult to use these arrangements as building blocks for further liberalization. Regional macroeconomic instability inhibits the acceptance of major liberalization.

With a 10% reduction in tariffs, the World Bank model suggests real income gains for developing countries of US$ 16 billion or 0.2%, with exports up by 2.5%. High income countries see a real income gain of US$ 14 billion or 0.1%, and a 0.5% increase in exports.”

Worst-Case Scenario: “There are two worst-case scenarios involving either a poor outcome from the Doha negotiations or a collapse of the process.

A Poor Outcome: Negotiations are concluded, but developing countries sign on reluctantly and only after strong-arm tactics by the European Union and the US. Modest multilateral tariff reforms are achieved including some progress in agriculture and textiles. However, major agricultural exporters capture most gains with many developing countries reaping few returns.

Developing countries are forced to agree to new disciplines in investment, competition policy, government procurement and trade facilitation. The impact on growth, particularly of poor countries, is disappointing and the credibility of the WTO is eroded.

Doha Negotiations Collapse: There is wholesale backsliding in commitments to abolish quotas on textiles and clothing, reducing market access for developing countries and the credibility of the system. Anti-dumping, safeguards and product standards are used extensively to restrict imports.

Regional arrangements become inward-looking fortresses. Labour standards and environmental measures are used in blatantly protectionist fashion to reduce penetration by developing countries.

Macroeconomic imbalances reinforce the downward spiral in investment and trade. The integrity of the system is undermined and weaker countries become even more fragile in trade and other global engagements.

With a 20% increase in tariffs, the World Bank model suggests the real income of developing countries is reduced to US$ 32 billion or 0.4%, with exports down 4.6%. High income countries see real income down by US$ 27 billion or 0.l%, with exports down 0.9%.

Either scenario results in a reversal in real income and trade. These results highlight, but understate, the consequences of a breakdown in international cooperation.”


Reappraising the Future – Scenarios for 2012, Accenture.
http://www.accenture.com/xd/xd.asp?it=enweb&xd=ideas\wef\wef_scenarios.xml

Accenture, a consultancy to businesses worldwide, has developed four scenarios related to the future of globalization and its potential implications for businesses. The scenarios, presented below, are set in the year 2012.

1. Common Ground: “In this relatively stable and integrated world, tensions between different countries and different social groups are increasingly resolved by collaboration and negotiation. Economic growth is relatively slow but steady, and wealth is shared more equally within and between countries. Business is better connected with the rest of society. Most people are more secure and better off, and there is greater tolerance of diversity. But in richer countries in particular, concerns are growing about the high costs of this stability, which include rising inflation, high taxation, and excessive bureaucracy.

Business implications: Global supply chains tailored for local partnering; low cost of capital; new mass consumer groups in emerging markets; emphasis on co-regulation; common international standards and platforms; ethical consumers highly profitable; corporate focus on connecting with society.”

2. Survival of the Fittest: “Free markets have spread to many countries. Regulation and taxation are light and competition is fierce, forcing firms to be efficient and dynamic. Rewards are high for those who do well and many people are better off, but life is hard for those who do not succeed. Inequalities within and between countries continue to widen. The influence of the United States in business and in international security has grown stronger as other countries focus on more internal matters. While the world is in many ways quite stable, resentment of the influence of ‘big business’ and the perceived dominance of US culture sometimes spills over into hostility and violence.

Business implications: High levels of M&A activity; trade and investment liberalization; supply chains truly global; volatile financial markets; high levels of foreign investment; increasing wealth, but inequalities; move to self-regulation; low cost of capital.”

3. Tempestuous Times: “Economic integration and liberalization have continued but at the cost of greater tension as social and economic divides have widened sharply. Effective dialogue between governments, business and the rest of society has ceased. A few people have become more prosperous but many have been left behind. Global corporations take over many services previously provided by governments. Instability has grown and erupted into violence and conflict in many countries, and security has become the prime concern of both business and individuals.

Business implications: Focus on short-run returns; tight global supply chains; devastating customer boycotts of certain brands; minimal government regulation and taxation; conflicting standards and platforms; cost of capital increasing; high expenditure on security; backlash against certain new technologies.”

4. Worlds Apart: Driven by political and economic insecurities, countries have withdrawn into themselves. They still co-operate in a limited way, particularly on a regional basis, but make little attempt to address global problems. There have been sharp increases in protectionism and a partial reversal of market reforms in many countries. Countries with large internal markets have coped reasonably well with isolation and some groups have found cause for cautious celebration in this new world. But overall, economic growth has been slow and uneven and living standards for many people, especially among the world’s poorest, have fallen sharply.

Business implications: Local supply chains and local markets; high cost of capital; skills shortages in key sectors; fragmented infrastructure and standards; import substitution; multinationals focus on localizing their products; government intervention high.”


Urban Russia At The Crossroads, Russian Cities in the XXI Century: Development Scenarios. The Institute for Urban Economics http://www.urbaneconomics.ru/eng/article/20020522.html.

The Institute for Urban Economics prepared three development scenarios for Russian municipalities in the XXI century for Club 2015, a club for successful professional managers in Russia. According to the authors, these scenarios are an attempt to describe the road to development in the medium and long run.
Scenario One: Running East, Running West, or Running in Circles. In this scenario, efforts to serve the interests of political bureaucrats are at the forefront of activity. As a result, significant administrative barriers that hamper development, the quality of public services, and democratic freedoms are held in place. Urban development consists of varying blends of bureaucratic and statehood models.
Scenario Two: Ad Astra Per Aspera. Stable economic growth promotes the corporation model which gradually transforms into a civil society model. “The fledging democratic institutions support efficient local governance and broad public participation…. Moscow and St. Petersburg acquire the features of a "world city", while small and medium-sized cities form a well-branched network.”
Scenario Three: Our Good Luck. A previously disinterested citizenry creates true local governance and a civil society emerges. Information transparency promotes dialog between city and community members. “A powerful impetus is created for better economic efficiency and social effectiveness of local governance.”


Japan’s Uncertain Future: Key Trends and Scenarios.
Author: David J. Staley The Futurist

From the 1960s to the late 1990s, Japan experienced a period of unprecedented growth and social change. In this article, the author explores the “next period” in Japan’s history, based on three driving forces: the restructuring of the Japanese economy (including the end of lifetime employment), the long-term effects of demographic change, and the impact of the generation the Japanese refer to as “the new breed”, which is more cosmopolitan and individualistic than their parents. Using the driving forces, the author creates four scenarios for the future of Japan in the next 20-25 years.

Scenario One: Entrepreneurial Japan explores the impact of entrepreneurism on Japan’s economy. “Group identification and self-sacrifice were important keys to the post-war reconstruction of Japan, but with the downturn of the 1990s, the Japanese government has perceived the need for more individual initiatives to bolster the economy. An entrepreneurial Japan might take one of two forms. In one version, entrepreneurship rema
ins wedded to the corporate structure, with established companies harnessing the creativity and risk-taking initiatives of individuals for the economic benefit of the company. An alternative version suggests that Japan might develop a “cult of the entrepreneur”, where “the individual is lionized in the popular mind, rewarded for his initiative and envied for his wealth.”
Scenario Two: Japan as Number Two imagines “Japan as a second-tier economy, wealthy and healthy, but not an economic leader. In this scenario, the decline in company loyalty leads to a decline in productivity; as a result, the economy fails to regain its position as number one, even while providing a comfortable lifestyle for its citizens. A noteworthy feature of this scenario is the awakening of Japanese fathers. The time that workers might have spent on the job or socializing is instead given over to the enjoyment of family. Led by the new breed, men take on greater responsibility for raising their children.”
Scenario Three: An Inclusive Society proposes, “As Japan’s population ages and its birthrate declines, many women enter the workforce to fill the need for both skilled and unskilled labor. Japan also addresses its labor shortage by hiring more immigrants to fill job vacancies. Over time, these foreigners are fully welcomed into Japanese society.”
Scenario Four: Cultural Retrenchment and Isolation, “demographic pressures induce a conservative social reaction. Japan resists gender equality and multiculturalism. Women are encouraged to apply their “traditional” skills to care for an aging population. Alarmed at falling birthrates, the government adopts an official policy that encourages couples to have many children.”


Two Scenarios for 21st Century Organizations: Shifting Networks of Small Firms or All-Encompassing “Virtual Countries?”
MIT Initiative on Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century (January 1997) Authors: Robert J. Laubacher, Thomas W. Malone and the MIT Scenario Working Group

In this working paper prepared by members of the MIT Initiative on Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century, two scenarios are developed for 2015 that focus on a major uncertainty related to the future of organizations: the size of individual companies. Collectively, the scenarios consider issues such as the global business environment, corporate organization, and corporate governance.

Scenario One: Small Companies, Large Networks: In this scenario, the large corporations of the 20th century have become extinct. Instead, “nearly every task is performed by autonomous teams of one to ten people, set up as independent contractors or small firms, linked by networks, coming together in temporary combinations... and dissolving once the work is done.” Independent organizations take the place of large companies, providing opportunities for social networking, learning and reputation-building. “Many are similar to the writers’ and actors’ guilds of Hollywood. They help us save for retirement, and most of us
pay a percentage of our income to our “guilds” as a voluntary form of unemployment insurance. Most importantly, we derive much of our sense of identity and belonging from these stable communities that we call “home” as temporary projects come and go.”

Scenario Two: Virtual Countries: In this scenario, large global conglomerates dominate the organization of work. “These keiretsu-style alliances, each with operating companies in almost every industry, have minimal national allegiance. Members of the same family work for Sony/Microsoft or General Electric/Toyota, and feel little loyalty to the U.S. or Japan. Employees own the firms in which they work, through pension plans, stock options, employee participation contracts and other vehicles. And just as the modern nation states ultimately turned to democracy, many of the corporations of the 21st century have moved to representative governance. Decisions are made hierarchically, but every year on election day, we choose from slates of managers who vow to do the best job for the company as a whole.”


Creating the Future: Scenarios for the Digital Economy.
http://edie.cprost.sfu.ca/~idea.html
Authors: Ed Boroevich, Mary Boname, Barbara Gill, Anthony Hempell and Sara Pitman.

Three scenarios explore the interaction of trends related to the adoption of digital commerce technology (such as smart cards, digital cash and home banking) and their potential implications for Vancouver City Credit Union.

Scenario One: Corporations Rule: This scenario envisions the convergence of financial institutions and technology, with banks developing lead technologies such as microchip cards and smart consumer databases. A decline of government power has created an opportunity for financial institutions to offer “personalized” financing for a wide range of needs, such as day care, health care and education, making them an invaluable part of individual communities.

Scenario Two: Crypto-Anarchy: In this world, “the government disappears on a federal level or is so weakened that it becomes nothing more than a figurehead,” resulting in minimal regulation and a high degree of customer choice. “Digital cash is the predominant means of exchange.... [but] due to its anonymous and untraceable nature, it has become impossible to track the income of individuals. Large corporations have disintegrated and the commercial sector is dominated by highly competitive specialized companies.” The fragmentation of corporations and decentralized cash systems threaten the viability of financial institutions.

Scenario Three: Third Sector Ecotopia: “In this scenario, issues concerning the collective health of the public take precedence.” Environmental concerns and a decline of manufacturing jobs combine to create an economy in which the non-profit sector becomes the lead supplier of social services. As decision-making is decentralized to smaller regional/provincial governments, electronic networks facilitate a more advanced form of participatory democracy. Financial institutions provide an array of services, including e-cash kiosks, daycare facilities and community centers.


Cybernomics: Toward a Theory of Information Economy.
Author: John Perry Barlow. This paper was published by the Merrill Lynch Forum, funded by the Merrill Lynch Foundation.

John Perry Barlow states the obvious: we are inhabiting a world, which differs from the one we were born into. Yet, he profoundly illustrates why the world we are currently living in is a co-revolutionary relationship between technology, economy, and society. Mr. Barlow contends that that the effects of revolutionary invention are rarely understood in their own time. Success in the future will depend on an understanding of “relationships, a continuous flow of information, transparency, and a willingness to relinquish control to the unknown.” Mr. Barlow extrapolates the challenges into imagery, and in turn, imagery into challenges. These images of the future make a strong case for humanity to re-visit current assumptions, as we move forward into the 21st Century. This book is good read because the elemental features Barlow poses, stretches the imagination with clearer vision, particularly on how society and economics will evolve.
Scenario One: Relationships Replace Things: In this world, the challenge is to “de-materialize thoughts about commerce – beyond the trading of things.” Ideas and ownership of ideas cannot be physically defined. Economic theory accepts that - unlike things once understood in the Industrial Age - relationships do not increase in value with scarcity. Relationships become an active flow of information—“the greater the flow, the more valuable the relationship, assuming that the flow is being pulled by the voltage of relevance.”
Scenario Two: Context is More Important than Content: In this world, Barlow challenges the reader by asking the question, “what really is content when there is no longer a container for it?” Content becomes less perceived as physicality as context. Cyberspace is context. It is more important. It all started with the advent of electricity. The 21st Century holds the possibility that we will all be connected so that our very synapses travel thousands of miles in a single instance. Cyberspace becomes an environment, not just a medium. Economic transactions will not be “contained” within objects,” but rather, will be a part of the flow of an overall environment.
Scenario Three: The End of Accounting: “The underlying assumption of physical economy is that there is a predictable and tight relationship between inputs and outputs.” As the information economy progresses into the 21st Century, it will challenge us by behaving quite differently. Corporate reliance on predictable results – driven in large part by the constraints of those balance sheets that are the measurement of quarterly success—may be directly counterproductive to long term organizational innovation.” The companies that will succeed will be those that engage in a “gift economy” – a set of practices based on the principle that “what goes around, comes around”. Already, we are seeing the seedlings of this principle within organizations that are seizing a good percentage of this new type of investment capital.
Scenario Four: Transaction Becomes Continuous: “In the economy of life, transactions are in constant flow.” Yet, when we transact today, we think of a deal as something apart from the surrounding flow. In the 21st century, human bandwidth will broaden as exchange deepens in value and trust over time. In this world, “…the more open a system, whether that system is a company or a technology platform, the more likely it is to nourish interactivity and, therefore, stimulate attention.” This is indeed an attention economy.
Scenario Five: Chaos Becomes Opportunity: Mr. Barlow poses quite a startling question: Could neurosis simply be the inability to live with ambiguity? If humanity surrenders to the biological nature of the information economy, then there is a surrender to ambiguity; “…the dream of predictability is no longer a luxury” in this world. To try to predict will be more of a burden and, quite possibly an undoing. “Life is unpredictable in an era of such absurdly expanding (scientific and technological) possibility. Unanticipated consequences are the rule as the (possibilities) increase exponentially…each time we solve one problem, we create several more in the process.”
Scenario Six: Pantheism Replaces Monotheism “If ubiquitous information access does nothing else, it unmasks the mystique of Authority. Even before the Internet, it was clear that the notion of God-given power was in steep decline. In the 21st Century, the workings of “web networked consensus,” in which the Many increasingly replace One, God, (white men) or Authority, emerge more rapidly.”
Scenario Seven: Women Win: “Women will be magnanimous in their victory since they were always more interested in sharing ownership than imposing it.” Cyberspace is all about relationships. “Women understand more deeply than men do.” Cyberspace breaks the glass ceiling of the Old Boy Network, wherein start-up capital was contained in containers with no mind about context. In the context of Cyberspace, the 21st Century is and will more strongly see a business environment where women win.
Scenario Eight: The Southern Hemisphere Rises: “The developing world was spared from the industrial habits of the developed world. The environment of Cyberspace is all about “mind over matter.” In the 21st Century, any individual or organization can place itself on an even footing with the largest IBMs’ or Microsofts’ of the world, “given the right idea properly executed”.
Scenario Nine: The First Shall be Last: The developing world “is ready to join the conversation and they are sick of being regarded as problems…” Mr. Barlow makes a compelling case that developing countries are not so much bothered by chaos or uncertainty as the developed countries are. “They were raised on both (chaos and uncertainty), and the information economy presents possibilities for their harnessing wealth undreamed of before.” “In other words, the disenfranchised can surf.”


New World, Old Order.
Author: David Rejeski, formerly of the Council on Environmental Quality. (Mr. Rajeski is currently with the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC.) 2001.

Are international institutions that are as old as our grandmothers likely to be as effective at protecting the environment in an increasingly globalizing economy? What role will multinational corporations and transnational advocacy networks play in a New World order? The rapid pace of change unleashes sustainability challenges that are unheard of today. "The challenges of sustainability simply overwhelm the adequacy of our responses," wrote United Nations (UN) Secretary General Kofi Annan in his Millennium Report. "With some honorable exceptions, our responses are too few, too little and too late." In this highly academic and distinguished paper, Rejeski interviews a number of noted environmentalists and economists. He concludes by illustrating Four Future Paths – A Look at Four Leading Concepts that measure conceptual visions of the types of organizational structures that would best perform in an age of “challenges of sustainability”.

Leading Conceptual Scenario One: Global Environmental Organization. “Some prominent voices have called for the formation of a powerful world environment organization. French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin and President Jacques Chirac have called for creating one global environmental agency to pull together and push forward many environmental agreements. Germany, Brazil, Singapore, and South Africa have called for such an organization. The idea was even backed by Renato Ruggiero in 1999, when he served as executive director of the World Trade Organization.

The idea has been pushed for years by a network of people from academic institutions led by Yale's Prof. Esty, who prefers calling it a Global Environmental Organization, or GEO. A group convened in New York City by Esty's Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy claimed a GEO could cure the fragmentation of policymaking between the United Nations Environment Programme, The United Nations Development Programme, the Commission on Sustainable Development, and the diaspora of international bodies that oversee environmental compacts, each in a different city. "The global environmental governance structure is inadequate for the pollution and resource challenges the world faces today," the group opined. Calling the current regime "weak and performing poorly," participants concluded, "The growing recognition that a number of serious pollution control and resource management issues are inherently transboundary in their scope makes the status quo unacceptable and the need for improved global environmental governance urgent." Esty contends that a GEO would provide more leadership and focus on international environmental issues. An overarching organization could also boost the exchange of ideas between the staffs of various secretariats, he says. A single location would make it easier for less-developed countries to staff negotiations and meetings, which currently are dispersed in time and place. And it could serve as an advocate for advancing environmental treaties that have run aground. If headed by a prominent figure, a GEO could "lead governments toward reaching agreements," says Yale's Speth. Others look to it to pressure the World Trade Organization to give greater weight to environmental agreements. GEO critics decry another bureaucracy and say it might distract from the important drive to get existing organizations to integrate environmental analysis into their decision making. Others say it may achieve little in a world where consensus develops slowly. Harvard's Juma, for instance, says that the failure to make environmental progress may have caused the proliferation of conventions, rather than the other way around. He doubts that proliferation undermines implementation. In response to critics of big, clumsy bureaucracies, Esty argues that a global environmental organization needs not be hierarchical and centralized, and might operate more like a network. "It might be decentralized and might even be virtual," he said. "You want a structure that encourages those that have a role to play to come and play it." Some GEO backers had hoped that the Millennium Summit of the UN in September 2000 would grapple with environmental governance and propose new solutions. But the hundreds of speeches barely touched on the subject. Instead, Esty looks to the tenth anniversary of the Rio Summit in 2002 as the next forum where nations can consider a global environmental organization.”

Leading Conceptual Scenario Two: Boost UNEP. “The governments of Germany, Brazil, Singapore, and South Africa are among those that have called for revitalizing UNEP to serve as some kind of global environmental organization. UNEP's leadership sounds amenable. In late 2000, UNEP Executive Director Klaus Topfer called for the world's nations to strengthen UN institutions at the UN's Earth Summit in 2002, on the tenth anniversary of the biodiversity conference in Rio de Janeiro. "All of us must urge our leaders at the Summit to renew their commitment to the UN and to equip it with the necessary tools and resources to meet the unprecedented challenges of the New Millennium." Topfer said UNEP stood ready to work with all parties to catalyze a new regime of environmental regulations, policies, and partnerships that could address the negative aspects of globalization. But even while Topfer is credited with strengthening UNEP, many observers doubt that it is capable of playing a strong, leading role. Critics blame its charter, budget, structure, past leadership, and even its Nairobi location. UNEP's budget is smaller than that of some U.S.-based nongovernmental environmental groups. Developing nations feared it might become a global agency that would deter their development in the name of environmental protection. They founded it as a creature of the UN General Assembly, which is dominated by less- developed countries, and put it under the direction of an unwieldy, 58-state governing council. Given a general charter to solve environmental problems, UNEP has dissipated its efforts in all directions. To be a strong advocate and coordinator, its critics say UNEP would need a coherent and manageable mission, more funds, more independence from the General Assembly, and a more streamlined leadership system. Some observers suggest merging UNEP and the much larger and better-funded UNDP. But that combination might face some of the same concerns that have restrained UNEP; poorer nations would want assurances that development programs would not lose any resources to environmental programs or be constrained by them.”

Leading Conceptual Scenario Three: Clusters/Environmental Alliances. “Calestous Juma, a Harvard professor and former UNEP official, argues that a global environmental organization is unnecessary and may get entangled in bureaucracy. Saying that a global environmental agency would be "too cumbersome to work," he notes that centralized, hierarchical UN agencies are widely regarded as inefficient, and that UN agencies are increasingly relying on networks of other parties. "The strength of the treaties lies in the fact that they give more power and authority to governments and citizens, not to centralized UN agencies," Juma wrote to the Financial Times of London. Juma's lack of confidence in the United Nations is widely shared. Oran Young, a Dartmouth College professor and director of its Institute of International Environmental Governance, notes that post-cold war euphoria about UN leadership is "giving way to mounting skepticism about the capacity of the United Nations to cope with an array of pressing problems." Currently, each environmental agreement is overseen by a conference of the parties, which delegates duties to a secretariat, scientific advisory body, and other organizations. Instead of a new hierarchical organization to coordinate these bodies, he calls for greater coordination between them in what he calls "environmental alliances" or "clusters." Bodies implementing the Convention on Biodiversity, for instance, already work closely with those in charge of the Ramsar Convention on wetlands of international significance. Those two conventions could work with CITES and other conventions to draft consensus standards for sustainable uses of land. The clusters or environmental alliances have many supporters. Dartmouth's von Moltke, for instance, prefers them to a single, new organization for environmental issues. The U.S., he notes, does not give all environmental authority to one agency. Rather it spreads that authority around among several. Internationally, "five GEOs might be a good idea, dealing with different environmental issues," says von Moltke. Clusters and alliances have been widely discussed, with some advocates calling for various environmental agreement bodies to be brought together physically in one location. One advantage of these, some advocates say, is they could reduce the need for negotiators to fly around the globe from one site to the next for interrelated talks, which can be particularly difficult for small nations with limited budgets. Co-located secretariats could also share information and techniques for solving problems and work out potential conflicts. But clustering and alliances are ill defined and face some of the same resistance as a GEO. Any effort to pull together many staffs into one organization will face bitter resistance, Juma notes. Employees fear losing influence or even their jobs. Conference members would lose authority. And a host of questions entangle the idea. For instance, how would the clustering of secretariats and new alliances with others be structured and promote cooperation? One cluster or alliance might combine multilateral environmental agreements dealing with atmosphere, such as the Kyoto Protocol on climate change or the Vienna Convention for Protection of the Ozone Layer and its Montreal Protocol. Forestry, biodiversity, and wetland agreements might be joined in a cluster. Chemical pollution issues might be clustered, as might marine issues or land-use issues. However they are arranged, clusters and alliances are sure to overlap. Climate change, for instance, can greatly affect biodiversity; forest and land-use choices can influence climate, desertification, and agriculture. How should clusters cooperate? Should they have common staffs to coordinate them? Who will serve as the advocate for new negotiations? Clustering advocates have many questions to answer.

Leading Conceptual Scenario Four: Clusters/Environmental Alliances. “Inertia alone may make major structural changes difficult in the near future, and some observers say that may not be such a bad thing. A new, global environmental organization may make little difference, said a report from London-based Royal Institute of International Affairs. GEO proposals, wrote Joy Hyvarinen and Duncan Brack, "have suffered from a significant lack of detail and a failure to explain why the creation of a new global environmental organization would make any difference to the underlying problems of a lack of resources, a lack of political will, and inadequate policy integration." More effective environmental agreement implementation and better communications may be more important than structure. Some observers argue that reform efforts are better expended on making existing institutions work better. Many voices are calling for strengthening the enforcement and implementation of existing multilateral environmental agreements and new scrutiny of government subsidies, including export credit loans and water rates, that lead to environmental damage. Both are easy to say, hard to do. Others say environmental analysis should be integrated into existing bodies. Rather than setting up a new organization to lobby nations, trade and multilateral banking agencies, David Reed of the World Wide Fund for Nature argues that those institutions would respond better if their own bureaucracies acquired expertise on environmental issues. "The World Bank should increase its capacity to collect environmental data, to monitor trends in environmental performance and issues, to share information with the broader public, and to help develop strategies for addressing environmental problems," contends Reed. No other international institution, he says, "is better positioned or in command of such an extensive range of resources" to address environmental problems. The WTO, IMF, and the multilateral banks also need to integrate environmental considerations into their project planning and evaluations, critics say. And this will happen, some say, only if member nations first integrate environmental analysis into their own trade and aid policies and negotiation strategies. Real progress will be difficult without a strong commitment by the United States to multilateral environmental agreements. In a globe with diffuse environmental authority, the importance of the world's dominant economic and military power is hard to overstate. And to win developing countries' cooperation and support, any new thrust toward environmental agreements will have to be greased with aid from the developed countries to those countries that can least afford short-term sacrifices and new technology needed for sustainable economic development. One way to make that integration effective is to open national and international proceedings to scrutiny and participation from private sector organizations. The United Nations has been moving in that direction. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has praised "global policy networks" of governments, civil society groups, and corporations as "the most promising partnerships of our globalizing age." He looks to them to help lead the world community of nations toward sustainable development.

"They work for inclusion and reject hierarchy. They help set agendas and frame debates. They develop understanding and disseminate knowledge. They allow for stronger, broader consensus on new global standards. They help implement and monitor those standards once they are agreed. They raise public consciousness and speak to our conscience." Such multifaceted networks are, Annan said, "one of the ways we can strengthen the bonds of our global community."


Questioning Assumptions – Exploring Alternative Business Futures.
Author: Ged Davis, March 13, 2002. (Ged Davis is Vice President, Global Business Environment, Shell International Ltd. Swedback Conference, Stockholm.)

This is the latest set of Shell’s global scenarios – completed in mid-2001, with an outlook to the year 2020. These highly detailed scenarios explore the driving forces of globalization, liberalization, and advancing technology, as well as a number of highly detailed forecasts of energy futures. From a social standpoint, these scenarios are of particular interest because the narrative and illustrations explore in detail, the social consequences of these very powerful global forces. A quote from Shell’s prescient introduction: “Soon after Shell finished them (the global scenarios) the shocking events of Sept 11th illustrated both the reality of global integration and the reaction it can provoke.”

Scenario one: Business Class: Growth of the Global Elite: Volatile Growth: Describes a world of highly powerful, networked business. Business becomes the “Matrix” (as in the movie), of the entire world. “Is Business Class good for international business? Well, it’s certainly no picnic. Grinding competition in open, transparent, global markets - aided by new communications technology – brings commoditization and university benchmarking. There’s no room for mediocre performance and rents are under constant pressure. Business success depends on the relationship between the value creating “core” and the rest – more and more of which can be, and become, outsources. The need to find and sustain elusive competitive advantage drives a relentless search for efficiency and innovation . Speed is essential for seizing fleeting opportunities. In increasingly volatile markets, this has to be combined with resilience and superior risk management.”

Scenario Two: Prism: “Describes a world shaped not by what we have in common but by the interplay of our differences. People find their values in roots. They pursue their own versions of modernity by reflecting cultural values and practices more. This does not reject the markets or modern technology. But it is emphasis on the community. Governments are expected to deliver more and better universal welfare and maintain social cohesion, as well as delivering economic progress. Developing countries continue to pursue their path to growth and European Union is strongly coherent. “New European Way” – responds by finding an economic rationale for welfare. Is Prism bad for international business? It is clearly a world in which being local matters. Multinationals must compete in many different markets, each with their own values, rules and requirements. Customers favor ‘local’ suppliers. Access depends on relationships and reputation. Choosing the right partners and recruiting and developing good local staff are vital skills. But it is not just a matter of responding to local conditions and meeting local needs. Multinationals must add value – delivering global best practices and cutting-edge technologies. And doing so in a way that suits the local conditions.”


Terrorism and the Challenge to Globalization
Author: Peter Schwartz, Red Herring Magazine, December, 2001.

In this article, Mr. Schwartz reviews the globalization debate – a pretty clear schism, between the globalization ‘haves’ - those believing it is good for everyone (raising all boats at the global marina); versus the globalization ‘have nots’ - those believing it is not so good, because it “drives the power of global corporations toward economic hegemony and a fall-out will be the result.” Mr. Schwartz reviews the theories of Paul Hawken, Kevin Kelly, and Benjamin Barber to glimpse into the future and forecast scenarios against today’s political realities. According to Schwartz, it may be possible to take a glimpse at where the geopolitical future is headed.

Scenario One: Radical Islam: “If radical Islam is the new Communism, we may be in for a long and ugly war. This scenario involves a world of perpetual conflict with no winners. As atrocities on both sides feed on each other, the dividing lines become deeper and wider in an ever more-terrible cycle of violence.”

Scenario Two: Better International Institutions: “If Mr. Hawken and Mr. Barber are right, there are at least two possibilities. In the best of all possible worlds, democratic governance would begin to emerge globally. Existing institutions would become more transparent and democratic. New institutions would be created to better regulate common elements like the air and the oceans, and to establish appropriate global rules of behavior for corporations.”

Scenario Three: American Hegemony: “But one has no trouble imagining another scenario, in which the United States refuses to surrender any sovereignty and acts unilaterally in its own interests. In such a rogue superpower scenario, the reception for U.S. companies around the world will become chilly indeed, as the world lines up to resist American hegemony. Sympathy for any new horrors inflicted upon the United States will be very limited, and cheers will be heard in Paris and Rome, as well as in the back streets of Gaza and Karachi.”


The World in 2050.
The Challenge Network directed by Dr. Oliver Sparrow. (Dr. Sparrow frequently appears on television and is an accomplished futurist, GBN member, and radio performer.)

The Challenge Network provides a scenario of the world in 2050, starting with five ruling forces that have formed the world in 2050. These five forces that shaped the world of 2050 are known as “Quincunx.” In this world, infant induction software imprints the Quincunx on every newborn mind. The five forces of Quincunx are:

1) ‘Infrastructure’: “This once meant physical transport and housing, energy supplies and crude telecommunications, the management of resource flows and waste products. By 2000, it had come to imply the then-unprecedented web of capability and skill on which business, in particular, could draw. There was great excitement at the turn of the century as this new infrastructure began to lift growth rates and suppress waste. Few could have seen what it means today: a reservoir of knowledge and capability, functionality and finance, all mapped together on demand to serve a volatile need. The unceasing eruption of knowledge and insight accelerates the shocking, discontinuous tectonic processes of creation and destruction.”

2) ‘Options’: “Life, for the majority, was once focused chiefly upon convention and necessity. ‘Options’ once implied something unusual: choice. Today, we have the world’s capabilities at our hand. We can extend our life spans in ways limited only by our personal finances and by the rights, which we have, each won through public service. We can engineer our personalities to meet transient needs. We can choose our social milieu from an almost infinite spectrum, or mix examples of this to taste. The capabilities inherent in the infrastructure afford us the means to envisage limitless possibilities, and to do so in conjunction with simulacra of consumers, partners and those who might object to what we do. We can define an offering, have it given life and put it to market in hours or days, and – in the established world, at least - only those without imagination or taste need to be excluded from this.”

3) ‘Best practice’: “Is both our constraint and our spur. All can choose, and none willingly choose anything but the best. Every enterprise and political entity survives only through the constant satisfaction of volatile public choice. The choice which each agent exercises – on how to present and differentiate itself, on how best to balance complex competing demands – fills the time which delegation of operations to infrastructure and automation has released. The interests of each such agent is interwoven with many others, al exercising expert choice, each instantly critical of actions or policy which does not attain these high standards. In this expert arena, are the key task of area-based governance has shifted from operations to issue harmonization and dispute resolution. The $17 trillion cession by the Anglophone Domain of its major systems management to the Shell-Greenpeace-Cisco hegemon (SGC) is an example of how far this will now go. Four hundred million people have handed over the management of the core – but boring – aspects of their daily life to a transpersonal hegemon, which knows each as an individual and is now a petty deity in their daily lives. Politics, within the para-statals making up the geographical political representation, now focuses on how to tackle issues, and which issues to address. Best practice drives us all forward at a gallop. Stable responses are found in equivalent rates of innovation and in differentiation. The latter has proven a powerful tool, and few regions or activities do not now strive actively to be different from every other agent. A wave of differentiation has swept across a world once seemingly doomed to uniformity. No one of the 12,000 UN-registered para-statal entities is much like any other, and all strive daily both to differentiate their offer from that of their rivals, whilst also harmonizing their interface with everyone else. The rejectionist states that have retained uniformity, which have imprisoned their populations and closed their frontiers have, regrettable, doomed their 3 bn citizens to, at best, poor choices and majoritarian tyranny. It is to be hoped that hegemonic influences in Greater Germany and Japan will bring both from their ‘retirement home’ out to face the world in all its richness.”

4) ‘Connectivity’: “Once meant the ability to link remote agents together, point by point. Now, it implies a shifting, constant pattern of immersion. It offers us a new universe to inhabit. Similarly, those who one dreamed of artificial intelligence saw the natural home for this as the machine. Few recognized what commercial organizations and the fusion of military systems had already achieved until, at least, the first hegemon came spontaneously into existence. The story is too famous to recall in detail: a vastly complex issue fought between two hugely complex and competent adversaries, a sea of data visualized by arbitration software: suddenly, many people saw the same thing from many perspectives and a completely new way of acting came into existence. Knowing what we now know about cognition, we could have anticipated this spontaneous achievement. Indeed, the result – although a true meta-consciousness, capable of making decisions and conducting conversations – is obviously primitive when compared to contemporary interfaces. Simulations of pre-hegemony activities suggest that at peak creative potential, a team could – for fleeting minutes, when confined to a single room – achieve the flickering of what now burns bright and continuous in every home and place of work. Those who have participated in the SGC fusion will know the elation of seeing, in detail, all aspects of the entire Anglophone domain in a single perspective. For many, there is no higher pleasure.”

5) ‘Exhaustion’: “The complexity which these four members of the Quincunx have created could, if ill-managed, paralyze the machinery by which we survive. Each possibility throws up a myriad stakeholders, each armed with ideas, objections, alternatives to consider. This brings us to the last – and most multifaceted - of the five forces in the Quincunx: exhaustion. World systems are known to have exhausted their limits of natural resilience in the ‘teens of this century. Human-created systems reached the same state somewhat sooner. Pre-hegemonic financial systems, for example, attained a degree of integration in which dynamic artifacts - oscillations and other unexpected outcomes – began to set profound limits as to what could be done with them. The European crash of 2007 was as directly attributable to these as to the social forces of the times. The water wars of the Tigris-Euphrates and Arabian Peninsula marked the beginning of resource difficulties. The Gulf Stream instabilities of 2020-2030 brought our collective attention to planetary engineering. Solving these issues required enforced give and take, and political decision-making was required to appease a range of stakeholders, which then-current systems of governance could not at all manage. Hegemons and related knowledge management tools – the so called ‘civil engineering’ of the knowledge economy - helped to drain many of these swamps. Firm, directive leadership by the wealthy nations was also fortunately able to survive the fragmenting forces of the 2007-2013 periods. We of the established world have been fortunate not to fight a major war, as it would assuredly be our last. Intelligence and active data-mined oversight has allows us to control the people capable of developing so-called "garage" weapons of mass destruction. The general spread of dangerous technologies did and does, however, seem certain to lead to a self-propagating accident. Providentially, those which have occurred to date have been contained or cauterized.”


Manufacturing Anywhere.
Author: Robert Gunther, a freelance business writer based outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Please see full narrative and graphic’s to Gunther’s writing on RAND website: <www.rand.org>.)

What will be the impact of the diffusion of manufacturing on the environment? Where will the new environmental leverage points be in a world of manufacturing anywhere? Environmental policies in the manufacturing sector have traditionally focused on the end-of-pipe by-products and emissions from the production of large factories. But the pressures of regulatory policy and public pressure - especially in Europe – is calling for manufacturers to take environmental responsibility for products “across their entire life cycle”. According to the author, Robert Gunther, it means that, “Of necessity, the future of manufacturing will be more fluid and diffused.” Already, we are at the precipice of a major global trend in manufacturing: a trend encompassing dispersal, powerful networking technologies, supply chains that cut-across not only the regional level but also the global level. Among the many images of the future this author illustrates in this article, he includes an entertaining scenario created by Susan Helper of Case Western Reserve and John Paul MacDuffie of the Wharton School, offering two possible images of how the Internet could change relationships between customers and manufacturers in the auto industry.

Scenario: buildyourowncar.com. “It is April 27, 2010, and Kate has decided she wants to buy a new car. Out of many sites that her Web Pad brings up, she narrows her choices to two: Ford.com and Buildyourowncar.com. Ford.com: On Ford.com, she settles back with a cup of coffee and reviews a list of options. She has given the Ford site permission to look at her demographic data, so it knows she likes to windsurf and take her 4-year-old nephew on outings. Ford also receives full body measurements for her and her nephew. The site starts with available models, listed in order of potential appeal. She picks the low-end Focus, and a model is displayed with a roof-rack specially configured for windsurfing boards. She selects it without hesitation. A little further down she is presented with a Lego car seat, filled with Lego building blocks, perfect for her nephew. Based on her height of 5 feet 3 inches, she is offered extra high seats. She then explores other options, including global positioning, and subscribes to a service that allows two-way interaction with local businesses. She then clicks through to get a final price for the custom-configured car, which could be delivered to her driveway in three days. She decides to pay the extra $35 for a test drive from a local dealer. Dealers now make their money selling assorted travel services while her repairs are handled by a local shop. But before clicking on "finance your purchase," Kate saves her Ford Focus configuration and looks at a new site, buildyourowncar.com. Buildyourowncar.com: This site lets her pick components from any manufacturer and assemble them into one car. She likes the styling of the Ford Focus but the reliability of Honda engines. She also would like a Bose sound system that wasn't available at the Ford site. She has a few worries, however. Buildyourowncar.com assured her that all of these parts would fit together perfectly, due to standard interfaces agreed upon by manufacturers in 2008, but Consumer Reports still cites quality problems with these "mix and match" vehicles, as well as ambiguity about who covers warranty costs. Also, there is no physical dealership or opportunity for a test drive. The site does generate a video image of Kate in the car she has configured, showing how easy it is for her to reach controls. She tries out the driving simulation on the site, and plugs in a new BMW engine to get a feel for a high-performance engine in the Ford Focus body. Kate, a little tired from having spent a couple of hours looking for cars, takes a break to think about her options. She doesn't really believe her parents when they say they used to spend days or weeks looking for new cars, and still not end up with one they really wanted.” According to Gunther, “The Internet is expected to move the auto industry to a build-to-order model, as it has in computers (such as the Dell Direct model where you can custom order your computer directly from the company, eliminating any retailers). But how this evolution occurs, and how quickly, depends on major changes in the industry. A mix-and-match car that combines components from different manufacturers would require a level of standardization that has yet to be achieved in the industry.”


The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization.
Author: Thomas L. Friedman Farrar Straus & Giroux; (June 2000) (Author Thomas L. Friedman has two Pulitzer Prizes and one National Book Award. He has worked for many years for the New York Times.)

Thomas Friedman brilliantly captures globalization’s history, trends, and major tensions between global forces through the use of metaphors, a literary form that illustrate difficult concepts more visually. Friedman writes about the history of globalization, from the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 (“the wall”) to the world of “the Web” of globalization in 2000. The trend Friedman foresees as gaining to a level of momentum and perhaps, critical mass, are the various “threats and opportunities that increasingly derive from whom you are connected to.” Globalism is the triumph of free-market capitalism. “The technologies driving globalism are computerization, miniaturization, digitization, satellite communications, fiber optics, and the Internet, which reinforce its defining perspective of integration.” Friedman uses opposing metaphors to create a powerful play of ideas. In addition to metaphors in his book, Friedman recounts many stories; stories that tell of a clash, conflict, or contradiction, that reaches a crisis point and is resolved through the structure of two opposites and their struggle to reconcile. The following represents the central metaphor and plot line of his book. A Globalization Metaphor: The Lexus. “The Lexus stands for speed, modernization, movement, luxury, and globalization.” A Globalization Metaphor: The Olive Tree. “The olive tree stands for everything that roots us, anchors us, identifies us, and locates us in this world – whether it be belonging to a family, a community, a tribe, a nation, a religion, or, most of all, a place called home.” The Interplay Between These Two Worlds: Friedman sees the world, the nation, the town, and even the person as divided between building the Lexus and disputing who owns the Olive tree. “If the Lexus is driven too heedlessly, the Olive Tree will block its path. Those who download for a living will find themselves confronted by those with a bullet hole through its center – the standardized treatment for all suspect packages. Of course, so-called free markets have their rules. Friedman calls this “The Golden Straitjacket,” a one-size fits-all requirement that squeezes and pinches some, but accelerates growth while shrinking politics and diminishing left-right polarities. He wants to unleash the creative chaos of capitalism on a global scale, but create a safety net to catch those mangled by the Lexus careening through the Olive Tree grove.” (New York Times)


The Return to Depression Economics: 2010. A scenario from the book, “The Return to Depression Economics.”
Author: Paul Krugman, published in 1999, WW. Norton & Company, Inc. New York, NY.

“Surely the Great Depression could never happen again. Or could it?”

Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology wrote the book, "The Age of Diminished Expectations" which was called "perhaps the best little book on economics in the past ten years." (Boston Globe). In his recent book, "The Return of Depression Economics", Krugman argues that in 2010, we will see a return to literally, depression economics; which "means that for the first time in two generations, failures on the demand side of the economy--insufficient private spending to make use of the available productive capacity--have become the clear and present limitation on prosperity for a large part of the world. " It's the same problem that was at the root of the 1930s depression. And while it took a world war to solve that problem, Krugman sees solutions that are far less dramatic, but that require a willingness to chuck obsolete doctrines and think about old problems in new ways. Krugman draws a scenario of China, which Krugman calls "corrupt, croney-ridden, with terrible banks, but saved so far by its inconvertible currency.

Scenarios of China in 2010: "Could China go the way of its neighbors? Possibly: but the crisis would look a bit different because of the capital controls and the absence of large foreign-currency debts. One scenario would involve massive domestic bank runs---with the government hesitant to provide the huge injections of cash needed to stop the runs, for fear that putting too much money into circulation would create such an incentive to swap yuan for dollars for the currency controls would prove ineffective.

The other Scenario of China in 2010 would involve a sort of Japanese-style slowdown in domestic spending, which the government is again unable to fight effectively, not because the interest rate is zero but because rates can go only so low before, once again, causing capital flight that swamps the controls. In both cases the crisis story builds on a real problem: China's banks really are a mess, and the country does have flagging private investment and consumer spending.

Back to the present: The good news is that the Chinese government is well aware of these risks and is trying to combat them through massive public investment spending, a classic Keynesian remedy. There clearly is significant capital flight from China despite the controls, but it is a steady leakage rather than a torrent, and the country's immense foreign exchange reserves are still intact.

Summary: The clear and present danger is not that China itself will collapse, but that --- as it perceives the pressure gradually increasing - it will choose to devalue its currency. This would not lead to catastrophe for China, but would endanger whatever recovery is taking place elsewhere in Asia.


The Online “Webolution” to 2010. “Future Consumer.Com”
Author: Frank Feather, published July 2000, Warwick Publishing Company, Ontario, Canada.

The author makes an excellent case that by 2010, the Internet will gobble up 31% of consumer spending, “leaving most brick-and-mortar retailers in rubble.” In this book, Feather portrays a history of Internet, webonomics, multiple perspectives of the Internet; who will shop online, what they will buy; branding, and e-marketing strategy.

The author in the foreword presents a scenario of "Webolution" of Shopping to 2010: “The Web takes shopping out of the shops. By 2010, the Internet will gobble up 31 percent of retail spending, leaving most brick-and-mortar retailers in rubble. The head-spinning Internet Revolution hurricane, or "Webolution," is not east to forecast. However, before it's done - around 2018 - it will reverse and unwind virtually everything that the Industrial Revolution put into place. It will smash the mass consumption economy to smithereens and re-center it on the home. The Webolution is so big that few grasp its significance. Doubtless, the plodding plowman didn't "get it” when the first steam train puffed past his field. Likewise, the metal-bending blacksmith didn't "get it" when the first "horseless carriage" sputtered past his shop. … But this Webolution will rock the world, again utterly transforming life and commerce. And the rewards will accrue fastest to those who embrace it first. Click-happy shoppers are flocking online and will stun shortsighted brick-and-mortar retailers who stubbornly insist that people will always come to their stores. Online sales will kick in big time during 2000 - 2002, growing rapidly throughout the decade to top $1 trillion by 2010. By then, the Web will be 100 times bigger than today - a tidal wave, drowning those who can't or won't surf…. Around 2005, online purchases will reach 10-15 percent of total sales in most categories, wiping out the profit of most retailers. By 2010, online shopping will grab 31 percent of retail sales - 43 percent if you exclude the automobile and education categories. All but the most savvy will get killed. Most strip malls and many shopping malls, along with half the department stores, supermarkets, retail chains, banks, and local shops, will vanish without track ad click-and-buy e-tailing takes over. Who needs thousands of banks, bookstores, supermarkets, hard ware stores, drug stores - or any other kind of store - if you can buy everything from a few Web Sites? ... By 2010 a majority of Americans will live what Bill Gates calls a "Web Lifestyle" and will do at least some e-shopping. Most of them will do most of their shopping online. Already, people are buying everything from luxury automobiles to the drug Zantacs over the Web, and in the near future the question will be, "What isn't selling online?" For 2010, sights such as Amazon.com and EBay will have served as living laboratories of the future. In 2010, the end user's list of bookmarked favorites will determine the winner verses loser and, it will be a simple as that. From 2001 - 2010, expect a major shakeout in retail. The debate on who will win - pure bricks, pure clicks, or bricks and clicks - will be a matter of vying for consumer attention. “
And that's the story.


The Future of the New Economy.
Author: Peter Schwartz, chair, Global Business Network. Red Herring, July 2000.

The author asks profound questions about what is it that really drives an economy? With the recent and tremendous "explosion" of companies and new industries, the future - boom or bust - new economy or old economy - it is literally, "up for grabs". It comes down to something very fundamental - our beliefs. Three typologies of popular economic theory have emerged in support of the scenarios: the new economy theorists acknowledge the potential growth of a more quickly moving and rather accelerating economy with more reliance on brains than brawn; the network effect theorists acknowledge the "new, new thing", but for some businesses and industries, growth will occur in spurts; for others, success becomes a stair-stepping process, primarily because markets become so efficient, that anyone with a good strategy can compete; the third set of theories questions the "hype" of the new economy, with tensions running deep on a real definition of the age old question of productivity, newly shrined by the prism of IT. Based on these theories, the author presents three scenarios and completes the article with investment strategy implications.

Scenario One: New Economy Scenario: “First is the new economy scenario. It's a world of mostly winners. Incumbents fall, and there are many new kinds of players in the world economy. This is a world where education is at a premium, and knowledge workers have the higher value-creation potential. It's a world of a dispersed global workforce, with an increasing proliferation of skills. And it's a world where all the value-creating units are linked together in virtual value chain. It's a world of global electronic markets that create trade in goods, services, jobs, education, and finance. It's a world where liquidity is inevitably global, as is investment. And it's a world that relies intensively on the information technology infrastructure expanding and accelerating. It's a world where skills and knowledge matter. Where intellectual property rights are critical. Where information and data stores have intrinsic value. And where we use networks for interchange and transaction of values. It is a world where rewards are more often measured in equity than cash, and that equity in turn is based on intellectual capital more than physical capital.”

Scenario Two: Incremental Scenario: “The second scenario is an incremental scenario. It's a world of a much more modest transformation. We eventually get to the new economy, but much more slowly. Here, the incumbents recover and mostly win. There are many winners and many losers. It's a world that resembles today for quite a long time.”

Scenario Three: An Illusion: “The third scenario is a world where the new economy is principally an illusion. It's a world that leads inevitably to two tiers, where there are few very well off, and many that have fallen far behind, unable to compete in the IT-driven economy.
It's a world where there are some of the old winners, and very few of the new. Most of the new players crash and burn along the way. And tomorrow resembles today in most important respects.”

Scenario Four: The Crash: “The fourth scenario is the crash. Like Icarus: we fly too high, and crash and burn, or burn and crash. This is a world where almost everyone is a loser. It's a world where the leverage finally crashes the stock market, and brings down the average consumer. Most of the technology turns out to be hype, and it really isn't nearly as productive as we all imagined.”


Scenario learning: A powerful tool for the 21st Century planner.
Authors: Jeff Ellis, Steve Feinstein, and Dennis Sterns. Journal of Financial Planning Denver Apr 2000

Scenario learning is a technique - like scenario planning - that predicts possible outcomes. Increasingly, it is being utilized by financial planners helping clients understand their personal financial futures within the context of the macro environment. The real strength in the technique is the bonding between financial planner & client and the learning that comes from the exercise. This article explains two different approaches to scenario learning and demonstrates ways to develop these possible futures for financial planning. Based on the following assumptions about the US economy, the following three scenarios were developed by the authors in a series of workshops. The assumptions were: technology stocks revive in first decade of the 21st Century; index funds outperform most passive managers; Internet won't impact high-touch financial planning; and baby boomer trend brings prosperity.

Scenario One: Boom Times: " The baby boomer wealth effect (championed by Harry Dent and others) will create tremendous prosperity for the next ten years, followed by a period of lower equity growth as boomers pull money out of stocks, instead of putting it in. Technology stocks continue to flourish, with portfolios of 50-70 percent high-tech allocations becoming common. The wealth effect continues to balloon vacation properties and all sorts of upscale consumer goods. Spending stays high through traditional retailers and Internet shopping malls. The client embraces the good times, spends lavishly and saves less as investment returns seemingly make saving unimportant. The good times help pay down the national debt substantially, causing a high demand for bonds and a resulting decline in interest rates. Just as boomers start retiring, they are forced to stay with a high percentage of stocks, liquidating a bit each month for cash flow, rather than rotating to low-paying bonds. "

Scenario Two: Margin Bust: ”This scenario assumes "that the Internet severely compresses profit margins for many goods and services, which has already happened in a number of sectors. As margins become squeezed in 2003-2005, corporate earnings for many companies flatten out, causing further erosion in price/earnings ratios. Technology stocks still have momentum, but profit "accidents" become much more frequent as certain core non-technology businesses cut information technology spending to prop up anemic cash flow. As the stock market sputters to a stop in this scenario, the wealth effect shifts into reverse. Baby boomers begin to panic, with their retirement in sight, and double-digit returns no longer are the norm. Reduction in spending compounds the margin problems, creating a downward cascade effect. We will call this scenario the "Margin Bust."

Scenario Three: Return to Sanity: ”This combines the other two scenarios with entirely different possibilities. In this third scenario, "speculative excess is rung out of the economy in a recession that lasts for almost a year. It doesn't cause a meltdown but actually refocuses on sound financial planning principles of diversification, saving and more modest expectations. The baby boomer megatrend pulls the economy along but not until many of the dotcom frenzy dies off and marginal businesses are forced to merge or go out of business." The authors agree that while this third scenario is not as extreme as SC1 or SC2, it is useful. It is similar to the modeling of wild fluctuations common to financial planning -over two to three year time segments such as Monte Carlo simulations, which is critical to viewing this future realistically.”


B2B or not B2B? Scenarios for the future of e-commerce.
Author: David Targett European Business Journal London April 15, 2001. Vol 13 Issue 1.

The objective of this article is to review the past fifty year history of information technology and its development, picking up lessons on the way. The premise is the increasing recognition that scenarios are useful in an industry that is nearly impossible to forecast - IT. After defining e-commerce, including B2B, B2C, G2C, G2B, and G2G, and reviewing the history, and muliplex-odium of recent published forecasts, the author brings the reader to a set of three scenarios on e-commerce & e-business. He reminds the reader to remember that e-commerce is simply this: buying, selling, and marketing on the Internet. And, e-business is simply this: the same thing embedded into business processes.

Scenario 1): Gold Rush: “In this scenario e-commerce growth is at the low end of current expectations. It is characterized by the following features: The Internet is in widespread use for study, personal information and entertainment. This is almost inevitable given present trends. B2B grows but never reaches the highest predicted levels: there are too many cases of deliveries going wrong; too many products prove to be not amenable to this sort of trade. E-marketplaces run into problems over anti-trust and monopoly legislation. B2C is a minority interest: customer confidence is lacking, people use mobile telephones for telephoning and digital TVs for viewing a wider range of channels but not for accessing the Internet. G2C is a minority activity: the government does not get its act together, too few people have access or are interested in using the service. This scenario carries a number of implications. Children will have to be able to use the Internet to avoid being disadvantaged in their studies; businesses should identify whether they are in the 20% or so who must trade on the Internet if they are to survive. The sure winners will be companies supplying Internet equipment and services. This is the reason for the name: Gold Rush. In the 1840s Gold Rush a lot of money was made but not from gold. It was made from selling picks and shovel, and food and accommodation. Likewise under this scenario the people making money will be the Internet equipment suppliers.”

Scenario 2): New Labour: “In this scenario e-commerce is making a significant difference to many, but not all, aspects of business. Personal Internet use is widespread, even more than the previous scenario. B2B grows to the levels indicated by the more optimistic forecasts, 40% or so of total trade. The Internet becomes the normal way of doing business in most industries. B2C grows but is by no means a dominant factor in retailing. Some of the present obstacles to growth are overcome but others are not. G2C grows to levels commensurate with Internet use and B2C; the government gets its act together: people can access government services on the Internet ... if they want to. The factors promoting e-commerce and the obstacles tend to favour B2B. And the lower costs have immediate impact on the bottom line. So, it is quite feasible that B2B will move ahead while B2C lags. The implications for scenario two are mainly for business and the need for them to get up to speed on B2B. They will have to adapt to it or die. The reason for the name New Labour is that it might seem that under this scenario a lot is going on but the expected significant changes to our lives do not materialize. Which is the odd one out - the early nineteenth century factory, the passenger railway or the telephone? All are technologies that made an impact not just on business but on society as a whole. Railways made long distance travel a real possibility for ordinary people. The telephone changed the nature of communication, making it much more personal and direct. However, the odd one out is the early nineteenth century factory. The first mass production technologies changed the whole structure of societies. Previously textiles had been manufactured in literally cottage industries by extended families. New technologies, such as the spinning jenny, were not affordable, especially as larger machines meant increased economies of scale. And the new machinery needed water for the steam power. The cottage industries disappeared and production moved to factories. The machine age and the division of labour came about. Towns grew up around the factories and the nature of society was radically different. The final scenario relates to significant social change.”

Scenario 3): Second Industrial Revolution: “The third and final scenario presents the case where there is universal access and use via a range of technologies. Personal Internet use, B2B, B2C and G2C are the way things happen. The result is radical social change. What might this change look like? We might speculate as follows. Internet companies dominate global business. People with the technological and management skills to work in them are the elite of the workforce. They can move around and they owe their loyalties to their own groups and companies rather than to national governments (Angell, 2000). In his book Angell likens the new knowledge workers to the barbarians arriving at the gates of Rome. Nation states diminish in importance. International power structures change. Social divisions increase in magnitude. There is a digital divide. Transport and logistics structures change. Goods are delivered rather than collected. People rarely travel on business: they use enhanced video-conferencing perhaps via mobile phones. Sainsbury's car parks become adventure playgrounds and Heathrow's second runway is planted with flowers. Housing changes, becoming much more self-contained, especially for the 'haves' rather than `have-nots' of society. Under this scenario the implications are vast for both people and businesses. Governments will have to move speedily, perhaps more speedily than they are able, to protect society, economies, the environment and businesses
from the many negative impacts of these changes.”


2020 Vision – The Next Quarter Century in Management Consulting.
Report of the Association of Management Consulting Firms, Industry Insider. 01/01/98.

Discussions by members of the Association of Management Consulting Firms (AMCF) and their guests at the association’ s Annual Fall Meeting. The members felt that the next quarter century will see massive and ever-accelerating change in management consulting. A first look ahead toward the Year 2020, from Richard Armitage and Ted Gordon, examined the environment for management consulting created by international relations in the post-Cold-War world, as well as the globalizing economy and developments in technology. Richard Armitage believes that historians and statesmen looking back over recent years have devoted too much attention to trying to discover or define a “new world order.” The post-Cold-War, no longer bi-polar world, with an increasingly globalizing economy and new patterns in international relations, is and will be disorderly. Yet some patterns and trends are emerging. The fundamental international challenge is to reinvigorate and renew international relations in terms appropriate to the post-Cold-War era. The biggest international challenges will be in China, Russia, the Mid-East, and the Kashmir-Pakistan area.

New demands within the business environment create a range of possible scenarios for the future. These were presented at the conference by four consultants: Scenario 1: the role of information technology and business strategy; Scenario 2: the business of “business intelligence,” Scenario 3: the causes and effects of privatization; and Scenario 4: possible crises and risks for management consulting in the near-term future. Some of the lessons learned by the scenario exercise include - consultants in the future can supplement the capabilities of in-house staff; deliver bad news when necessary; apply special skills when needed in the short term; act as an independent source of information; and anticipate as well as help to develop strategies for anticipating and managing risk, as well as coping with ongoing change.


Industrial R & D in 2008.
Author: Charles F. Larson, Research Technology Management, 11/01/98.

Changes in industrial R&D will accelerate over the next 10 years. Scenario planning indicates that there are several drivers of change, the most prominent of which are information technology and globalization. People in the industrial R&D laboratory of 2008 will be more risk-taking and business-oriented, with skills that are constantly being upgraded. Technical intelligence will be fully integrated throughout the firm and far more comprehensive than today. Technical work will be more efficient and effective, utilizing a wide variety of outside resources. Flexible organizational structures and true enterprise integration will capitalize on a new era of creativity for growth and competitiveness. Leadership and skillful management will be critical elements of these evolving processes. Five scenarios were developed for potential changes in R&D management, technology, and innovation due to evolving "forcing functions" or drivers over the next 10 years, which included information technology, globalization of technology, growing diversity of the work force, integration of technology planning and business strategy, partnerships and alliances, and customer power. The scenarios were characterized as follows:

Scenario 1: Cyclical Change: This scenario assumed that the current paradigm in R&D - to carefully control costs and to do more with less-is a cyclical change that has occurred before. Thus, while the environment for R&D will continue to evolve over time, there was no fundamental, long-term change taking place. It also assumed that different industries were in different phases of the cycle. Therefore, it was recommended that business sectors that lead the cycles be identified as early indicators, that techniques for adapting to change in these sectors be described, and that these techniques be disseminated for the benefit of trailing business sectors.

Scenario 2: Globalized R & D: The prediction in this scenario was that as companies continue to become more global, the R&D function will gradually spread throughout the world. Of course, globalized R&D is already a reality in many companies, such as Procter & Gamble and 3M. The thought was that teams will function through electronic networks and that management of the R&D function could be directed from remote locations. It was concluded that many companies had already globally integrated their R&D efforts more than other business functions. In a recent survey of 308 CEOs, the Foundation for the Baldrige National Quality Award found that "globalization" was judged to be the most important trend currently affecting U.S. companies.

Scenario 3: R & D Through Partnerships: In this scenario, it was assumed that technology will become increasingly complex and more expensive to develop. Therefore, many companies will choose to maintain their key competencies only in selected core technologies and obtain additional capabilities through partnerships and alliances with other companies, government laboratories, universities, and contract R&D organizations. Moreover, various R&D support services will be integrated with other corporate or business-unit functions, resulting in some R&D leaders managing virtual laboratories. An example of this trend is the contracting to outside vendors of information-technology and human-resource-development functions.

Scenario 4. Innovation Function Absorbs R&D: This scenario envisioned that the future focus of most firms will continue to be on revenue growth through creation of new products, processes, or services, and through the development of new markets. In response to this intensified emphasis on innovation, the R&D function will merge with marketing, and R&D leaders will become business managers as well. Many companies have already initiated efforts to address new customer expectations through improved integration of marketing and R&D, as well as through direct interaction of R&D with a company's external customers, i.e., "4th generation R&D".

Scenario 5. Networking Counts: In this scenario, it was assumed that networking with peers through organizations such as IRI will become more important. Changing conditions in the R&D environment will be accommodated so long as opportunities exist for sharing best practices through a growing variety of electronic techniques as well as in traditional, face-to-face gatherings on specific topics. All R&D managers are becoming "information managers," and all companies are now "information machines," regardless of what products they sell.

Most Likely Scenario: The author believes that the most likely scenario is a composite of the scenarios outlined above in what he outlines as the “Laboratory of 2008.” See original article for more details.


American Consumers in 2025: Three Scenarios (Part 1).
Author: Gray Knight, Journal of Advertising Research, Nov/Dec 99, Vol 39 Issue 6, p 71, 8p, 3 charts.

Scenario planning is a way to help think about and plan for the future in spite of the inadequacy of the normal research tools. Scenarios are not predictions about the future. They are simply stories about an imaginary future world. They allow us to set out a range of possible futures, which then can be used to develop and evaluate strategies. Most importantly, scenarios help to identify at least some of the driving forces that are likely to shape the future.

Scenario 1. Li Ping’s Story – Orlando, Florida, February, 2025. “Li Ping waits at the loading dock as the boxes of groceries coming off the end of the conveyor belt are placed into his truck by his coworkers. It is early in his shift, the sun just setting, and this is the first of three times that he would be here today at the warehouse in Orlando. Ping works for WalMartExpress, the largest retail bundler in the United States. WalMartExpress had formed from the merger of Walmart and Federal Express two decades ago. With the growth of on-line ordering of lower-priced consumer products, marketplace advantage went to the company that could deliver goods to consumers' homes most efficiently. By combining orders into large bundles of goods, shipping costs could be spread over more items, offering savings to the consumer and providing a cost advantage to the most efficient bundler.

In fact, shipping charges are no longer listed as a separate item on the consumer's bill. What the consumer shops for is the minimum total delivered price for the bundle of goods purchased, including the shipping charge. On-line agents have long since made finding the minimum price for a bundle of hundreds of goods fast and easy. Consumers do not need to invest time in making price comparisons. Agents simply do that for them. Perfect price information drove out price differences across bundlers and meant the end of coupons and discounts for individual products. The price of the bundle is all that matters and WalMartExpress's software provides that answer instantly.

A few decades ago, when commercial use of the net was new, the common wisdom was that companies who controlled the on-line ordering process would dominate every consumer market. This turned out to be true where the product itself could be delivered over the net, as with music and movies. When the supply chain required the delivery of a physical product into consumers' hands, however, the winning business model was based on efficient logistics, not on software.
The speed of the Internet was critical to giving the advantage to the bundlers. After a slow first decade or two, the Internet had finally gotten fast enough to be truly useful. There were no real tricks to on-line ordering software or developing on-line agents that were not understood in the 1980s, so there was no lasting proprietary advantage in the electronic ordering and management of the customer relationship. If a company didn't have a system, it could buy one, or buy a company that did.

Once the net became fast enough, some of the early mover advantages went away. The cost advantage of efficient delivery systems overwhelmed established on-line equities and partly offset the advantage of well-populated consumer databases. Speed in the movement of information in and out of homes and processing speed made all the ordering systems equal.” See original article for more of the scenario.


American Consumers in 2025: Three Scenarios (Part 2).
Author: Gray Knight, Journal of Advertising Research, Nov/Dec 99, Vol 39 Issue 6, p 71, 8p, 3 charts.

A continuation of the article above. Outlines three scenarios of American consumers in 2025. Scenario 2: One Scenario of U.S. Social Change to 2025 (for scenario 1: Li Ping’s Story – Orlando, Florida, February 2025, see summary above). “In hindsight the future is always obvious, and it's true that the signs were all around us back at the turn of the century, if only we'd paid attention. But a quarter century ago, almost nobody was writing about how "time-shifting" and "age-bending" would rewrite the "rules" of the life cycle--or of American society as a whole, for that matter.

Sociologists and marketers had spotted the phenomenon of kids "getting older younger"--girls giving up their Barbie dolls at earlier ages and many kids being more technologically savvy than their parents and teachers. And everyone knew the aging Baby Boomers were doing their damnedest to stay younger longer. By the turn of the century, the age at which women were having babies was being stretched so far in both directions that it wasn't unusual to see a 15-year-old mother proudly carrying her first newborn, followed closely by a 45-year-old woman in the same situation. In evolutionary terms, the image was no less than stunning, but hardly anyone would have noticed it. After all, in 1999, the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen were still fighting it out at the top of the charts as 50-year-old Boomers and their kids both snapped up their albums.

Even so, very few people realized that these clear signs of "time shifting" and "age bending" were merely a prelude of things to come. Of course, the Baby Boom generation played a pivotal role in this story. Shortly after they burst on the scene after World War II, the Boomers pioneered dramatic changes in each stage of life as they passed through it--from practically "creating" the concept of the modem teenager to trailblazing the challenging path of the two-career family to soundly rejecting the biological limits of menopause--with a little help from modern biotechnology.

After all this, it was common wisdom that the Boomers would redefine what it meant to grow old. Little did we know, however, that they had their greatest trick of all saved up for last. In close conspiracy with their offspring--the upbeat millennial generation--the Boomers not only redefined the later stages of life; they recreated the very idea of the life cycle itself. Here's how it happened. The foundation was laid by the most primal of forces: the increasing ability of people to exert ever-greater control over the processes of birth and death. Today, the average life expectancy of Americans is pushing 90 years for women and 85 for men--hardly the stuff of science fiction, perhaps, but a stunning gain of more than a decade of life in just a quarter-century. One in five people make it to their 100th birthday party today--and that number is rising.
But technology changes fast, while people change slowly. These changes took a long time to wind their way through the collective psyche. We would never approach our lives in the same way again.” See original article for more on this scenario.


American Consumers in 2025: Three Scenarios (Part 3).
Author: Gray Knight, Journal of Advertising Research, Nov/Dec 99, Vol 39 Issue 6, p 71, 8p, 3 charts.

A continuation of the article above. Outlines three scenarios of American consumers in 2025.
Scenario 3: Susan Cohen, 1990s Child – Detroit, Michigan, March 2025. (For Scenario 1. Li Ping’s Story – Orlando, Florida, February 2025, see summary above; for Scenario 2: American Consumers in 2025, see summary above). Susan Cohen stared at her monitor screen as though it might suddenly jump up and make a suggestion on its own. "Let's see," she said, "how can I get 34 hours into a 24-hour day?" "That is illogical, Susan. You are suggesting a task that is by the parameters of its definition impossible. If you insist on pursuing such activities, I'm afraid I can't possibly be expected to help you," the voice-activated screen said. "Sorry, sorry," Susan said. She had been born in 1991 and was 25 before full human-computer verbal interface had become common. It still struck her as strange that she could actually engage in conversations with a screen instead of just talking to it. But it turned out Ray Kurzweil was right back in 1999 when he predicted that a $1,000 computer would be essentially as smart as a human by 2019. (Actually the breakthrough had come in 2017 but most people forgave Kurzweil a few months here or there.)

Of course, her daughter found it strange that her mother found the whole process of human/machine interface strange at all. Born after "The Kurzweil Effect" became a reality, young Susan increasingly found it difficult to relate to her mother and grandmother. Intergenerational strain was the least of Susan's problems. As a single woman with MGDs (or multiple generational dependents) Susan found it difficult to keep up with the basics of life. Her mother constantly told stories of the joy of going to the grocery store and actually playing hide and seek with that night's dinner, but Susan, who remembered her mother chasing from store to store and cursing every minute she stood in line, viewed such talk as evidence of either early onset of Alzheimer's/Dementia or just another attempt to justify her increasing reluctance to fully participate in life.

For Susan, shopping was both easier and more difficult than it was in her childhood. The basics of life were essentially all taken care of. Thanks to embedded technology in her kitchen, laundry area, and pantry those products that weren't on CHR (continuous household replenishment) essentially ordered themselves whenever they ran low. CHR products, including paper goods, personal toiletries, and pet food, arrived like clockwork two or three days before they were needed. Even the accounting for the transaction was handled in a transparent way. Every payday a certain percentage of Susan's check was forwarded to Cybergrocer. Orders were then debited from the account, and if Susan, Jr., managed to break the encryption codes (which she did on a frequent basis to order more ice cream), Cybergrocer extended a limited amount of credit.” For more on this scenario, see original article.


Artifact Projections from 2005.
Author: Kevin Kelly, Philips Website. URL: www.philips.com/design/vof/.

In the past, Philips Company has had some global successes in innovation (CDs) and some terrific flops (CD-i). If the company learned anything, it was that “social trends and cultural preferences are as important to inventions as technological advances.” The company assembled a team of sociologists, graphic designers, cultural anthropologists, engineers, filmmakers, ergonomists, and futurists to develop an abstract framework of cultural and technological trends. The team probed such intangibles as our shifting sense of time, multiple identities on the Web, nature awareness, and browsing patterns. From this profile, together with a sense of technical options, Philips came up with more than 300 scenarios, or short stories, about future products and services. From those 300, Philips compressed the possibilities to 60 clearly defined but interlocking concepts, which it crafted into a set of actual models.

The company took these models, immersed them in real environments, and made a video "commercial" about each, including how the proto-gizmos interacted with each other. For more on the actual scenarios and this project see www.philips.com/design /vof/.


The Future Paradigm for Socio-Economics: Three Visions.
Author: Richard Hattwick, Journal of Socio-Economics, 1999, Vol. 28 Issue 4, p 511, 22p, 2 charts.

Presents visions of three different paradigms that might define the socio-economics of the future. This was the result of a three-day conference held by The Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE), at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In this paper, the three paradigms for Socio-Economics (SE) are envisioned as being nested rather than adjacent or overlapping.

Vision 1: "Psychological Socio-Economics" (PSE): “In this vision SE retains most of what is currently found in mainstream academic economics but replaces the assumption of economic man with the richer concept of psychological economic man. The full body of academic psychology is made a part of the field of study. However, this version ignores significant portions of the knowledge base found in transpersonal psychology and clinical psychology, just as academic departments of psychology tend to pay less attention to them. An excellent recent survey of the potential content of this vision is found in Hugh Schwartz' recent book Rationality Gone Awry? (Schwartz, 1998). Peter Earl's earlier survey also spotlights much of the content that would fit here (Earl, 1988).”

Vision 2: "Sociological Socio-Economics." “This case incorporates all of the first vision, but adds a strong emphasis on issues of equity, justice and community as well as a focus on social institutions and their impact on the economy. This vision brings a large amount of the discipline of sociology into the paradigm. It is tempting to suggest that the likely future content of this vision is summarized by Amitai Etzioni's The Moral Dimension (1988), his The New Golden Rule (1996), and his Essays in Socio-Economics (1999). However, Etzioni's writings do pick up some of the important additional features introduced by the third vision, so his work cannot be fully captured by Vision 2.”

Vision 3: "Humanistic Socio-Economics" (HSE) or "Humanistic and Holistic Socio-Economics." “In this vision a large number of the issues dealt with in the humanities and in biology are incorporated into the paradigm. History and even spiritual matters also become legitimate topics of Socio-Economics analysis. History is important because it is needed for the study of evolution and dissolution. The spiritual-self help literature is useful because it helps us understand the images or mental models underlying human behavior in various historical contexts. Books that come reasonably close to illustrating this approach are Robert Solo's Economic Organizations and Social Systems (Solo, 1967) and Manuel Castells' three volume work entitled The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture (Castells, 1996, 1997, 1998).” See article for background, methodology, modeling.

The Roaring Zeros – Wealth in 2020.
Author: Kelly Kevin, Fortune, Sept. 1999.

The good news is you'll be a millionaire soon. The bad news is, so will everybody else. No bubble, no crash; instead, a decade or more of continued good times. What if the Dow doesn't fall to 3,000, but zooms to 30,000 in four years? Scenarios are all about “what ifs”. What if we are just at the beginning of the beginning of a long wave of ultraprosperity? Picture 20 more years of full employment, continued stock-market highs, and improving living standards. Two more decades of inventions as disruptive as cell phones, mammal cloning, and the Web.

Wealth in 2010: “The market fluctuates daily, but by 2010, the Dow will soar past the 50,000 mark. In 2020 the economy, for the first time, reflects four forces at once: demographic peak - the largest, best-educated, most prosperous generation that has ever lived is entering its peak years of productivity, earning, and spending; technology rush - the largest deployment of novel products and services, labor-saving machines, and life-changing techniques; financial revolution - money itself is undergoing a revolution. The velocity of money - how often it changes hands – continues to increase; global openness - the spread of democracy, open markets, freedom of speech, and consumer choice around the globe accelerates.”


Fast Forward to 2020: The Dow at 100,000: “After two decades of ultraprosperity, the average American household's income is $150,000, but milk still costs only about $2.50 a gallon. Web-enabled TVs are free if you commit to watching them, but camping permits for Yellowstone cost $1,000. Almost everyone working has signed up for a job that does not exist (at the moment); most workers have more than one business card, more than one source of income. Hard-hat workers are paid as much as Web designers, and plumbers charge more for house calls than doctors. For the educated, the income gap narrows. Indeed, labor is in such short supply that corporations "hire" high school grads, and then pay for their four-year college education before they begin work. What the rich have in the year 2000, the rest have in 2020: personal chefs, stay-at-home moms, six-month sabbaticals. The personal private foundation has become the status symbol of wealth. People magazine features its annual list of the world's most charitable donors. Although tax rates have lowered, the amount of money flowing into state and federal budgets is awesome. Social Security has ample funds, and hundreds of thousands of schools, hospitals, and libraries have newly opened. Ambitious, large-scale public works are all the rage; there's a scandal over whose corporate logos appear on the space suits of the first manned mission to Mars. The majority of Americans are heavily invested in the stock market, so market quotes are as ubiquitous as pop music. The abundance of cheap appliances and gadgets has devalued possessions. The most affluent consumers boast of having less of this or that, but in the end they spend a larger percentage of their income on services and products that attempt to define their identity. In the age of ultraprosperity, it's easy to make a dollar, but hard to make a difference.
Indeed, money gets dull quickly, and that becomes the greatest challenge in the age of ultraprosperity - to make money mean something, or to find meaning outside of money. If we handle prosperity properly, it should focus our attention on the other ingredients of wealth: friendships, relationships, values, character, charity, justice, and thinking about the long-term future. What better use of prosperity than to prepare the wealth of seven generations hence? Whether in fact we'll be responsible with our prosperity in 20 years is too hard to predict. But here, in some detail, are a variety of consequences that seem possible, should this ultraprosperity happen.” See article for full scenario.


The Global Corporation Becomes the Leaderless Corporation.
Author: Byrne John A, Business Week, 08/23/99. Issue 3644, p88, 3p, 1c. Section: 21 Ideas for the 21st Century

The trailblazing corporate superstar will become a thing of the past. And follow-the-leader is a game companies will no longer play. The path to success will be paved by teams made up of the best and the brightest, with their egos checked at the door. Success will belong to companies that are leaderless--or, to be more precise, companies whose leadership is so widely shared that they resemble beehives, ant colonies, or schools of fish. The Leaderless Corporation: “Companies increasingly adopt work groups with no designated leader. The trend intensifies - future generations of people getting to the top with more team experience--and being more willing to use it once they get there.' More and more, CEOs like Cisco empower those directly under the top with greater autonomy, because the CEO can't possibly keep up with every detail of the work. In the 21st century, the all-powerful CEO may not be powerful at all. Companies that thrive will be ``led'' by people who understand that in business, as in nature, no one person can ever really be in control.”


Future Marketplace: Consumer Heaven?
Author: Jennings Lane, Futurist Nov/Dec 97, Vol. 31 Issue 6, p9, 3p.

Describes the society foreseen by Edith Weiner and Arnold Brown where emotion and motility are the society's dominant characteristics. His article outlines the types of jobs seen in the future; how income is spent; how products and services will reach customers.

Future Marketplace: Consumer Heaven? – Witness Rise of the “Emotile” Society. “Emotion (a heightened concern for personal well-being) and motility (fast movement and rapid change) will be future society's dominant characteristics. This is driven by: (1) Work: Where will tomorrow's jobs be? People will increasingly opt to become service providers (guides to information sources, personal consultants, and freelance specialists) rather than pursue traditional roles as long-term salaried employees. This is partly because growing market instability in the Emotile Era will make old concepts like job security and company loyalty impractical and partly because workers' own focus on "personal well-being" will make them less willing to commit themselves to long-term relationships of any kind-including those with employers. (2) Markets: How will people spend their incomes? The key word is "edutainment." Tomorrow's products must not only do their jobs well, they must aggressively draw customer's attention. And (3) Methods: How will products and services reach customers? Their answers are both suggestive and unsettling. Growing computerization will lead to major changes in how goods and services are produced, advertised, selected, and delivered. High-speed communications could make currency trading and other information-dependent transactions too fast for the human brain and even make wealth itself less tangible. "Embedded systems" of built-in computer chips will make consumer products of all kinds, from cars to vacuum cleaners, able to control their own performance in detail and even communicate with others (perhaps automatically summoning a technician on sensing that some component is about to break down). Computerized manufacturing methods will make personalized products as affordable as mass produced items. As a result, there will be fewer stores stocking "ready-made" consumer goods. Instead, customers will select from simulations of many styles and models that are modified to their exact specifications in advance and delivered to them as needed.”

Opportunities in the Emotile Era: “Health care, genetic engineering, preventive medicine, anti-aging foods, "cosmeceuticals"; brain mapping; cosmetic surgery; rehabilitation; diet and nutrition; exercise spas; memory enhancers; biosensors; sensory augmentations; sunscreens; insurance; food and water monitoring, will experience enormous growth. Personal services: Vacation planners, personal entertainment programmers, personal editors, personal home organizers, personal beauty specialists, personal pet companions, personal wardrobe consultants, educational consultants and counselors. Financial security: Services and programs for retirement planning, unemployment financing, career retraining; services aimed at the financial needs of single women, including widows and divorcees; long-term care programs for the elderly. Personal security and safety: Monitoring and sensing services, protection services and devices, private communities, private education, encryption and espionage equipment, paramilitary services, environmental cleanup companies. Religion and spirituality: Scriptures (including interpretation and enactments), spiritual fiction, faith and emotional healing, guidance in ethics, schools of philosophy, cults, ethnic apparel, search for "self," human-rights activism, stewardship activities, marriages of Eastern and Western thought, survival leisure and travel, 12-step programs and support groups.”


Manufacturing in 2020.
Author: Morley Richard E., Book Review: 2020 Foresight Fortune 11/08/99.

Manufacturing's future includes adaptive software, village factories--and humans in control.
The Technology Machine: How Manufacturing Will Work in the Year 2020: includes adaptive software, village factories--and humans in control. Fifty years into the computer revolution, they tell us, manufacturing's transformation from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age is only now taking effect. Factories run increasingly on information in the form of embedded silicon and software. This potent combination is evolving toward the Technology Machine, the authors' name for the factory of tomorrow, in which "intelligent systems will supplement human management." The Technology Machine's software, they say, will include complex adaptive systems that "will cease to be a problem." Software no longer a problem? That prediction alone is bound to bring a smile to many a plant manager.

The authors delve into today's chaotic battle between suppliers of costly, large-scale enterprise resource planning systems and upstarts trying to exploit those systems by adding capabilities such as advanced planning and scheduling. From this chaos, predict Morley and Moody, will emerge software to span the enterprise and its suppliers. It's not impossible. Innovators like Bill Fulkerson of Deere & Co. have put to work so-called genetic algorithms—Deere can now automatically schedule production for any of more than six million combinations of options on a seed planter ordered by a customer. As use of such systems spreads, predict the authors, the Technology Machine will take on attributes of an evolving biological organism.

The other dramatic change Moody and Morley forecast is a return of the village factory. "Everything will be produced in small, fast replication centers" that will be controlled via the Internet. "Imagine pulling up at your local Home Depot and ordering a Caribbean-blue Jacuzzi. In less than the time it would take to pick out ceramic tiles and fixtures, the tub would be molded and ready for pickup at the [local production] cell." Is this notion of reviving the village factory nostalgia or Nostradamus? Probably a bit of both. The Jacuzzi could happen. But your car assembled at your dealer? That strains credulity.

Tomorrow's best factories, say Morley and Moody, will be more like quiet, clean-room labs than clanking assembly plants. Where the experts to staff and manage them will come from is a major question. The authors rightly bemoan the lack of university training of manufacturing specialists. But they see a bright future in which humans will control the Technology Machine and not the other way around.”


Global Scenarios.
Author: The Forbes Group, Island Press, 1998.

The Forbes Group analyzed an underlying assumption of three global scenarios impacting capitalism and economies worldwide. Lack of faith in government and serious declines in voter participation as in the US during the nineties, leads to government dominated by special interests that tend to further alienate voters. It is generally felt that the old and familiar institutional frameworks that held the world together after World War II are not up to the task of managing the “triple revolution” that is changing the world: technological revolution that is transforming the world into an information society; an economic revolution, as communism and managed economies give way to increasingly unfettered capitalism; and a market-driven world, and a political revolution, replacing dictatorships of the right and the left with young democracies. The joint impact has shattered the institutional framework of the world forever.

Scenario 1: Institutional Decay: “The bureaucratic desire for self-preservation prevents reform. Without reform, institutions become overwhelmed worldwide. Existing institutions, though weakened, have enough political strength to derail most reform efforts. Resistance hardens around the limited self-interest of the institutions themselves and those who are dependent on them. This response is not sustainable in the long run, however, and leads eventually to institutional collapse and a power vacuum in society. This slow rot is similar to the process that produced the final collapse of the Soviet Union and Eastern European communism. Unable to accept their own limitations and failures and change with the times, the Communist parties adopted a siege mentality that led to their costly and sometimes bloody destruction.” (Did the capitalists get the answer right or did both schools get the question wrong?)…”

Scenario 2: Baling Wire and Chewing Gum: “This scenario assumes that the self-preservation instincts of western institutions result in some constructive responses to the radical changes by the turn of the century. This happens because western governments have a tradition of at least pretending to respond to popular concerns. But these reforms are concessions grudgingly made only to assure the preservation of the institutions, not to actually solve the problems. Under this scenario, change is superficial and shallow, the proverbial rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic. Some individual institutions may indeed disappear under this scenario. For example, the Conservative parties in Canada and Britain or the Democratic Party in the U.S. might ultimately follow the Communist parties of Eastern Europe into the ash bin of history, but national party structures remain the prevailing form of political organization. To defend national sovereignty while appearing to respond to globalized issues, weak international institutions such as the World Trade Organization or the UN are reorganized but essentially preserved in their current form...”

Scenario 3: Creative Destruction: “ The final scenario assumes that early 20th Century economist Joseph Schumpeter was right. Every product, market, industry, nation or institution moves through a life cycle of creation, growth, destruction and replacement. Today's institutions are either circumvented or replaced by new institutions more able to develop emerging technologies and adapt to changing political climates. There are many parallels for what is happening. Factories replaced cottage industries. Farm machinery brought corporate farming and the transformation of the United States from a rural to an urban society. The civil rights movement and major social and economic change led to the transformation of the Old South from a Democratic to a Republican stronghold. World War II brought the end of worldwide colonial empires…” (Are the rapid changes in global communications, information management, government and trade as significant? Maybe.)


World Boom Ahead: Why Business and Consumers Will Prosper.
Author: Knight Kiplinger, Kiplinger Books ISBN: 0938721550 October, 1998.

In “World Boom Ahead,” Kiplinger provides a positive vision of the global economy of the future. His belief in a steadily improving human condition and belief that a dramatic improvement in living standards lies just ahead is a bright spot since he writes so plausibly. He believes that intelligent organizations can navigate through turbulent times and the accelerating pace of change. In terms of change, 1997 marked the year that would define the millennium. In that one year, the world was treated to an amazing array of developments in technology, world affairs, and business that in an earlier time, would have constituted a whole decade of change, but crammed into a year: near-collapse of Asian economies followed by expensive international rescue; western corporate mega-mergers and invasion of the east; Indian and Pakistani nuclear testing and mounting belligerence; rebirth of U.S. antitrust police; new miracle drugs; impact of Galaxy IV satellite malfunction worldwide; for-profit venture to decipher the human genome in competition with government; the reality of cybersabotage on every level. Kiplinger points to the wisdom of scenarios, as the following all contain elements of plausibility and are set against his positive vision as a way to gauge the contrasts and work toward avoiding these worlds:

Scenario 1. Severe Overcapacity and Deflation: “The growth in world manufacturing capacity will be so great, especially in the developing nations, that even rising consumer demand cannot possibly keep up. This will lead to aggressive dumping of exports, price cutting, the raising of trade barriers, general deflation, shrinking output worldwide and declining real wages, especially in the advanced nations...”

Scenario 2. “Hot Money” Chaos: “Uncontrollable flows of capital will surge in and out of world economies, especially emerging markets, destabilizing currencies and causing wild swings in production and living standards. Currency and stock speculation will run amok. A series of serious national and regional recessions will infect the entire global economy, causing worldwide slumps of long duration. The rescue resources of the advanced nations, funneled through the International Monetary Fund, will not be sufficient to shore up all the economies in need of help at one time...”

Scenario 3. Burdensome Aging Populations: “About 15 or 20 years from now, the advanced nations, with their low or negative population growth (including even China by then), will be groaning under the social-service expenses of their aging populations. A mass of retirees will have to be supported by a proportionately smaller group of workers, pushing taxes up and diverting economic resources from investment to consumption. What’s more, stock markets will decline as seniors cash out to cover their living expenses...”

Scenario 4. The Malthusian Nightmare: “ Soaring populations in today’s “Third World” will outstrip the world economy’s capacity to support them with food, water, fuel and jobs. This will lead inexorably to resource depletion and soaring prices, famine, out-of-control urbanization, environmental degradation and attempted mass migrations of poor people into advanced nations, where they will be unwanted but sometimes needed to fill labor shortages...”

Scenario 5. Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: “The biblical scourges—famine, plague, conquest and war—will recur as they have throughout history, but in more-virulent forms. Populations will be decimated and living standards compromised by antibiotic-resistant bacterial and viral infections, some of them trans-species infections like AIDS. Raging nationalism, ethnic and racial conflict will be as devastating to life and material well being as communism and fascism were in this century. New kinds of tyrannies will subjugate large portions of the globe. Warfare will be made all the more terrible by the use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons…”


The Silver Lining of Global Imbalances.
Global Economic Forum, The Latest Views of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Economists. http://www.ms.com; headed by Stephen S. Roach, chief-economist and director of Global Economic Analysis, 1999.

Stephen Roach, chief economist and director of Global Economic Analysis, writes the latest views of the economists at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, one of the most prestigious financial firms in the world. With America the sole locomotive of a dire world, there has been concern about a destabilizing endgame dominated by the US balance of payments crisis (while Japan and Europe enjoy a surplus). Such disparities in balance of payments among the world’s three major trading blocs plus the US emerging as the world’ s importer of first and last resort makes great fodder for some interesting global economic scenarios because of the dichotomy - a domestically driven US economy that has spawned externally driven growth elsewhere in the world. Stephen S. Roach The key question is, is such an outcome sustainable? Is the world fed up with ever-widening current account imbalances? Morgan Stanley proposes a scenario of global healing.

Scenario: Global Healing: “The dollar continues to hold, rising against the yen but falling a bit against the Euro at the turn of the century. Currencies are really just the measure of the degree of attractiveness of one asset against another. With Japan in a liquidity trap and the new European Central Bank having to take some time to earn credibility, threats to the dollar are unlikely to happen. The global imbalance may in fact, have a silver lining, riding a wave of global healing - a world that is willing to wait it out. It would be a transition to a more synchronous outcome for the world economy at the turn of the century, and likely to be a major fundamental supportive force for the next decade. In “Global Healing” the American consumer will then cease functioning as the world's sole surviving locomotive and global current-account imbalances will begin to move back toward a more stable alignment. History will undoubtedly treat the gaping US balance-of-payments deficit quite kindly. The international shortfall could well turn out to be America's ultimate bill for financing the recovery of a world in crisis. But this same "external leakage" -- which kept a 4.3% increase in 1998 real GDP from turning into a 5.5% gain -- has also served the useful purpose of preventing a serious overheating of the US economy…”


Two Scenarios for 21st Century Organizations.
Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 1997.

In 1994, the Sloan School of Management at MIT inaugurated a multi-year research and education initiative called "Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century." One of the key activities for this initiative has been developing a series of coherent scenarios of possible future organizations. Scenario planning was chosen as one of the key approaches for the 21st Century Initiative, since it provides a structured methodology for thinking about the environment in which future organizations will operate and the likely form those organizations might take. This paper describes the results of the scenario development activity to date and suggests directions for future work. Some areas of driving forces discussed were: technology, human aspirations, globalization, complexity, and demographics (in particular, center of gravity of world population and wealth shifting away from North America and Europe). An uncertainty that emerged in the discussions of the Working Group most often was over the size of individual companies. Will organizations in the future be much larger, much smaller, or not very different in size from the organizations we know today?

Scenario 1. Small Companies, Large Networks (focus on how work might be organized in ever-shifting networks of small firms and individual contractors): “Imagine that it is now the year 2015. A world of fluid networks for organizing tasks and more stable communities. The corporation of the late twentieth century was just a transitional form; but in 2010, nearly every task if performed by autonomous teams of one to ten people, set up as independent contractors or small firms, linked by networks. Work is ad hoc. Automobiles, for example, would be designed by a coalition of hundreds of competing firms that are autonomous and self-organizing. Authority is not so much through command channels as teams, especially in areas demanding innovation. Since the contractual life would be lonely, independent organizations are used for social networking, learning, reputation-building and income smoothing...”

Scenario 2. Virtual Countries: (large vertically- and horizontally integrated firms; pervasive role of firms in employees’ lives; employee ownership of firms; employee selection of firm management). “Imagine that it is now the year 2015 … The huge global conglomerate has emerged as the dominant way of organizing work from cradle-to-grave by providing income and job security, health care, education, social networking, and a sense of self-identity. Organizations are as powerful and influential as nations. People are defined not so much by geographic location as they are by the company. Employees own the firm in which they work; just as the modern nation states ultimately turned to democracy, many of the corporations of the twenty first century have moved to representative governance…”


The World Economy in 2020.
OECD Observer, April 1998.

Using a computable ‘general equilibrium’ model known as the ‘Linkages’ model, the OECD Development Centre designed two contrasting visions of the world economy to the year 2020. The models incorporated a fundamental high-growth future verses a low-growth future relative to the effects on trade, production and employment patterns, on food and energy markets, and on the global environment. The most significant trends seen is the flourishing two-way trade between OECD countries and non-OECD countries and the increasing capital flows to non-member countries such as Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, and Russia, known as the “Big Five” - already becoming substantial importers. Both projections assume that basic resources (population and natural resources) and behavioral relationships will remain broadly similar in the future.

Scenario 1. High Growth Worldwide: “The vision presented here is an optimistic one, and if realized, could provide the means to tackle current and future challenges—not least poverty, environmental degradation and aging. Trade opportunities expand as the liberalization of trade, falling transport and communications costs, and increased international mobility of capital could work together to bring about a further opening-up of economies. The benefits from the global mobility of capital accrue from a more efficient allocation of world savings to the most productive investment opportunities and the possibility of smoothing consumption by borrowing or diversifying abroad. Under the assumption of high growth, world agricultural production would expand at roughly the same rate over the next 25 years as over the past two decades, with productivity improvements contributing most of it. However, one of the major worries raised by the high growth projection is its environmental implications…”

Scenario 2. Low Growth Worldwide: “The OECD vision of this world is not so much an antithesis to positive structural forces that spawn high growth, successful scenarios, but rather, slower progress with policy reform in OECD and non-OECD countries - with less trade liberalization and will less rapid advance on domestic policy reforms, not least in fiscal consolidation, removal of domestic subsidies and structural policies - could result in lower (perhaps much lower) growth rates. The assumption of the “virtuous circle” of growth is very strong in both scenarios, as the number of forces driving developments in the world economy, chief among them demographic change, technological innovation, international trade and financial liberalization - how these forces intertwine has prime importance to providing a framework for long-term planning in OECD economies…”


The Futures of American Business.
Author: Peter Schwartz, Lawrence Wilkinson, Sean Baenen. Journal of Business Strategy, Nov-Dec 1997 v18 n6 p40(9).

By considering possible future developments that stretch the bounds of plausibility, business organizations are better prepared to deal with the uncertainty and unconventional risk that may come their way. Four highly diverse scenarios for American business are presented to help companies plan for an uncertain future. Every scenario is accompanied by a list of what companies can do to prepare.

Scenario 1. Changeover and the Long Run: Predicts business turbulence and the rise of flexible enterprises. A world characterized by * Ten more years of turbulence as the world economy continues its transition; * Flexible enterprises playing in fluid markets "December 2007: Remember how confusing things used to be for businesses in the 1990s? The pace of change was outlandish. Technologies continually remade themselves, markets around the world continually redefined themselves, and industries continually reshaped themselves. No organization was immune from radical change, and there certainly wasn't much in the way of sure bets. Well, nothing's changed. Those who found the 1990s a confusing time have found the early years of the 21st century to be no different. The world continues down a path of economic and social transition that will determine the way all of us work, live, and play for the next several decades. Problem is, nobody is sure when that decision is scheduled be handed down, and there are still no clear indications of who will be making it. Every time Microsoft, for instance, seems to have its thumb over the computing industry, something else comes along to change the rules of the game…"

Scenario 2. The Long Boom: "A world characterized by * Two decades of sensational economic growth fueled by infrastructure growth and consolidation; * Organizations competing in truly open markets December 2007: Wired, the world's leading news magazine, recently published its yearly "Numb Minds Awards." With the Dow Jones industrial average crossing the 18,000 mark in September this year, the awards were given to various pundits that had a decade prior predicted the decline of America - indeed, of Western Civilization. It seems funny, almost. In the 1980s and 1990s, we heard endless diatribes about how the world was falling apart and how much more difficult our children's lives would be from our own. So said many poets, politicians, and scholars. In fact, the turbulent '90s were the first stages of an economic boom that has lasted longer than any in history. And it shows no signs of ending. The world's economy has essentially doubled during the past 12 years, bringing an increase in prosperity for billions of people. Today, we are riding the waves of what many believe to be at least a 25-year run of a greatly expanding economy…"

Scenario 3. Global Palisades: A world characterized by * Highly fragmented world markets; * Widespread scaling back of formerly multinational companies December 2007: Many of those who received their masters of business administration degrees in the 1970s found themselves trained for a business world that for all intents and purposes no longer existed by the time they were entering the ranks of senior management in the 1990s. Business schools, which needed to update their curricula to reflect the new era of the networked economy and global markets, gradually retooled to churn out the new breed of executive for the 21st century. It wasn't long before this millennial elite also found themselves operating in a world that was much different from the one for which they had prepared. After almost two decades of hope, the digital revolution never came. Throughout the 1990s and early part of this century, it was one new innovation after another with no sign of the lock-in that so many had hoped would finally come. Each new machine or protocol was expensive and obsoleting, and none of them worked together. By 2003, the Internet seemed to have no real nutritional value, and advanced networking technologies were seen as equipment that could transmit money from corporate coffers to vendors but could do very little to change your life. All of the squabbling over standards and shareholder return in the '90s and early years of this century made technology complex and just plain expensive - to develop, to acquire, and to deploy.

Scenario 4. Wild Card Scenario: Wet, Arctic, and Blue: A world characterized by * Fundamental shifting in the global climate; * An incipient change in the locus of industry and tenor of world politics. Wild Cards are those seemingly sudden developments that have the power to change the outcome of the entire game beyond all recognition. Because Wild Cards are so uncertain, it's not practical to count on their arrival. As such, they are not futures we plan for, but against. During the 20th century, and particularly the past 20 years, Wild Cards (the quick fall of communism, increasing number of natural disasters, and the rise of the Internet and its current concomitant economy, to name a few) seem to have been occurring with increasing frequency and increasing importance. December 2007: The world today is subdued by a profound global climate that can essentially no longer be predicted. What most of us believed was simply another inconvenient El Nino the winter of 1997-98 turned out to be the precursor of large-scale climate shifts that have left weather patterns nearly impossible to forecast from year to year. The only thing we do know is that it will never be the same.


New Organizational Forms: The Strategic Relevance of Future Psychological Contract Scenarios.
Author: Paul Sparrow; Cary L Cooper, Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, page 356-371, December 1998.

This paper discusses a number of processes and transitions that have dominated the world of work in the 1990s, namely downsizing, restructuring, and privatization. It builds on the work-leisure literature of the 1960s and psychological contract literature of the 1990s to identify four possible future scenarios for employees:

Scenario 1. The Self-Correcting Animal: “Equity theory posits that the main individual response to an inequitable employment relationship is job dissatisfaction and noncompliant behavior, i.e., employees re-establish feelings of equity by altering either their inputs or their outcomes. Low job insecurity has generally been found to be positively associated with these two outcomes, although the relationship can be moderated by factors such as the level of work-based support and the type of occupation. Those who have always worked in jobs that are insecure have less psychological attachment to lose. We should expect to see some significant changes in outcome measures. However, researchers taking this first stance note that the little empirical research that has directly tested predictions about the psychological contract indicates that people operate as self-correcting animals. This position states that the contract is more stable than many make out, breach of contract is overstated, work and leisure activities can compensate for each other, and the contract therefore operates as an influenceable state of mind…”

Scenario 2. Reconfigured Labor Market Diversity: “In this scenario, changes in the psychological contract are again assumed to be relatively low. We still witness high levels of continuity in behavior and relatively low breach, and any observed changes in behavior also prove to be temporary. However, the contract is assumed to operate more as a trait, not as an influenceable state of mind. Moreover, work and leisure dynamics spill over into each other, and some people therefore pursue high work intensity or variety patterns, while others seek the opposite. Under this scenario individual difference is once more an important predictor of behavior. Continuity is again evident. The view of downsizing as refocusing on the need to reveal, analyze, and predict current patterns of diversity in employee behavior is merely the continuation of a long tradition. Guest (in press) drew attention to the work in the late 1960s (Sofer, 1970; Williams & Guest, 1971) and the 1980s (Scase & Goffee, 1989) on diverse work orientations and career anchors, and the desire of many managers to reduce or control their level of engagement in the employment relationship.

Understanding the new patterns of behavior will lead to a redrawing of the current contours of internal labour market behavior. The challenge is to reveal the new contract-as-trait patterns, because they will form a new basis for diversity of behavior within organizations. Generational patterns might be expected, whereby a small group of individuals from the babyboomer generation (now middle-aged) and those nearing retirement feels betrayed by the decline in employment security and shows an immediate negative adjustment. Younger employees may not feel the need to make much correction in their behavior. Although this diversity might pattern across generations, in reality it may be more subtly linked to differences in personality, value, and internal career anchors.

Scenario 3. Limited Capacity: third scenario assumes that there are limits to human capacity that may be breached by changes in the intensity of employment. The main parameters of this scenario are not particularly new. In 1994, the U.S. Human Resource Planning Society set up the State-of-the-Art (SOTA) Council to consider what the main change drivers and challenges would be at the millennium (Eichinger & Ulrich, 1995). Not surprisingly, it predicted that tensions would be caused by competitive changes associated with globalization and internationalization. At that time, the requirements of flexibility demanded structural change (rationalization, downsizing, and delayering) and horizontal management techniques. SOTA predicted the need to build trust and confidence (so individuals would believe what managers say) and the need for organizations to become "boundaryless" (with information and ideas moving across hierarchical, horizontal, and external boundaries effortlessly). The lack of flexibility was seen as a problem of employees having limited capacity for change. The limited capacity scenario suggests that new forms of work will affect the average level of well being. This concern is reflected in recent research examining the link between the effects of work hours and health. Evidence that many employees are now working longer hours to cope with increasing workloads, job insecurity, and pressures for improved performance is clear, and the success of many atypical forms of employment in terms of their impact on productivity and employee well-being has yet to be fully evaluated (Wallace & Greenwood, 1995).

Scenario 4. New Rules of the Game Scenario: the fourth scenario, the change in motivational drivers becomes permanent. The contract is found to be a state and not a trait. It is therefore amenable to change and influence, and the changes experienced are more radical. In particular, changes in organizational form have reconfigured jobs, and the roles of several job characteristics that were previously shown to be important in core OB relationships are now altered. New organizational forms have resulted in new job attributes such as physical working conditions, levels of vigilance, shift work, long hours, new technology, responsibility levels, accountability, time spans of discretion, and degree of autonomy and control. Change may have been more radical than we believe. The new rules of the game scenario assumes that the consequences of this is not only a reweighting of the psychological outcomes associated with these factors but also new and as yet little understood relationships.

Reconfigured jobs create a new context that invalidates previously assumed relationships. That we need to question assumptions more radically is demonstrated in recent examinations of the work-strain relationship. Sparks and Cooper (1997) examined data on over 7,000 employees and observed a decrease in the relevance of two core constructs-job demands and job control (range of decision-making freedom)-in predicting psychological well-being. Factors such as work vigilance and responsibility, which are by-products of the new organizational forms, have increased in importance. Moreover, the impact of all work predictors has become much more situation-specific: Specific factors are important for specific occupations. Linkages that were assumed to exist between work characteristics and psychological outcomes such as work strain may be reconfigured.


A Vision for the World Economy - Openness, Diversity, and Cohesion.
Author: Robert Z. Lawrence, Albert Bressand, Takatoshi Ito. The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, 1997.

This book and the project, “Integrating National Economies” focus on the tension between two fundamental features of the world at the end of the twentieth century. First, the world is organized politically into nation-states with sovereign governments. Second, growing economic integration among nations is eroding differences among national economies and undermining their autonomy. As the twentieth century comes to a close, three roads to the economic future lie before economic policymakers: reliance on the historical policies of reducing at-the-border trade barriers, the agenda of shallow integration; harmonizing and reconciling national differences, the agenda of deeper integration; or reversing previous liberalization and reasserting national autonomy. These approaches suggest three scenarios. “In the world of the Invisible Hand, nation-states would maintain open borders for trade and capital but engage in little international coordination. Competition in trade and international capital markets would produce automatic pressures for harmonization. Under an alternative scenario, Global Fragmentation, nations would resurrect protective barriers. Finally, major economies such as the United States or the European Union may impose Imperial Harmonization, under which they would force smaller nations to adopt designated standards and regulations. The most pessimistic of these scenarios is Global Fragmentation. To the extent that it is realized, forces of protectionism and nationalism would undermine the world’s ability to maintain open economies and global cooperation, with costly consequences. Such fragmentation would threaten the prospects of both emerging and developed nations. Emerging nations would back away from the outwardly oriented policies necessary for sustained growth. Developed nations would sacrifice opportunities for economies of scale and growth through specialization. Imperial Harmonization is a less pessimistic vision, but it would increase global political disparities. It would permit only some nations to fully realize the gains from international cooperation and would suppress diversity. A world governed by the Invisible Hand is a more optimistic vision because it would permit national diversity and encourage harmonization through market pressures. Without international governance, however, opportunistic national behavior could be expected, some problems would prove insoluble, and the least fortunate nations would be totally neglected.”


Future Global Capital Shortages - Real Threat or Pure Fiction?
Author: Wolfgang Michalski, Riel Miller and Barrie Stevens, OECD Secretariat, Advisory Unit to the Secretary-General. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 1997.

There had been a significant decline in total saving in the OECD area as a whole over the past 30 years. According to the authors, the average gross national savings rate has fallen by about 4 percentage points of GDP. The fall in net saving has been even sharper - from around 15 per cent of net domestic output during the 1960s to its current level of about 7 to 8 per cent. The decline is visible at all levels - national, government, private and household. The fall in saving across Member countries has been paralleled by a general decline in investment rates, more pronounced in net than in gross terms, concentrated largely in the private sector. The authors present a highly plausible worst case scenario of the aged dependency ratio that drives a rising demand for public funds.

Scenario: Rising Demand for Public Funds in OECD Countries: The authors assert that by 2010, public demand for funds rises to high levels in the OECD countries. All other government expenditures remain constant, but social expenditures rise roughly in proportion to the dependency ratio. Old age pension replacement rates are fixed at their 1997 level, so pay-as-you go pension expenditures are exactly proportional to the old age dependency ratio. The increase in public health expenditures is driven by age-specific health costs. “ Microeconomic evidence in Japan and in the United States shows that age-specific health expenditures increase almost exponentially with age, so this part of social expenditures increases even faster than the old age dependency ratio. On the other hand, population aging is accompanied by a decrease in the proportion of children, reducing social expenditures for schools and family transfers. However, this offsetting effect is relatively small, in addition to which the OECD estimates probably exaggerate social expenditures past the year 2010, because they rest on rather high fertility assumptions. The rise in the dependency ratio translates into an increase in the public demand for funds as long as age-specific social expenditures and tax rates remain as they are now.” This is a worst-case scenario in terms of government deficits. The lesson of the scenario is that any forecast of the demand for funds is conditional on public policy changes in reaction to population aging. Spending cuts in entitlements programs, either directly by reducing replacement rates or indirectly by reducing eligibility and tax increases for the working populations, will decrease the demand for funds relative to the worst-case scenario.


Economic Evolution and Structure - The Complexity on the U.S. Economic System.
Author: Frederic L. Pryor. Published 1996.

This book provides an analysis of the economic system in the U.S. In one chapter, the author sketches scenarios of the future of capitalism, relative to the U.S. economy. Pryor approaches the problem in three steps: first, by investigating how the current system is performing and to ask whether the projected performance will be sufficiently poor as to force a change in the economic system; secondly, to explore directly, the sources of systemic change, whether internal or external. For this purpose, the author isolates four key changes: increasing structural complexity, increasing internationalization, decreasing social cohesiveness, and a re-energized “spirit of capitalism”; finally, linking these sources of systemic change to particular scenarios. The author concludes that major changes in the organization and control of production are the most far-reaching system changes that could occur in the coming decades. Three scenarios have some probability of occurring.

Scenario 1. Finance Capitalism. “Third-Party capitalism” provides a label for several different types of capitalism in which institutions, rather than individual owners of the means of production, exercise major decision-making powers in the crucial productive institutions. Finance capitalism represents the most likely form that such a third-part capitalism could take.”

Scenario 2. Atomic Capitalism. “This is the label for an economy where production is carried out in relatively small enterprises and where one type of structural complexity, namely the separation of ownership and control, is reversed. It represents almost the antithesis of finance capitalism.”

Scenario 3. Remodeled Capitalism. “This is the label for an economic system that had adapted to the increasing structural complexity. It reflects an enhanced valuation of human capital through a greater use of skills and a greater education of the labor force. Among other things, production would increasingly shift toward those sectors in which the United States has a comparative advantage.”


An Anticlassical Political-Economic Analysis - A Vision for the Next Century.
Author: Yasusuke Murakami. Stanford University Press, Nov. 1996.

The substance of this book is an attempt to develop a partial theory that the authors call an anticlassical political-economic analysis. Of interest is the author’s use of a biological framework for discussion and presentation of a scenario of a new international system that is rule-based. A Scenario for a New International System: “What would an international system dependent on a rule-based approach be like? The empires of colonialism and the quasi-empires of socialism were clearly grounded on justice-based approaches. What form could liberal democracy between states take? For comparison, let us imagine the extreme case, in which a world-state has emerged and national boundaries have lost their significance. This world-state would perhaps be governed by an “ideal world parliament,” copying a typical parliamentary democracy. In this democracy, everybody would have an equal right to vote, and those who lived in particular regions would not have special privileges (such as the right of veto enjoyed by members of the UN Security Council). In this model the democracy between countries would be the same as the democracy among people.”


The New Capitalism.
Author: William E. Halal. John Wiley & Son. July 1986/486p. Three scenarios of U.S. capitalism scenarios to 2000.

The world is recognizing and affirming the ideals of democracy and free enterprise because they offer the best means for adapting. The best combination is a balance of the two, exemplified in Democratic Free Enterprise, described by the author. Key elements of the new capitalism include: smart growth - combining profitable business with public service; market networks - fluid organizational environments; participative leadership - profit and worker ownership; multiple goals - profit no longer the central principle; and strategic management - issues management at the heart of strategic change. Professor Halal concludes with three scenarios.

Scenario 1.) Corporate America: the Reagen influence to get America back into Laissez faire economics was maintained through the 1990s. By 2000, big companies and multinationals literally reigned. “Fierce competition prevailed for awhile to create a flurry of efficient innovations, but, as the economic transition matured, mergers and acquisitions consolidated most industries into a few large corporations.” Big corporations manage schools and universities because education has become increasingly critical for running a complex technological society.

Scenario 2.) Regulated America: most aspects of life are regulated by government as America returns to an “America that Cares.” This welfare state is a more secure and fairly well administered society, but the promised gains remained illusive. Reforms were made, but only by replacing business mega-corporations with federal bureaucracies.

Scenario 3.) Democratic Free Enterprise America: a major populist movement targets big business, which becomes a major political issue. The role of business is then redefined by a coalition of centrist politicians and business executives. The movement leads to various changes that redefine much of the economic system, such as agreements to automate smokestack industries while providing worker- training on new technologies.


A Visit to Belindia
Author: Frederick Pohl. Chapter from “The World of 2044 - Technological Development and the Future of Society” edited by Charles Sheffield, Marceto Alonso, and Morton A. Kaplan. Paragon House, St. Paul, Minnesota. Global economy scenario to the year 2044.

One of a collection of scenarios from various authors looking to the year 2044. Key trends in A Visit to Belindia include the widening of the have-have not gap, slow growth in the advanced industrial nations and irresponsible government spending. This pessimistic scenario depicts the widening of the have have-not gap worldwide, and the term ‘Belindia’ popularly describes this condition: a small number of well-to-do classes having the same standard of living as in Belgium while the rest of the world lived at a standard similar to India’s in the mid-nineties of the 20th century. Belgium plus India = Belindia.” Belindia is really the whole world now.” The potential of technologies to contribute to economic growth and a higher standard of living stagnated dramatically due to inappropriate government spending on pork barrel projects when there should have been spending on research and development. With such a widening of the have have-not gap at the beginning of the 21st Century, narcotics became the fastest growing industry in the world. With virtually no exploitation of potential technologies to solve environmental problems, by 2044 the ozone layer was almost gone, and throughout the world, a few million lived under protective domes while billions lived unprotected, and, “They didn’t live very well at all.”


The Capitalist World-Economy: Middle Run Prospects.
Author: Immanual Wallerstein, Alternatives: Social Transformation and Humane Governance 14:3, July 1989, 279-288. Three scenarios of the world economy to 2050.

Wallerstein traces the capitalist-world economy and, from the perspective of 1989, the world was in the middle of a period of global economic stagflation that could have meant the decline of US power while Japan and Western Europe were improving their positions. Four possible vectors of historical occurrences for the 2000-2050 middle-run period are described, then, “if all four vectors are correctly estimated, three scenarios are possible”:

Scenario 1.) A story of the struggle for hegemony, pitting Japan/US/China against Western Europe/USSR (or parts of the former USSR), results in a world war by 2050. Scenario 2.) Faced with the exhaustion of the present world-system and the fear of nuclear disaster, this is a story about a world system that consciously reorganizes itself into something else. The world recreates a new structure of inegalitarian privilege. Scenario 3.) A story of the anarchic crumbling away of the world system, generating massive experimentation and massive insecurity, until chaos creates a truly new world order that is relatively egalitarian and democratic.


Business NOT as Usual: Rethinking our Individual, Corporate, and Industrial Strategies for Global Competition.
Author: Ian I. Mitroff, San Francisco: Josey-Bass Publishers, April 1987/194p. Four scenarios of U.S. development into the 21st century.

The author discusses business strategy in a changing world. The book concludes with four scenarios of the future of U.S. corporate and industrial development.

Scenario 1.) Continually increasing prosperity without substantial change or dislocation. This most optimistic scenario assumes that past methods of operation are sound and will lead to increasing prosperity in the foreseeable future. There is no need to change the thinking about complex problems or restructure organizations and industries.

Scenario 2.) Continued prosperity with substantial early adjustment. This is also an optimistic scenario but in a very different way. It’s basic premise is a highly adaptive America, where clear signals of the decline of industry are perceived early enough, so that shifts into new patterns are made (for example, less bureaucratic, smaller, more autonomous companies that can compete more effectively).

Scenario 3.) Late and slow recovery after substantial pain. This scenario is optimistic but also in a different way. It predicts that substantial pain will occur before the United States finally makes the changes necessary to compete in a world economy. That is, many more industries will reach “near death” before the wall of resistance that has been built on past successes is broken down, and they realize that radical restructure is critical to survival, let alone prosperity.

Scenario 4.) Catastrophic decline after severe pain. Most pessimistic. Maintains that by the time the pain has become so great that change is clearly needed, it will be too late. Foreign products and competitors will have made such a dent in US domestic markets, not to mention world markets, that the chance of disengaging their stronghold will be extremely difficult.


U.S. Financial Services in the Global Economy: International Competitiveness and Safety and Soundness.
Author: James D. Robinson III, Vital Speeches of the Day, 56:6, 1 Jan 1990, 176-180. Three scenarios of financial services to 2000.

In a speech given by James D. Robinson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Express Company on the future of the U.S. financial industry, it was concluded that there were three plausible scenarios. Key trends driving the scenarios are: wealth becoming more widely distributed around the world resulting in a truly global economy; the increasing globalization of financial markets; and increasingly, financial markets becoming a guide to economic policy.

Scenario 1.) Creeping Incrementalism: a continuation of the piecemeal, loophole-driven erosion of regulations and the legislative stalemate that had characterized U.S. financial system reform. This is an “extension of the status quo” scenario.

Scenario 2.) Back to the Bunkers: a world of protectionism on all levels. For example, the re-regulation in the U.S. into distinct financial services industries, and internationally, the creation of trade blocs, which is a very fragile kind of security, vulnerable to market forces finding new ways around artificial barriers.

Scenario 3.) A Positive Future: “open markets that land consumer choice, in which all types of financial institutions can compete with adequate rules of consumer protection, fair play, safety and soundness.”


In the Shadow of the Rising Sun: The Political Roots of American Economic Decline.
Author: William S. Dietrich, University Park PA: Penn State Press Oct. 1991/343p. A global economy scenario to 2015.

From the perspective of 1991, the author considers the various angles of a key trend: Japan’s growing technological and economic mastery. From a U.S. point of view, Dietrich writes a hair-raising scenario called “Pax Nippocina”, characterized by American decline and Japanese world leadership. Japan dominates every leading edge industry, and becomes the world’s financial center. Its GNP is twice that of the US, and GNP per capita is four times higher. The Japanese own 40% of US manufacturing assets, as the US (and the EC) is relegated to a third tier nation, relying on East Asian high-tech products. Although Japan has experienced problems in their economy, Japan has the potential to rise again. When looking out beyond the 1990s and to the year 2015 or 2025, “Pax Nippocina” is a plausible consideration.


1990 Ten Year Forecast. Institute for the Future.
Corporate Associates Program, Menlo Park CA: IFTF Feb 1990/237p(8x11’). Three scenarios of the business environment to 2000, 2030, 2050.

“A comprehensive view of change in the business environment, divided into three sections: a core forecast of key driving forces in the 1990s, a center section glimpsing the first 50 years of the 21st Century in three scenarios (2010, 2030, 2050), and a discussion of four major issue clusters (consumers/customers, employees/managers, investors, and government).” Future Survey Annual 1990 This “Ten Year Forecast” suggests that the rising tide of social insecurity among middle-aging baby boomers about their economic situation, health benefits, and debt burden. For 2010, the Institute for the Future forecasted enormous growth in middle-class consumers in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Europe: “By 2010 these areas will have a third of the world’s middle-class consumers, up from 18 percent today.” The “Ten Year Forecast” is proprietary, but there are many excellent forecasts, papers, and reports that can be ordered through the Institute’s homepage at: www.iftf.org.


Wild Cards: Preparing for “The Big One”.
Author: John D. Rockfellow, The Futurist, 28:1, Jan-Feb 1994, 14-19. Three Wild Card scenarios to the year 2000.

Oftentimes a set of scenarios will include a wildcard scenario of an event having a low probability of occurrence, but a very high impact if it does occur. In this article, the author describes three wildcard events from a collaborative report titled, Wild Cards: A Multinational Perspective.

Scenario 1.) Hong Kong Rules China: “In 1997, Great Britain has relinquished control of Hong Kong, but the joke is on China. Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the five special economic zones of mainland China have become the supernovas of the late twentieth century. They have gobbled up the Chinese communist dinosaur and blasted away the possibility of another Tiananmen Square massacre.” By 2000, Hong Kong serves as the main conduit for Chinese exports. Mainland China’s average annual growth rate has stayed constant due to a lack of infrastructure, while Hong Kong’s exports have increased substantially.

Scenario 2.) Europe Goes Regional: by the year 2000, Europe will dismantle the nation-state in favor of strong regional representation in the European Community. The community is still seen as necessary to protect economic and security interests, but the nation-state as an intermediate step in the hierarchy of decision making has been bypassed.

Scenario 3.) The No Carbon Economy: scientists establish that the world’s climate is getting warmer due to rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The world experiences more droughts, cyclones, heat waves, etc. Public awareness of the situation grows, bringing with it a greater understanding of the limitations of development based upon abundant and cheap energy.


The Age of Diminished Expectations: U.S. Economic Policy in the 1990s.
Author: Paul Krugman, Cambridge MA: MIT Press, Sept 1990/204p. Three near term scenarios on the US economy.

Key trends in the US economy are described: productivity growth, income distribution, unemployment, the trade deficit, inflation, the budget deficit, trade with Japan, finance, debt in the developing countries. From the perspective of 1990, the author concludes with three scenarios of the U.S. economy.

Scenario 1.) Happy Ending: US growth of productivity at 3% a year leads to a general rise in living standards and defuses the problems of trade and budget deficits.

Scenario 2.) Hard Landing: foreign investors loose confidence in the US, and the immediate impact is the fall in the dollar, or the reverse. “If you want to envision a real hard landing, simply imagine that foreigners face a perceived risk that is not alleviated by a lower dollar, such as fears of expropriation. Suppose that the resulting dollar crash follows a period of dollar stability, so there is no cushion to brake the rise in import prices, and we have the bad luck to stumble onto a third oil crisis just as the dollar plunges. Suppose that the US economy is already having an inflation problem when the crisis hits. What you get is a recipe for a truly disastrous hard landing.” This hard landing scenario can be avoided with good policy.

Scenario 3.) Drift: no radical developments or changes. In the 1990s there will be a growing and ever more miserable underclass, while the middle class probably does better. By 2000 unemployment probably will drift down to 4-5%, inflation will creep up to 7%, net foreign claims in the US will be about 20% of GNP, foreign firms will account for 25% of US manufacturing and 45% of banking, an increasingly unified Europe will have a larger GNP than the US; Japan’s GNP will be 80% or more of the US level, and a world economy that is likely to be less unified due to trading blocs will slow the growth of world trade. This scenario is far short of what used to be regarded as success, but it “now looks perfectly acceptable, and might be regarded as a success.”


Long-Term Scenarios of the World Economy to 2015.
Authors: Andre de Jong and Gerrit Zalm (Central Planning Bureau, The Netherlands). Conference on Long-Term Prospects for the World Economy. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Paris OECD, Aug 1992/193p. Four scenarios on the global economy to 2015.

According to the Central Planning Bureau, The Netherlands, many policy makers in government and business base decisions on their perceptions of the future. Three perceptions of the future - equilibrium, coordination, and free market - were discussed at this conference, and were related to various regional developments in economics, natural resources and the environment, along with the interactions among the driving forces to create four alternative scenarios supporting a long-term study of the Dutch economy, with a focus on the world economy.

Scenario 1.) Balanced Growth: emphasis on economic equilibrium and innovation. This is the most optimistic scenario. An annual growth rate of the world economy is more than 3.5%, which is ecologically sustainable and includes all the major regions of the world.

Scenario 2.) Global Crisis: tensions between trading blocs (Japan led bloc is strongest) create a vicious circle of slowing economic growth. This is a “lack of balance” scenario featuring global tension and conflict, slow growth and depression. It examines the damages of ignorance and the challenges of a delayed response to regional and global problems. Drought leads to a worldwide crisis in food supply and global economic recession. How the world may end up in widespread distress with only a possible high cost solution, is examined.

Scenario 3. ) Global Shift: technology is the driving force behind a free market economy. A shift in economic activities takes place from the Atlantic to Pacific basin.

Scenario 4.) European Renaissance: trade blocs slow growth of free market economy. Europe proves to be the best at integrating and expanding its bloc and flourishes. The two most powerful economic blocs in the world are Western Europe and North America. Although they are quite different, both blocks are vulnerable, and their economic performance will have a huge influence on other regions, especially their neighbors.


Long-Term Prospects for the World Economy.
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Paris: OECD, Aug. 1992/193p. Nine near term scenarios on the world economy.

A “Forum for the Future” conference hosted by the OECD in Paris, June 1991. This conference brought together key economists and thinkers from around the world, examining the forces that are likely to drive the evolution of the global economy and its major regions to the year 2000 and beyond. In addition to the summary by Michel Andrieu, Wolfgang Michalski, and Barrie Stevens, the conference provided seven additional papers that included scenarios. Long-Term Prospects for the US Economy, by Maurice Ernst and Jimmy W. Wheeler (Hudson Institute) provided three scenarios of the US economy to the year 2000. US trends identified included: defense and discretionary spending; entitlements such as social security and Medicare; special benefits and subsidies, and general revenues.

Scenario 1.) Central Surprise Free Scenario: GNP Growth ranges between 2.3-2.7% through the 1990’s and to the year 2000. No surprises here; it is a “business as usual” scenario.

Scenario 2.) Virtuous Circle Scenario: overall luck was very good; the combination of good management, especially in the industrial sector, and policy yields 3.2% growth.

Scenario 3.) Slow Growth Scenario: only 1.8% growth. Confidence becomes lost in the “American Dream” and the US begins to loose ground in terms of competing in the global economy. North American Economic Integration, by Wendy Dobson (U of Toronto) provided three scenarios: 1.) Base Case; 2.) Freer Trade (resulting from NAFTA - accelerating economic growth in all three countries); and 3.) Further Evolution (common market or economic union in the longer term). European Economic Integration, by Emilio Fontela (U of Madrid) provided three scenarios: 1.) The Conventional Wisdom Scenario; 2.) The Scenario of Deepening; and 3.) Scenario of Widening.


The Great Boom Ahead: Your Comprehensive Guide to Personal and Business Profit in the New Era of Prosperity.
Author: Harry S. Dent Jr. Hyperion Publishers Jan. 1993/273p. A global economy scenario to 2025.

A Global Boom Scenario. A new world economic order of three trading blocs (North America, Europe, and the Far East), is led by a booming U.S. economy. America’s baby boomers reach peak productive years as the U.S. gains economic dominance and leads the move to customization economies. U.S. information infrastructure and workforce become the best in the world. Mexico rides U.S. coattails to become the Third World country with the strongest growth. Warns that the world needs to prepare for the “Mother of all Depressions” from 2010 - 2025, which could bring the curtain down.


21st Century Capitalism.
Author: Robert Heilbroner. W. W. Norton & Co, N.Y. Sept 1993/175p. Five scenarios of capitalism to the 21st century.

In contrast to stagnant command and control societies, capitalism presents the impetus, challenges, and generates tremendous change in a society. It “thus carries us along into futures that are full of unpredictability, and yet formed and shaped in ways that are far from being utterly unforeseeable.” The author presents the economic theories of Smith, Marx, Keynes, Schumpeter, and Heilbroner as scenarios for the future of capitalism into the 21st century.

Scenario 1.) Adam Smith: a world of economic growth, resource restraints, economic decline from growing population and shrinking resources.

Scenario 2.) Karl Marx: a world of growth with continual periods of economic crisis and restructuring, with labor ultimately gaining control of the economy.

Scenario 3.) John M. Keynes: a world of market driven societies creating lasting underemployment and the need for social investment.

Scenario 4.) Joseph Schumpeter: capitalism will continue to grow through creative destruction, but will ultimately decline from moral decay.

Scenario 5.) Robert Heilbroner: capitalism can grow with the right social investment. Barriers to social investment include the deficit, American tax phobia, and coping with inflationary pressures.

The Post-Nationalist Map: Cartography of Cultures and Economies.
(Special Issue). New Perspectives Quarterly 12: 1, Winter 1994-95/64p. Single copy from the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions. Two future maps of the 21st Century.

This special issue is devoted to showing that the world in the 19th century was once divided by geo-political relations and has evolved in the 20th century into a new cartography of cultures and economies, and is destined to evolve further into the 21st century. Views included in this issue were: Nathan Gardels (editor, NPQ), Francis Fukuyama (RAND Corp. - Washington), Chai-Anan Samudavanija (Bangkok), Kenichi Ohmae, Jacque Delors, Robert Reich, Riccardo Petrella, Paul Kennedy, Paul Krugman, James Goldsmith, Richard Rosecrance, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, and Riccardo Petrella (EU/FAST).

Riccardo Petrella sketches two future maps of the world system, so vivid that they are scenario like. The first map is a world dominated by a hierarchy of 30 city-regions (the CR-30 replacing the G-7), linked more to each other through telecommunications than by geography; the second map is a global civil society that balances the business world with a global social contract that gives equity to all through a redistribution of wealth.


The Twenty-First Century Organization: Analyzing Current Trends—Imagining the Future. Author: Guy Benveniste, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, Feb 1994/310p. Two scenarios of the organization to the 21st century.

The author outlines six trends driving two scenarios of the future of the organization. These trends include: worldwide competition for ideas, highly educated work force, feminization of organizational culture, sophisticated communications, rapid change, and a shift from hierarchy to more egalitarian organizations.

Scenario 1.) New System: in this world, most, if not all people are highly educated and are members of professional organizations that represent their occupation. Individuals are members of Professional Councils, Professional Courts, and Professional Boards.

Scenario 2.) The Firm: in this world, American organizations engage in global business. These organizations are operated on the senior staff professional model, with two hierarchies of workers: senior professional workers with considerable discretion and other professional workers in fairly controlled situations. Credit goes to those who work diligently. Rewards are based on outcome measures. These large enterprises run schools, hospitals, hotels, and restaurants.


The Haves Have Less.
Author: Gaia Young, and channeled to Nichola Lemann. The New York Times Magazine Sept 29, 1996. A labor scenario to 2096.

This scenario plausibly describes the evolution of work into the 21st century. Key trends include the striving for education, high unemployment, and the widening of the have have-not gap. The world of work becomes a “meritocracy”, in which people rise to power and position because of their education based ability (rather than birth as in an aristocracy). Meritocracy is especially seen in the US. However, populist reaction against the meritocratic elite causes such professions as law and medicine to decline in status, while a quarter of the work force is made up of domestic servants.

II. ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE AND BIODIVERSITY


Sustainable Communities and the Great Transition. James Goldstein. Tellus Institute. Copyright @ 2006. GTI (Global Transformation Initiative) is a global network that assesses normative transitions to a healthy planet through imagining social, political, technological, environmental, and economic transformations worldwide. The workshop series known as the “GTI Paper Series” can be located on the Tellus Institute website. This is GTI Paper Series #12. James Goldstein is a Senior Fellow at the Tellus Institute. He has more than twenty years experience in environmental research.

This reports considers an idealized approach to the sustainability of cities within the context of a global initiative. Scenarios take into account land use, transportation, and food & agriculture, detailed in three archetypical regions to the year 2084. These regions are: Agoria, Ecodemia, and Arcadia. The unique characteristics of these regions have important implications for the identities of their inhabitants, their governance structures, and the relationships among communities and regions (described by Paul Raskins in 2006 report on Tellus Institute website). Signs of impending global consciousness is evident around the world. The success of cities to participate in global unity and a “new layer of identity” depend on factors that will be important to the success of sustainable transitions in the future. The United Nations projects that “sixty percent of the world population will be urban by 2030, and that most urban growth will occur in less developed countries.” The term “glocalism” describes the development of a global identity in parallel with a strengthened local identity - a goal of communities striving to be sustainable. By 2004, more than 2,250 local and regional authorities in forty-two countries had become signatories of various charters of sustainability. Accordingly, it is plausible to consider that by the second half of the 21st century, cities will likely engage responsibly in a global network. One of the global scenarios that examine transportation follows (among land use and food & agriculture). Excerpt of scenario to 2087. Global Scenario: Transportation in the Future. “In all regions the transportation system is remarkably different from that of the early twenty first century. After finally recognizing that global reserves of petroleum were diminishing and that continued widespread use of fossil fuels posed a dire threat to climate stability, the 2015 global commitment to a hydrogen economy fueled by renewables and biomass is about to be realized. It has been a long and difficult transition spanning most of the century, requiring massive infrastructure investments and technological advances. During this transition over the past few decades, hybrid-electric, dual-fuel gas/hydrogen, and biofuel vehicles played a key role, but the transportation sector is now largely fueled by hydrogen. Average vehicle weights have been reduced significantly with “light-weighting” through the use of composite materials, and hydrogen fuel prices are high to reflect the full cost of production and to discourage excessive use. While the shift to renewables-generated hydrogen has virtually eliminated concerns about greenhouse gases and other air pollutant emissions as a strong motivator to reduce vehicle miles traveled, a desire to minimize congestion and use resources efficiently are still important considerations. Widespread telecommuting is also prevalent. The deification of the car and the view that private vehicle ownership expands personal freedom, so prevalent in the early part of the century, has largely been replaced by the broader notion of mobility. Mobility comprises a range of approaches to moving about comfortably and efficiently (preserving a sense of independence into our elder years and despite any physical disabilities) rather than a narrow focus on cars as the primary means of travel. In recent decades considerable efforts have been made in terms of policy and infrastructure investment to enhance public transit and inter-city rail, delivering extremely rapid, frequent, and pleasurable service based on late twenty-first century technology. This was motivated not only by concerns about climate change and resource exhaustion, but also by a strong movement to enhance quality-of-life by minimizing congestion and travel times, and by the growing demand for convenient nonpolluting transport. Along with public transit, in response to the obesity crisis that afflicted growing numbers of people early in the century, an investment in the promotion of walking and biking led to the inclusion of bikeways and related facilities (e.g., for storage) in land-use regulations and transportation plans.” End of scenario excerpt. In the future, a new generation of sustainable cities on a global level will have several key characteristics: quality of life, human solidarity, and ecological sensibility. These shared attributes also include an integrated approach, broad participation, a “glocal” perspective, and a long-term view. The report demonstrates the methodology and usefulness of scenario planning in city planning with a set of scenarios on the future of the city of Boston, MA USA to the year 2050. The report discusses an analysis of business as usual if current trends continue and alternative futures. The scenarios also include new indicators to track the region’s global impacts and responsibilities. Scenario 1.) Business as Usual. “The business-as-usual scenario assumes that current trends in the Boston region continue, with no major policy changes, surprises, or discontinuities. The dominant values and forces shaping the region-the primacy of markets, the growing pace of land conversions for development, heavy reliance on fossil fuels and automobiles-remain intact.” Scenario 2.) Policy Reform. “In the policy-reform scenario, residents and policymakers recognize the negative consequences of trends and policies in resource use, the environment, economic activity, and social conditions. While most of the dominant values shaping the region remain unchallenged, the government focuses concerted effort on creating jobs, providing affordable housing, expanding access to health care, reducing sprawl and congestion, promoting greener technologies, and improving environmental conditions. Although social and environmental conditions improve, the overall trend toward sprawling development and depletion of natural resources persists.” Scenario 3.) Deep Change. “The deep-change scenario posits transformational change in the Boston region. Residents, government, and NGOs recognize their global connections, and this growing sense of global responsibility contributes to a fundamental shift in values and a shift of priorities away from economic growth and consumption toward enhanced quality of life and well-being. Residents embrace a vision of a sustainable region in a sustainable world with a strong sense of community and human solidarity. Citizens see that they could achieve far better quality of life by working and consuming less, living in more compact and integrated communities, and acting in ways that connect them to the world beyond.” This is an excellent report for those interested in urban planning and city development. Good overview of solid methodology for short-term and long-term futures.


The Energy Project: Independence by 2020. Tsvi Bisk. The Futurist 41.1 (Jan-Feb 2007): p25(7). The author is an independent Israeli futurist, social researcher, and strategy planning consultant. He is the director for the Center for Strategic Futurists.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Annual Energy Outlook for 2006, U.S. gross oil imports are expected to increase to 20.2 million by 2025. Worldwide consumption of crude oil is projected to grow 40% by 2020. The author asserts that worldwide terrorists threats are practically all financed by Persian Gulf petrodollars. “For the sake of our shared environment and international stability, the time has come for the West to formulate a coherent energy policy dedicated to downgrading oil as the dominant international commodity. We will all live in a safer, freer world when oil becomes a commodity on par with coffee, sugar, and tea, rather than the lifeblood of Western economies.” Tsvi Bisk What is needed is a global effort by rich nations to transition economies to next-generation fuels and vehicles. Scenario: Report to the Congress of the United States on the Energy Project. January, 2020 The author writes a scenario from the vantage point of 2020. “The goal of the Energy Project was to destroy the power of petroleum as an international commodity. This has for all intents and purposes been accomplished. The successful completion of this objective has seriously undermined the financing of international Islamic terror, reducing it to a minor tactical annoyance rather than the major strategic threat it once was. The Energy Project also rendered impotent the petroleum-funded nuclear weapons programs of former rogue states such as Iran. The end of oil dependence has also been beneficial for the world economy. The U.S. trade deficit has been reduced by 40%, and hundreds of thousands of well-paying domestic jobs have been created….The United States became completely energy independent in 2019 through a combination of conservation, alternative energy (solar, wind, and geothermal), gasification and liquefaction of coal, and various technologies that turn carbon-based waste (sewage, manure, garbage, plastic, rubber, agricultural, etc.) into usable diesel and gas. The United States had already become relatively energy independent by 2015--its sole oil imports then being from fellow NAFTA members Canada and Mexico. The industrial might of the United States was mobilized in a manner not seen since World War II. By 2010, a new coal-liquefaction plant (a coal-fired power plant that uses a carbon-neutral process to convert coal into a liquid fuel) producing 30,000 barrels of fuel a day (at $40 a barrel) was being installed every month in the United States. This was adding 360,000 barrels of daily production every year. Thermal or catalytic depolymerization units that produced a thousand barrels of liquid fuel from sewage and garbage were installed daily. This was adding 365,000 barrels of daily production a year. Plug-in hybrids, flex-fuel engines, household energy conservation, and increased use of wind, solar and geothermal energy were conserving an additional 300,000 barrels of daily consumption of oil every year. Ethanol production from agricultural waste and biodiesel from the food processing industry was adding the equivalent of 100,000 barrels of daily production of fuel annually. By 2010, more than 1.1 million barrels of oil (daily production) was being taken off the international market each year by the lower 48 states alone. China, employing similar technologies and policies, has also become energy independent. Large supplies of oil were diverted from the United States and China to Japan, Korea, and Taiwan (which had also drastically reduced oil consumption by conservation and use of various biodiesel technologies). These countries now receive all their energy imports from Russia, Canada, and Mexico (not OPEC). The European Union's remaining oil and gas imports also come from non-OPEC countries such as Russia, Mexico, and Brazil, as well as western Africa…. Spreading of Democratic Values: These developments enabled the West to confront what many have long argued is the largest single obstacle to the spread of democracy and Western values. As early as 2009, the projected end of U.S. energy dependence began to enable greater geopolitical flexibility as well as greater adherence to democratic values on the part of the West. Also in 2009, after the formation of the Organization of Petroleum Consuming Countries (OPCC), industrialized nations began to lessen their oil purchases from Saudi Arabia, quickly dethroning it as the biggest oil exporter in the world. By 2012, Saudi Arabia trailed Canada, Russia, and Venezuela in total exports and was no longer the chief indirect financier of international Islamic terror. Today, the total volume of exports from the Persian Gulf (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait) is less than 6 million barrels a day and declining… A Second Iranian Revolution - In 2009, with its economy in collapse and its impoverished population furious, Iran underwent a second revolution. The army, intellectuals, and business community embraced the Turkish model of modernization and governance. The catchphrase of this second revolution was "Where is the Iranian Ataturk?" Iran has since become a constitutional republic. The Mullahs were relegated to their pulpits and deprived of secular power. Iran was forced by economic necessity to establish close ties with the United States and the European Union. In order to integrate into the global economy, they were obliged to contribute to global political stability. In order to secure overseas direct investment for this historic switchover, Iran was obliged to adopt transparent business practices in line with international standards and to implement the democratic reforms necessary to join the World Trade Organization. This spurred growth in their manufacturing and service sectors, and Iran became a net exporter of products and services rather than oil. In 2010, Iran cut all ties with terrorist organizations, and in 2013 it reestablished relations with Israel.”


The Amazon in 2050: Implementing the Law Could Save a Million Square Kilometers of Rainforest. Woods Hole Research Center senior scientist Daniel C. Nepstad. March 23, 2006. Nature Magazine March 23, 2006.

This paper shows that existing laws would spare the Amazon one million square kilometers of deforestation (one fifth of the entire forest area), avoiding 17 billion tons of carbon emissions to the atmosphere. According to Britaldo Soares-Filho, the paper’s lead author, “For the first time, we can examine how individual policies ranging from the paving of highways to the requirement for forest reserves on private properties will influence the future of the world’s largest tropical forest. Our model shows that several unique forest ecosystems and entire watersheds will be badly degraded over the next 45 years if we don’t rapidly increase our capacity to govern this dynamic region.” By developing the first model of Amazon deforestation, two extreme scenarios were developed, encompassing the likely range of future trajectories of deforestation through 2050. Scenario 1) Business as Usual. Scenario in which the forces of destruction continue unopposed. Specifically, this scenario (abbreviated as BAU) assumes that the network of parks and other protected areas remains at 31 percent of the region’s forests, that up to 40 percent of these protected areas are subject to deforestation, and that nearly 85 percent outside of protected areas are subject to deforestation. This translates to a loss of nearly 2 million km2, leaving only 56 percent of the original forest area. Scenario 2) Frontier Governance. “Society and government, together with the scientific and environmental communities, work to control frontier expansion and insure the ecological integrity of the basin. Within the governance scenario, protected areas (parks and reserves) are expanded to 41 percent of the region’s forests (as currently planned by the Brazilian government), protected areas are fully enforced, and only 50 percent of the forests outside of protected areas are subject to deforestation. Furthermore, the deforestation rate, although rising initially due to road paving, declines over time, simulating the effects of emerging markets for carbon retain in native forests. Under this scenario, 73 percent of the original forest would remain in 2050.The future expansion of deforestation will not affect all forests and watersheds equally. The dry forest formation of Mato Grosso will virtually disappear by the year 2050, and many watersheds (including the Xingú and Tocantíns Rivers) will lose most of the forest cover in their catchments, increasing flooding and sedimentation. The region of greatest loss of mammals will be in the eastern Amazon, where expanding agriculture will overrun many species with small ranges. Of the major highways planned for paving, the Manaus-Porto Velho highway will be the most damaging in terms of new deforestation. The challenge of Amazon conservation is to find ways to redirect political and economic forces towards this second, more sustainable future scenario, conserving most of the forest for centuries to come.”


Millennium Ecosystem Assessment United Nations. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) is a research program that focuses on ecosystem changes over the course of decades, and projecting those changes into the future. It was launched in 2001 with support from the United Nations by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

In 2005 the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment sponsored by the United Nations released the results of a report on the continued absorption of the planets natural resources. The report warned that harmful consequences of degradation could grow significantly worse in the next 50 years. “The bottom line is that human actions are depleting Earth’s natural capital, putting such strain on the environment that the ability of the planet’s ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted. Habitat loss on land will lead to a sharp decline in local diversity of native species and related services in all four scenarios by 2050.” MA Group The habitat losses projected in the four scenarios will lead to global extinctions as populations adjust to the remaining habitat. The Scenarios Working Group considered the possible evolution of ecosystem services during the 21st century by developing four global scenarios exploring plausible future changes in drivers, ecosystems, ecosystem services, and human well-being. The following are overviews of the scenarios. The actual scenaros, graphis, and illustrations are contained in the report, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Scenario 1) Global Orchestration. This scenario depicts a globally-connected society that focuses on global trade and economic liberalization and takes a reactive approach to ecosystem problems. However, it also takes strong steps to reduce poverty and inequality and to invest in public goods such as infrastructure and education. Economic growth is the highest of the four scenarios while this scenario is assumed to have the lowest population in 2050. Scenario 2) Order from Strength. This scenario represents a regionalized and fragmented world, concerned with security and protection, emphasizing primarily regional markets, paying little attention to public goods, and taking a reactive approach to ecosystem problems. Economic growth rates are the lowest of the scenarios (particularly low in developing countries) and decrease with time, while population growth is the highest. Scenario 3) Adapting Mosaic. In this scenario, regional watershed scale ecosystems are the focus of political and economic activity. Local institutions are strengthened and local ecosystem management strategies are common, and societies develop a strongly proactive approach to the management of ecosystems Economic growth rates are somewhat low initially but increase with time, and the population in 2050 is nearly as high as in Order from Strength. Scenario 4) Technogarden. This scenario depicts a globally-connected world relying strongly on environmentally sound technology, using highly managed, often engineered, ecosystems to deliver ecosysten services and taking a proactive approach to the management of ecosystems in an effort to avoid problems. Economic growth is relatively high and accelerates, while population in 2050 is in the mid-range of the scenarios


Planning for Power: A Roadmap from EPRI Lights the way for Electricity in the 21st Century. Clark Gellings, Energy Journal, Spring 2006 p35(6).

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) developed and published the Electricity Technology Roadmap, providing guidance on technology planning for the electricity industry. The Roadmap describes a global vision for electricity in the 21st century, a plan to set priorities, and an outline of the technologies needed to achieve the vision to 2050. A long-term, coherent view to 2050 is essential to the survival of the industry. EPRI used scenario planning to identify the technologies that the electric utility industry would need to survive under various scenarios in 2050. EPRI uses a roadmap to illustrate key trends and likely future events. The following presents the complete version of the scenarios as published in the article, Planning for Power: A Roadway from EPRI Lights the Way for Electricity in the 21st Century. : Scenario 1) Digging in Our Heels. “Digging in Our Heels is a world in which we actively resist change. Society embarks on a "momentum strategy." This world may not be perfect, but the perceived cost of alternate strategies is deemed to be too high to receive attention. - In this world, natural gas and other primary fuel prices are rising, driven by growth in demand and supply constraints, and direct or imputed cost of C[O.sub.2] emissions is very low. The low cost of C[O.sub.2] derives from inconsistent political will and uncertainty regarding climate change, as well as the desire to avoid more significantly burdening the energy industry with the cost of mitigating its environmental externalities. This does not to imply that the environment is not an important concern of consumers--just that it is not a high priority. - This world, which evolves slowly from current conditions, reflects moderate to fast global economic growth and geopolitical circumstances in which the U.S., Europe, China, and India are the leaders. The U.S. digs in against imposing high cost on its economy to address what are perceived as unclear links between human activity and climate change. Many other nations, but not all, follow the U.S. lead. - China and other developing economies, though using more modern and efficient technologies to fuel growth, make no extraordinary efforts to address climate change issues. They focus instead on wealth creation and poverty reduction. Global economic competition is driven by politics and concern for jobs more so than the level of energy and electricity prices. Energy price increases do not prevent long-term economic growth. U.S. labor productivity continues to grow, but wages are kept low because of competition from China and India, immigration, and reduced trade barriers in general. - Adequate energy supplies, though of some concern, are maintained because sufficient investment flows into resource development. Businesses and consumers accept increasing energy prices, even with a few shocks, since the value added in final energy consumption is high. The U.S. economy continues to shift toward a high-technology, service-oriented base with slow but steady increases in the adoption of energy-efficient technologies. Thus, U.S. consumers maintain a high and growing standard of living. - But the power industry does not keep pace with the rest of the economy. Concerns for full cost recovery and tepid customer interest dampen plans by power companies to offer substantially higher-quality services or invest in new and replacement infrastructure--let alone advanced technologies. Central-station technology dominates decisions regarding new generating capacity at the expense of distributed generation. Gas and coal are the fuels of choice in the near term (2005 to 2015). New nuclear generation becomes increasingly competitive for a significant portion of the generation mix in the post-2015 time period. Reliability does not significantly improve and investments in the delivery infrastructure are limited to the basic level required to meet load growth, which tracks just below economic growth rates as energy intensity declines. - Areas of Technology Development. The world of Digging in our Heels is characterized by the continuation of current trends related to high fuel prices and manageable costs to meet environmental requirements in the energy sector. The focus is on short-term operations issues--fixing problems--rather than creation of fundamentally new technologies. Executives and managers recognize that strategic issues will have to be addressed, but they postpone the needed work. - Instead, they are forced to spend time on urgent crises that divert their attention from longer-term issues. Nevertheless, progress is evident in some areas. In the consumer sector, end-use efficiency improvements are effective in lowering costs and reducing the need for adding generation capacity. The consumer portal links information technology with the grid, leading to a requirement for ubiquitous computing. The IT revolution leads the way to a more reliable power delivery system. Important developments are evident in the supply side as well, as generating companies strive for a balanced portfolio of generation options. - Some of the most important issues include the relative value of distributed versus central station generation and the role of non-emitting (renewable and nuclear) generation. Research is also needed to understand the role of coal--do we extend the life of the current fleet of coal-fired plants or develop new technology, such as integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC)? What are the relative costs of these options? One suggestion is to retire subcritical coal plants and upgrade with either IGCC or NGCC technology.” Scenario 2) Supply to the Rescue. “This scenario is a world that relies on supply-side solutions to a broad range of energy issues. The abundant supply of low-cost natural gas in this world spurs economic growth and development, particularly in energy dependent businesses. - In this world, government and industry make large investments that lead to ample supplies and stable moderate prices for both natural gas and other primary fuels. Consumers and politicians believe that the current pace of moderate improvements in environmental quality is sufficient to meet societal goals and that technological innovation will continue to provide improvements on a timely basis. They prefer continued and stable economic growth over a difficult-to-prove connection between energy use and climate change. - North America (U.S., Canada, and Mexico), Western Europe, China, and India anchor global economic growth as world trade expands and international conflicts diminish. Technological innovation in computing, communications, bio-science, nano-technology, and other areas continues to move the U.S. toward a more knowledge-based economy with decreasing energy intensity. The shifts in global production and distribution of goods continue to impact the nature and level of job growth in the U.S., but overall economic growth continues at a moderate pace. - Some natural gas reserves are located far from the likely point of end use in the U.S. and thus influence U.S. geopolitical and military planning. This scenario assumes that to address national security concerns, the U.S. moves ahead quickly with infrastructure development to enable the importation of more natural gas. This trend continues as more new gas and oil discoveries are brought on line. Developing and implementing LNG technology moves to a level of international cooperation that mirrors that in oil development and transportation. - Eventually gas prices fall relative to coal and gas is the most competitive choice for power generation. With low gas prices, many utilities and companies install relatively inexpensive distributed generation systems with easy access to existing and new gas supplies. Energy suppliers point out that displacing coal generation with natural gas for power generation reduces C[O.sub.2] emissions--a "no regrets" strategy. - Areas of Technology Development. The world of Supply to the Rescue is characterized by an expansion in primary energy supply that moderates prices and a continuation of low and manageable costs to meet energy sector environmental requirements. The technical thrust of the Supply to the Rescue world is gas--global exploration and production, transport and handling, and the role of LNG. Gas development on the scale needed will require global cooperation among all stakeholders. This cooperation will mirror the experience (and exemplify the risk) of the global oil industry. Cost and technology developments in power infrastructure will influence the course of distributed generation. - A distributed generation future will require technology development to assure safe, reliable, cost-effective, and user-friendly operation of the generation system. User education will become an important theme of technology development. Grid reliability issues are also important in this world, due in part to the need to understand the processes of integrating distributed generation with the grid. Ultimately, nuclear energy expands significantly, and IGCC may gain traction in this world as a means of keeping gas prices low. The focus of technology development here may emphasize methanation, the production of pipeline quality gas from coal.” Scenario 3) Double Whammy. “Double Whammy, as the name suggests, incorporates both high gas prices and high societal concerns about environmental costs. Taken together, these factors produce a more than proportionate share in their impact on the economy. Technology advances offer a collaborative basis for meeting the challenges of this world. - Double Whammy reflects a significant change in beliefs and values of the majority of Americans, industry, and government leaders toward the position that anthropogenic changes in global climate are occurring, that they are harmful, and that they must be addressed soon. There continue to be conflicting scientific opinions regarding man's activities and global climate change, but the political perceptions about harm make the debate moot. - The U.S. joins an international consensus that is willing to accept sudden shifts and sustained high prices for traditional energy sources. The expectation is that the resulting technology upheaval and shift in investments by government and businesses will eventually moderate energy demand and costs while sustaining the environment. - As a result, businesses and consumers face increasing fuel prices due to policy or taxation and lingering demand, and these higher prices do not fall off immediately. The direct and imputed cost of C[O.sub.2] emissions grows rapidly at first, but over time increases more slowly. - This policy shift sets off a boom in investment and innovation. Business leaders see not only market potential, but are also anxious to invest in short-term and long-term technology innovations that can support global competitiveness. - Led by North America and Western Europe, a mutually supportive atmosphere evolves between business leaders, politicians, and consumers to combine voluntary actions and market incentives to shift energy use patterns toward a cleaner and more sustainable path. The initial focus is on conservation, improved end-use efficiencies, combined heating and power, renewables, and other "soft path" technologies. Over time, innovations occur that generate surprising impacts on efficiency, cost, and environmental quality while delivering enhanced features. - In many cases, China and India find it easy to install the best available environmental technology because they have no sunk base of assets. Instead, their economic growth keeps fuel demand up. - Interestingly, clean, coal-based generation and clean nuclear energy become important elements in a transition strategy to replace fossil generation with non-C[O.sub.2]-emitting generation. Gas is at a disadvantage because of its high cost, and the high cost of capturing C[O.sub.2] from the flue gas of a gas-fired generator. Over time, policy makers realize that renewables are incapable of addressing climate change on their own, so they commit to nuclear power and advanced clean coal as a major part of their generation portfolios. - Areas of Technology Development. The world of Double Whammy is characterized by high prices for primary energy supplies and high and rising costs to meet energy sector environmental requirements. The high gas and C[O.sub.2] cost creates an atmosphere that favors technology development aimed at reducing costs as well as improving the environment. There are both demand side and supply side dimensions to the technology development requirements, met by market forces that support innovation and new product development. - Large central station generation will enter a period of transition to meet more stringent environmental requirements, thus efficiency and low-cost mitigation will be important. Market responses lead to collaboration and sustained investment in research and development of new and alternative energy products and services to meet more stringent environmental requirements. This world has a great role for nuclear energy and renewable sources and energy efficiency. Distributed generation might play a key role in a system integrated with renewables.” Scenario 4) Biting the Bullet. “Biting the Bullet refers to the need to take painful actions in the near term to forestall even more painful consequences in the future. The climate change issues of Biting the Bullet have such a large impact on society that precipitous actions are required as society attempts to deal with a series of crises. - A sequence of world-scale, climate-related events and wide acceptance of scientific thinking change worldwide views about climate change. Based on changing voter perceptions that the U.S. must join with other large economies to address climate-change issues, U.S. policy makers take strong actions. They increasingly impose regulations and standards that dictate many industry choices and lead to adverse economic outcomes in the short term. But it was considered a cost worth paying for longer-term benefits. - The policy changes take some steam out of demand for primary fuels. With slower economic growth, fuel prices moderate and begin to decline. Industries with large sunk costs in assets that are forced out of use enter a period of restructuring, but government investment eases some of the burden. - A shift to more sustainable lifestyles is forcibly pursued and politically supported, pushing some immature technologies into the market despite uncertainties regarding lifecycle costs and long-term benefits. Industry accepts the changes because voters demand them and government promises to buy-down the risk of these investments.” The U.S. decides to accept lower economic growth and puts pressure on other developing nations, especially China, to do likewise. Along with Western Europe, the U.S. imposes trade sanctions on nations with poor environmental standards. This slows the overall rate of global economic growth, but also protects jobs and promotes new investment in domestic industries. - Consumers believe that short-term sacrifices and changes in behavior and lifestyle will pay off in the long term by reducing the likelihood of adverse climate changes and moderating primary fuel price increases. Technology innovations in digital applications, bio-science, and other fields are directed toward creating products and services that support sustainable lifestyles. - The imposition of a high C[O.sub.2] tax slows economic growth and, without low-cost carbon capture and sequestration technologies, makes coal, oil, and gas very unattractive choices. Once alternatives supply technologies are in place, industry and consumers are prohibited from reverting to fossil fuels. Natural gas is allowed as a transition fuel but with quickly increasing constraints related to its greenhouse emissions. - Areas of Technology Development. The world of Biting the Bullet in the energy sector is characterized by high and rising costs to meet environmental requirements that eventually drive shifts and structural changes that moderate primary fuel costs. This world is driven by a strong sense that technology-based solutions are needed to meet climate change and environmental quality issues. Government and industry programs focus on efficiency, nuclear energy, renewables, and other clean technologies. Central station generation faces strong pressures to shift to more clean and efficient technologies, but the electricity industry is also receives guidance and support from regulatory authorities interested in ensuring results. Large-scale solutions that work are supported, and thus nuclear power grows at an impressive rate in this world.


Our Biopolitical Future - Four Scenarios. Richard Hayes, Center for Genetics and Society. March/April 2007 issue of World Watch Magazine. Originally published in World Watch – Vision for a Sustainable World. Volume 20, Number 2.

At one time we thought it impossible, the idea of manipulating our own genes – for gosh’ sake. Today and practically everyday, we discover yet another gene that influences a human trait. The four scenarios of the human biopolitical future presented below may help us think through these issues. They take place over the 15 year period from 2007 through 2021. “A central theme is the tension between libertarian and communitarian values. Humans evolved with tendencies both to compete and to cooperate, and societies have varied in the emphasis they give to one tendency or the other. Environmentalists are familiar with the libertarian/communitarian tension as the tragedy of the commons: an individual may benefit by polluting a river or the atmosphere, but if everyone seeks to benefit in this manner, everyone suffers.” Richard Hayes An appreciation of this tension affords us a richer understanding of today’s political landscape. The following provides a complete version of the scenarios published in World Watch - Our Biopolitical Future – Four Scenarios. Scenario 1) Libertarian Transhumanism Triumphs. “The opening years of the 21st century were marked by controversy over cloning, stem cells, and human genetic modification. Despite concern about fraudulent cloning claims and unethical gene therapy experiments, genetic technology was increasingly seen as part of a progressive vision that rejected outworn, traditionalist values and embraced a bright future of technological innovation and economic growth. - During this same period libertarian sentiment grew rapidly among many Americans, encouraged by a well-funded network of think tanks, bloggers and entrepreneurial scientists. By 2009 their ideology of “free markets, free choice, free bodies,” was spreading at the expense of both religious conservativism and social democratic liberalism. Democrats and Republicans alike argued in favor of free trade, school vouchers, deregulation, privatization, personal retirement accounts, pharmacological freedom, and repro-genetic autonomy. - With visions of trillion-dollar markets waiting to be served, global biotech conglomerates raced to develop technologies allowing parents to screen embryos for behavioral and cosmetic traits. For the other end of the life-cycle, these same forms established high-tech life-extension and cryonics facilities throughout the world, most lucratively in small countries proudly advertising their lack of regulatory oversight. - Among the earliest adopters of genetic modification were athletes, and the public turned out in droves to see gene adopted competitors break one record after another. Despite hand-wringing from an older generation of sports professionals and a short-lived protest movement by concerned parents, by 2011 athletics was fast becoming a contest of competing genetic interventions rather than innate ability, coaching and practice. - A major threshold was crossed in 2013, when Swedish scientists announced the birth of the first true “designer baby, ”that is, a child able to pass its modified genes to its own children. Although ostensibly developed to prevent congenital disease, within four years the procedure was being offered commercially for a wide range of aesthetic, cognitive, and performance enhancements. The cost of a designer baby was high (about US$235,000), but affluent couples flocked to the new “better baby ”clinics to ensure that their children had the best genes money could buy. - Meanwhile the transhumanist movement, which had started as a fringe group of sci-fi cultists in Los Angeles in the early 1990s,was growing into a major social force. The transhumanists were obsessed with the prospect of reconfiguring the human species and the rest of the natural world through genetic modification, nanotechnology, and synthetic biology. The combination of libertarian politics and transhumanism resonated strongly with ambitious young technophiles throughout the world, and an increasing number of up-and-coming figures in the sciences, commerce, the arts, and politics openly identified themselves as libertarian transhumanists. - In 2015 Forbes magazine estimated that flemboyant bioindustrialist and committed transhumanist Dmitri Rastovich had become the world ’s first person with net assets in excess of US$1 trillion. When asked by reporters to comment on growing fears that biotechnology was giving rise to human genetic castes, Rastovich replied, “There is no alternative. Relax and enjoy it.” - One of the earliest casualties of the spread of libertarian transhumanism was the environmental movement. Attempts to channel biotechnology along environmentally friendly paths had succeeded in a handful of instances, such as the time in 2014 when genetically engineered microbes successfully biodegraded a major oil spill off the Southern California coast. But at the core of the transhumanist philosophy was a belief that nature, whether in the form of plants, animals, humans, or ecosystems, was an inferior product whose due-date had long since expired. After 2018 the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and other longstanding environmental groups rapidly began losing membership.” Scenario 2) One Family, One Future. “The opening years of the 21st Century were marked by controversy over cloning, stem cells, and human genetic modification. In 2008 the U.S. biotech industry organized a political action committee to promote an industry-friendly agenda of “Cures for All.” Initial success was tarnished, however, when covert human cloning labs were discovered the following year in Thailand. Embryos used for these illicit experiments were traced to fertility clinics associated with the World Stem Cell Consortium, established by scientists in Australia, Belize and Cyprus, to help themselves and others evade national regulations. - In 2010 a German human rights group documented the deaths of over 300 women worldwide from ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, the result of aggressive efforts to obtain eggs for cloning research. Meanwhile wealthy individuals were increasingly outsourcing the entire process of reproduction. Women rated “Grade A ”were routinely being offered sums in excess of US$150,000 for their eggs, genetically “superior ”sperm could be purchased over the Internet, and young women from Ukraine and Romania were paid little better than minimum wage for the use of their wombs. In 2012 a Scottish gene therapy experiment gone awry left two dozen infants with an incurable form of bone cancer and life expectancies of less than 12 years. - Religious conservatives saw an opening, and began speaking out against the eugenic juggernaut and in support of equality, social justice, human rights, women ’s and children ’s health, the sanctity of the natural world, and the precautionary principle. The political tide began to shift. After winning filibuster-proof congressional majorities in the United States in 2014, conservatives quickly succeeded in banning reproductive and research cloning, sex-selection, research using human/animal chimeras, physician-assisted suicide, child-accessible Internet pornography, and gas-guzzling SUVs. Protests were heard from the biotech industry, civil libertarians and the automakers, but the great majority of people in the United States were relieved to find that someone was finally willing to draw some lines. - During these same years, growing repugnance over the dehumanizing impacts of the new genetic technologies, techno-capitalist globalization, and the pervasive tawdriness and superficiality of the post-modern world helped fuel neo-traditionalist movements in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The gifted German-Turkish writer Fredericka Muska, author of the influential book Humanity or Transhumanity?, drew on conservative Islamic, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and Confucian social values to offer a universalist vision of a human future embracing peace, love, and harmony with nature. Her impassioned speaking and writing gave rise to the mass social movement known as “One Family, One Future ”(OFOF). It was a secular movement open to people of any (or no)religious faith, but it adopted codes of conduct similar to those found in many traditional religions. In the period after 2016 the practice of wearing a full-length woolen scarf displaying OFOF iconography spread throughout the world as a symbol of the rejection of post-modernity. - Although OFOF endorsed the use of the Supernet, the iWeb, and other new information technologies, it viewed high-tech medical practice with suspicion. By 2018 many countries had abandoned research on genetic modification. The use of naturopathy, aroma therapy, herbal preparatories, and a form of massage therapy accompanied by poetry and song had all but replaced conventional medical treatment among significant sectors of the world ’s population. - As early as 2017 the established religious denominations began losing members to OFOF. In some North American and European cities as much as 30 percent of the population would gather for OFOF ’s Saturday affirmation services. This proportion is certain to increase, because OFOF families shun birth control and now average seven children per couple. - In 2019 OFOF-USA announced the formation of a political party, and in last year ’s (2020)elections OFOF candidates —all men, and all wearing the full, luxuriant beards that now designate OFOF clan leaders —won two dozen seats in the House and four in the Senate, taking votes from both Republicans and Democrats. Similar parliamentary gains have been made in about 20 other countries. Earlier this year, OFOF leaders told the tens of thousands gathered at their 2021 annual World Convocation that the human future never looked as promising as it does today.” Scenario 3) A Techno-Eugenic Arms Race–– “The opening years of the 21st century were marked by controversy over cloning, stem cells, and human genetic modification. In 2008 biotech enthusiasts in the United States organized a national campaign to “liberate ”stem cell research by loosening even the minimal existing state and federal oversight guidelines. Although many scientists worried that this would allow ethically questionable activities to be swept under the carpet, they were reluctant to break ranks and speak out for fear of giving aid and comfort to demands by the religious right that stem cell research be banned entirely. - In 2010 North Korean scientists announced the birth of a child genetically modified to allow an increased respiratory capacity of 18 percent above the human norm. The scientists involved made no pretense that this was done to address a medical need. Rather, they said, it was the first step towards creating “The New Man ”for the 21st century. - Just eight months later, China —with an exploding GDP, growing nationalist fervor, and 60,000 freshly trained biotech engineers entering the workforce each year — announced a national initiative to improve the genetic quality of its people. All couples at risk of transmitting genes identified as deleterious were required to take steps to avoid doing so, with the government covering all costs. In addition, couples could volunteer to have their children “enhanced,” again with all costs covered. Leading Chinese rock stars were featured in a massive media campaign promoting the program. - Alarms were raised by international human rights and social justice organizations, but to little effect. Other countries knew they had to follow China ’s lead or risk having their children left behind. A new techno-eugenic arms race rapidly escalated out of control. - In 2014 the CIA reported that Venezuelan scientists had created a virus that turned skin cells containing special concentrations of melanin carcinogenic. Other countries enacted laws requiring the medical termination of “lives not worth living.” Still others approved forms of human experimentation, using prisoners, the disabled, terminally ill patients, orphans and others, that had been anathema barely a decade earlier. - Some early promoters of human genetic modification argued that its widespread use would result in such a diverse array of genetic types that the concept of “race ”would finally be consigned to the dustbin of history. In fact just the opposite has occurred. With ethnocentrism and nationalism on the rise, right-wing governments have issued genetic profiles of “ideal ”racial and ethnic types, and individuals are implicitly or explicitly urged to modify themselves and their children to conform with these profiles. - By 2018 most genetic research was being conducted by secret government and corporate labs. In that year it was reported that scientists in Mumbai had developed a procedure to slow the rate of human cellular aging by as much as 60 percent. Leading Indian government officials and biotech executives, realizing the havoc this technology could cause if made widely available, moved quickly to limit its use to priority national security resources: themselves. - Today, in 2021, the genetic scientists and their political and military commanders have lost any sense of identification with the larger human community. In their minds the well being of any existing human cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the historical transition to a post-human future. But they differ about who will supply the foundational human stock. - And if it seems that things could not get any worse, just last week a doomsday cult announced that it has perfected and is about to release the “Elysium Virus,” a genetically engineered hyper-viroid that inactivates neural calcium ion channels. Its release would rapidly destroy all life on Earth above the level of a sponge. The cult has issued no demands; its members say they are driven by an altruistic desire to relieve “all sentient beings ”of the burden of existence. The world is holding its breath, teetering on the verge of panic.” Scenario 4) For the Common Good. “The opening years of the 21st century were marked by controversy over cloning, stem cells, and human genetic modification. Opinion surveys showed strong support for the development of genetic technology for medical purposes, but controversies involving blackmail attempts using stolen sperm donor records, the deaths of clonal primates at a lab in Oregon, and shady financial practices by leading bioethicists began to raise doubts. Although the new genetic technologies attracted many sincere, socially responsible researchers, by 2009 the field was increasingly dominated by dismissively arrogant scientists, unscrupulous fertility clinic operators, traffickers in clonal embryos, and out-and-out racist eugenicists. - Reaction from the general public and affected constituencies had been building for some time, and by 2010 reached a tipping point. Advocates for women ’s health, consumer rights, and economic justice raised concerns about risky technologies that put corporate profits above safe, affordable health care. Civil rights leaders warned of a new free-market eugenics that could stoke the fires of racial and ethnic hatred. Disability rights leaders charged that a society obsessed with genetic perfection could come to regard the disabled as mistakes that should have been prevented. Civil libertarians were appalled to learn of plans by global biotech consortia to establish a universal DNA registry. Lesbians and gays were disturbed by reports that prenatal tests for sexual orientation were about to be made commercially available. Environmentalists argued that genetic modification of living organisms, including humans, was a powerfully disruptive technology being deployed before long-range consequences had been considered. - In 2011 liberal and conservative religious denominations put aside their doctrinal differences and convened an international summit that declared the genetic modification of the human species to be a threat to human dignity and the human community. Later that year the Citizens Health Assembly, representing hundreds of international health, development, and indigenous rights organizations, began a major campaign opposing the global biotechnology industry ’s drive to have human genomics declared the lead technology for addressing public health problems in poor countries. - The first credible reports of covert attempts to create clonal and genetically modified children appeared in early 2012. The efforts were taking place on a fleet of converted naval hospital ships sailing the South Pacific and guarded by gunboats. The identities of the scientists involved were unclear. Responsible political and scientific leaders realized that a strong response was in order. In late 2012 a group of internationally recognized scientists and health policy experts declared that the new human biotechnologies “carry with them both great promise and great risk,” and that scientists must be willing to work within socially determined limits. The declaration received extensive press coverage and commentary. - In 2013 a bipartisan group of U.S. senators began meeting to broker a broadly acceptable, comprehensive package of human biotech regulations. All involved agreed to take the issues of abortion and the moral status of human embryos off the table, and to focus on policies on which it appeared that consensus might be reached. As it turned out, this was easier than had been anticipated. Embryonic stem cell research was allowed but “designer baby ”applications and human cloning were banned, and a new federal commission was established to oversee human biotech research. In 2015 the final bill was signed into law. - The following year, international civil society leaders prevailed upon the United Nations to convene the Extraordinary Summit on Bioscience and the Human Future. Delegates included noted scientists, political leaders, and scholars, and representatives of the full spectrum of social and religious constituencies. Negotiations were contentious and frequently threatened to break down. But the delegates realized that this might be the last chance humanity would have to agree upon a common framework for regulating these powerful technologies, and by 2018 success was in sight. In 2019 the UN General Assembly approved the Universal Convention on Biomedicine and Human Rights by a nearly unanimous vote. In 2020 the Convention went into force after having been approved by the parliaments of 110 countries. All involved recognized that they had participated in an undertaking of world-historical import. Just last month, the 2021 Nobel Prizes for Medicine and Peace were jointly awarded to the lead institutions that had made this all possible: The United Nations, the World Assembly of Science, the Global Council of Religions, and the NGO Network for a Human Future.”


The Cataclysm. David Morrison, chairman of the International Astronomical Unions Working Group on Near-Earth Objects.

In Tolkian’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, “a blackness permeates the firmament and darkens the sky as far as the eye can see.” Paul Chodas, the principal engineer in the Near-Earth Object Program office at NASA’s Jet Propultion Laboratory (JPL), estimates a one-in-500 chance that a newly discovered asteroid measuring 30 to 70 meters, would collide with Earth on September 21, 2030. Discover Magazine published a list of 20 likely end of the world scenarios with an asteroid impact event listed as the number one most likely to occur. This is an alternative future in which an asteroid with a diameter over 30 km crashes into the Earth, before the year 2030. This scenario predicts the state of our world after the cataclysm. It is a work of fiction; to make it more enticing and believable, characters, organisations and locations are given proper names. Scenario: The Cataclysm - Asteroid hits the Earth. “This is earth after an immense shockwave rips through the surface of the planet. It is the Year 1 A.C. The Aftermath - Most humans had been wiped out. No city or village had been spared. Society, economy, and politics would never be the same - ever. But in the week after the Cataclysm, few people considered how it had changed their lives. They would first need to survive, find their friends and their loved ones, and gain wealth and prominence in this new world. Crime - Humanity entered a Week of Wandering, in which the quest for survival eclipsed all other needs. Society had fallen apart, but it would soon emerge again. The old nations were gone - new states began to rise in their place. Vigilante justice replaced law and order. Cities and communities were nearly all destroyed; billions of lives were lost; is it no wonder that crime became rampant. The initial crime wave did not last long. People soon realized that with so many people eradicated from the face of the earth, that there would not be any significant reason to steal, or to commit many other crimes. There was a sheerly overwhelming amount of unused wealth and material in the families in which no one survived, and therefore it was apparently as if everyone in the world suddenly received a sudden gift from all those who had died. It was as if their relatives and friends had all perished, and they had left them an inheritance. Once people realized this, they did not so eagerly steal covertly, and began to steal overtly. After all, there was no law to bring the contents of the deceased's wills to fulfillment. Anything that was not used would be lost and wasted. Everyone had more than enough to content themselves, despite the fact that the majority of everything ever made by humanity had been lost. The New Society - In each city or region, some humans managed to survive, however. They found others who like them had managed to survive, and formed temporary settlements where they met. In this way the scattered survivors managed to reestablish a competent society, as each realized that the survival of the others was crucial to his/her own survival. Crime had fallen to an all-time low, with people simply taking what was needed and no fight over what existed. In each of these New Societies, a democracy arose, as no particular group or person held much power over any others. With the rise of these New Societies came leadership and organization, and over the next few days these became more elaborate and larger as communities wandered around for help and merged with others. This development was aided by the contribution of Ham Radio operators who sent distress calls to their vicinity. Food was everywhere, and so was everything else for that matter, except for people. As the leadership organizations of each of the New Societies strengthened, they thirsted for more people. They began quests to other places, homing in on the ham radio distress calls, accruing people of various subject areas of training along the way. Before long, some of these New Societies had become rather competent. Formation of States - The rise of New States began in the void of political order. Some of the associations were quite obvious, such as the survivors of the former United States banding together to form the new United States. Elsewhere, such as in the Balkans, such patriotism was not evident; attachment to other groups with people of similar ethicity became more prominent. Warfare broke out in these regions, and in border regions, as radicals found that for the first time their goals of Pan-slavism or whatever could finally become a reality. In order to protect their peoples from such dangers, the leadership of the New Societies banded together more closely. Communities became ever larger, in some places approaching thousands. Before long, military vehicles and instruments were being used in these minor skirmishes. It was a sad consequence of human nature that after suffering and losing so much in the Cataclysm's initial effects, their first thought would be crime; and their second, war. Outbreak - Meanwhile, the corpses of the dead, unburied, putrified, and with the coming of the molds and flies came plagues of all kinds. Before long, the ruins of the world's cities had become an infestation of such plagues, and because the survivors had to return to them for survival wares, they became infected. Before long, many people had become sick, and many others had died. The untreated horrors of the twentieth century--hemorrhagic fevers, plague, influenza, typhus, cholera, and more--were all unleashed amonst the survivors. The cure for this difficulty was, unanimously, the moving away from the cities and dependence on villages and the countryside, where such diseases could not develop. But the consequence was the loss of the goods that they needed. And even so, many of the New Societies were wiped out. Those that survived were also decimated. Unification - Some of the more ambitious and calculating leaders of the New Societies began shipping medications. Others launched battles. More used their rhetoric to urge world unity. Battles did break out, but their scale was minor. In most cases a community surrendered after suffering single-digit casualties, such was the degree that they found survivors important after the Cataclysm. Many others wanted to join with their fellow survivors to form a united world. Still others were pleased by obtaining cures for their suffering brethren. Before long, one man had established superiority, after vanquishing a socialist New State and a democratic New State, both of which were unable to quickly respond to the threat that an organized leadership could muster. This one man was called the Hegemon (meaning Ruler of the World) and his possessions the Hegemony. He was an amiable ruler who knew when to be ruthless and had a strong grip on reality and practicality. And the platform that he ran on when he attempted to gain the favor of the survivors, was that he would ensure that such a Cataclysm would never, never happen again. And he could do that. Even before he had fully established his control over the world, he had laid down the foundations for a rapid advancement of society, similar to the Stalinist era's Five Year Plans, that would sacrifice consumer goods for capital goods and bring the crushed world industry back to life. For he himself was paranoid, afraid that he would die should another asteroid hit the Earth.”


The European Dream: Building Sustainable Development in a Globally Connected World. Jeremy Rifkin, Wall Street Journal. 16.2 (March-April 2005): p34(6).

Why is Europe so environmentally advanced? Could Europe be the most sustainably developed in the world today? Unlike America, European policymakers tend to focus more on creating a political, social, and economic environment that creates a high quality of life for all of its people. “The European Dream focuses on inclusivity, diversity, sustainable development, social rights and universal human rights. And it works. While Americans are 28 percent wealthier per capita than Europeans, in many ways, Europeans experience a higher quality of life, clear evidence that, in the long run, cooperation rather than competition is sometimes a surer path to happiness.” Jeremy Rifkin Europe and the U.S. have nearly opposite approaches to the question of environmental stewardship. At the heart of the difference, according to Rifkin, is the way Americans and Europeans perceive risk. Americans have a heritage of risk taking. Historically, American immigrants risked their lives to for a better life; Americans are inventive and bold. With it’s longer history, Europeans tend to take a more cautious approach by looking at all the angles. Europeans tend to be more mindful of the negative environmental results of industrialization, science, and technology. In this article, Rifkin illustrates a future mid-century of Europe that leads the world in sustainable development practices.
The European Dream - Europe Leads the World in Sustainable Development. By championing a host of global environmental treaties and accords taking the precautionary approach to regulation, the EU shows a strong willingness to act on its commitment to sustainable development and global environmental stewardship. The EU accelerates to the very top of the list of of the hydrogen economy and tackles environmental priorities to more fully integrate renewable-based hydrogen by 2050. The EU leads the world in championing the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, ensuring compliance to produce 22 percent of its electricity and 12 percent of all of its energy using renewable sources by 2010. Although a number of member states are lagging behind on meeting their renewable energy targets, the very fact that the EU has set benchmarks puts it far ahead of the U.S. by 2015. By 2050, the EU makes the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources through a highly detailed governing step-by-step shift process. It becomes, by 2050, a fully integrated hydrogen economy, based on renewable energy sources. Creating this economy becomes in fact, the next critical step in integrating Europe after the introduction of the Euro was successfully implemented. The European hydrogen game plan had a sense of history in mind. “Great Britain became the world's leading power in the 19th century because it was the first country to harness its vast coal reserves with steam power. The U.S., in turn, became the world's preeminent power in the 20th century because it was the first country to harness its vast oil reserves with the internal-combustion engine. The multiplier effects of both energy revolutions were extraordinary. The EU by 2050, leads the world into the third great energy revolution of the modern era.” Jeremy Rifkin


Visions of the Future of a Sustainable Europe – PRELUDE – Five Scenarios for 2030. Jacqueline McGlade, European Environment Agency. Speech at Friends of Europe, Brussels, November 29, 2006.

According to Jacqueline McGlade, the European Environmental Agency plays a leading role in building an integrated assessment of Europe, include the PRELUDE project, which stands for Prospective Environmental analysis of Land Use Development in Europe. This agency used the scenario planning technique to complete a case study on land use development in Europe for the purposes of surveying sustainable practices. The agency came up with a sustainable development strategy through the use of tools to map discontinuities against a set of alternative futures, including shocks and surprises, and integrate different political perspectives. The exploratory scenarios of PRELUDE contribute to a meaningful framework for strategic policy-making, broad enough in time and space. The European Environmental Agency drew-up five scenarios of Europe to 2030. The following is a brief overview of the five scenarios. Complete scenarios are available through the European Environmental Agency. In the first scenario, Scenario 1) A Europe of Contrast. This scenario is characterized by increased competition pressure, passive government and decreasing social solidarity. Rich gated communities in the countryside evolve in sharp contrast to urban ghettos. Agricultural markets are liberalized, and only large farms with intensive management survive. This is a “Great Escape” scenario in which the international markets rule. Government intervention is low. Relatively poor immigrants move to the urban city centers. Societal tension builds up. The contrast between rich gated communities in the countryside and urban ghettos becomes extreme. Key drivers of this scenario include international trade (globalization), decreasing solidarity, and reduced policy intervention. Scenario 2 ) Europe of Innovation. This a bottom-up scenario. The essential drivers in this scenario are growing environmental awareness, technological breakthrough innovation and political decentralization. Agriculture is revolutionized, facilitated by an open source mentality and propagation of knowledge. Production becomes small-scale and less intensive. This is a “Lettuce Surprise U” scenario where technological innovation is triggered by a food security crisis. People lose trust in central government. The political system decentralises and the demand for environmentally friendly food production increases. New crop varieties are developed that enable higher yields with lower inputs. Scenario 3) Europe of Cohesion. In this scenario a series of environmental disasters highlights Europe’s vulnerability. There is widespread concern and public support for a strong policy intervention. A new set of coherent policies for sustainable and regionally balanced development is set up at the European level. In “Big Crisis” environmental disasters change the political climate in favor of centralized government. New policies focus on sustainable and regionally balanced development. Public transport is strongly promoted. Key drivers include growing environmental awareness, growing solidarity, and policy intervention (centralisation). Scenario 4) Europe of Harmony. This is an evolved society scenario. In “Evolved Society” climate change and energy scarcity trigger environmental awareness and strong policy interventions. Revival of the countryside is high on the agenda and supported by financial incentives. People move away from the most densely populated (lawland) areas and settle in more rural and safe areas. Key drivers in this scenario include energy scarcity (shift to renewables), growing environmental awareness, and policy intervention (rural development). Scenario 5) Europe of Structure. In “Clustered Networks”, society adapts to the growing demands of an ageing population. Agriculture marginalises. Spatial planning encourages migration away from polluted urban areas. New cities, with a service economy, are created, benefiting from efficient traffic solutions, a relatively cheap labour force, and investment premiums.”


Planes, Trains, Trees, and Water. BBC Book of the Future. www.bbc.co.uk

The British Broadcasting Company asked readers, citizens, and experts their opinion on a plausible future of the world in the year 2020. As a result, one thousand submissions were received and many were published in the BBC Book of the Future. Users were asked to vote on those articles that were most innovative. The scenario “Planes, Trains, Trees, and Water” discusses the future of urban transportation and sustainable development. As metropolitan areas become increasingly congested, transit systems are becoming more integral to urban planning. City planners are recognizing the importance of transit as the lifeblood to the metropolitan community and are therefore contracting more joint development initiatives that involve the negotiation of commercial relationships between transit system planners and developers. “Transit Supportive Development” (TSD) – is a trend that will see the development industry create more uses that are consistent with the markets served by transit. Scenario: Planes, Trains, Trees, and Water. “Since the huge success of the Severn Airport, built in the Bristol Channel in 2010, and after many years of haggling, it has finally been agreed to replace all major inland airports with offshore facilities. This is to start with the building of a huge airport in the Thames estuary to replace Heathrow and Gatwick….Aircraft will not fly over populated areas, so reducing noise pollution. There would be less chance of a September 11 type attack in Britain, as aircraft flying inland would be immediately regarded with suspicion…It is to be serviced by high speed maglev electric train link to London. This was invented by Eric Laithwaite of Lancashire many years ago, but scorned by the scientific fraternity and the U.K government until it was adopted by Germany, Japan and China. In these places, though costly to build, it was found to be extremely fast and efficient…It is 2020 and the majority of freight is now transported by rail in specially designed containers, these are diverted to their various routes at container yards by computer controlled container handling machinery. All railway lines have now been electrified so the power can be supplied from re-newable energy. There are now many wind farms off shore, after much argument people finally allowed these to proceed, as the alternatives were much worse…In 2020 the countryside has seen some major changes over the last 20 years. Many forests are now full of our native deciduous trees instead of the dark monotonous rows of fir trees. This has made a huge contribution to the return of wildlife, as has the leaving of strips of land uncultivated by farmers, an idea fostered by environmentalists and taken on board by the government…Many different crops are being grown, such as beautiful blue field of linseed and the gorgeous yellow fields of oilseed rape. These crops are both used for alternative fuels. In the south, vineyards have replaced many of the older small farms and the wine can compete with some of the finest imported varieties…Perhaps one of the largest changes has been the expansion of the water industry. No longer are billions of gallons of water allowed to flow uselessly into the sea. Water is allowed to reach rivers in sufficient quantities to sustain the fish and other wildlife, surpluses to this are collected and fed into the national water grid. The river water is also collected when it finally reaches the barrage. This is sold on, mainly for irrigation purposes, and transported by tankers…The costs of these schemes have been largely offset by the savings in costs of flood damage. Pipelines through the channel tunnel link our grid to the Euro grid so that metered water can be sold on to other countries that may need it. There are plans to install an undersea pipeline across the Straights of Gibraltar to North Africa.”


DNA Memory. BBC Book of the Future. www.bbc.co.uk

The British Broadcasting Company asked readers, citizens, and experts for their opinion on a plausible future of the world in the year 2020. As a result, one thousand submissions were received and the best were published in the BBC Book of the Future. Users were asked to vote on those articles that were most innovative. The scenario DNA Memory was written by Researcher DaBeast and placed on the BBC site on January, 2003. This scenario is a flippant view of the miniaturization trend. It was inconceivable a decade ago that DNA could be used for microprocessing. DNA molecules might one day be integrated into a computer chip to create a biochip to move computers even faster. In the future, DNA computers will be capable of storing billions of units of data more than a regular computer today. Scenario: 2020 DNA Memory. “Scientists at THINKtank, Inc. today declared a break through in data storage technology. They claim that they have managed to encode the complete works of Shakespeare in to the DNA structure of the common cold. Using a virus to store data has been a dream since the technology was first discovered back in 2003, but this is the first time that a harmful virus has been used. THINKtank claim that this will lead to a revolution in education, saying that according to their projections the entire population of England will have the cold, and the encoded knowledge, by the end of the year. If the experiment is a success, THINKtank will start a whole program of viral encoding, and have been approached by several leading advertising agencies about the possibilities of encoding advertisements. THINKtank have also announced today the launch of a new range of cold cures, which contain the DNA software to enable the user to absorb the new viral knowledge they receive from the cold. They are available in lemon, cherry and tea flavour.”


Electric Power Industry Scenarios EPRI’s Interim Report. Gerald Harris, Carl Weinberg. Global Business Network. February 2006.

For more than 30 years, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has been a leading independent, nonprofit center for public interest energy and environmental research, seeking collaborative solutions to the challenges of electric power. EPRI's members represent over 90 percent of the electricity generated in the United States. The Electric Power Industry Technology Scenarios project, conducted with GBN, involves two areas: 1) principal planning effort on the time horizon of 10–20 years, instead of the 50-year horizon of the current Electricity Technology Roadmap planning effort; and 2) uses scenario planning as a tool. The project began by identifying a key "focus" question about the future that the scenarios would address: How will demand for U.S. energy services and the potential externalities that may result shape electricity technologies over the next 20 years? The four scenarios presented in this report are built upon two key uncertain drivers of change: the evolution of primary fuel markets, in particular natural gas that fuels the power sector, and changes in societal values on energy industry externalities, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2). The results of this scenario analysis will be an input into the analysis supporting the next EPRI Technology Roadmap. Scenario 1) Digging in Our Heels. “A world in which we actively resist change. Society embarks on a "momentum strategy". Natural gas and other primary fuel prices are rising, driven by growth in demand and supply constraints, and direct or imputed cost of CO2 emissions is very low. This world may not be perfect, but the perceived cost of alternate strategies is deemed to be too high to receive attention. “ Scenario 2) Supply to the Rescue. “A world that relies on supply-side solutions to a broad range of energy issues. The abundant supply of low-cost natural gas in this world spurs economic growth and development, particularly in energy dependent businesses.” Scenario 3) Double Whammy. “A world that incorporates both high gas prices and high societal concerns about environmental costs. Taken together, these factors produce a more than proportionate share in their impact on the economy. Technology advances offer a collaborative basis for meeting the challenges of this world.” Biting the Bullet. “A world in which painful actions need to be taken in the near term to forestall even more painful consequences in the future. The climate change issues of Biting the Bullet have such a large impact on society that precipitous actions are required as society attempts to deal with a series of crises.”


The Corporation and the Environment. Global Innovation Outlook 2.0 – IBM. Samuel J. Palmisano, Chairman and CEO, IBM Corporation.

The Global Innovation Outlook provides a platform for candid and open conversations about important issues of our day among many contributors of innovative thinking. Contributors include IBM’s top researchers, consultants, and business leaders. The Global Innovation Outlook also included a 180 outside experts. Scenario: Environmental Consciousness in 2020. In 2020 companies will be much more environmentally conscious. Profitability and environmental responsibility will go hand in hand. Those companies that invested in new technologies in 2006 will have a competitive advantage by 2020 when resources become scarcer and governments tighten regulations. 2020 companies “take the lead in pursuing environmentally sound practices, attracting consumers and an influential movement of socially conscious investors. It is common practice for companies to plan for the end-to-end lifecycle of products. They are therefore free from the wasteful pressure of constant new product releases. Rather than curtailing revenues, this shift creates new and more consistent revenue streams. Electronics manufacturers maintain and increase revenue by releasing “soft updates” of plug-ins or other components that enhance the experience of older products. In turn, this stimulates a move from a product-driven business model to a services-driven one that strengthen bonds between manufacturers and their customers by providing more touchpoints between the two and, if the experience is consistently satisfying, more brand loyalty. Companies see massive waste reduction through new collaborative relationships within and across ecosystems. In this day, reverse supply networks are common. New efficiencies and revenue streams open up businesses networked for their reverse supply chains, sending used components and manufacturing by-products back and forth to one another. By starting to think of waste as valuable, companies design products and processes in a way that preserves the strength and integrity of the ingredients, so that more of them can be reused more often. In essence, they see the lifecycle as not so much end-to-end but unending.”


EPRI Futuristic Report Offers Insights to Technology Paths for Today's R&D Investor. Palo Alto, October, 2001. Report prepared by EORI and sponsored by the Consortium for Electric Infrastructure to Support a Digital Society.

Report was funded by EPRI's Strategic Science and Technology program. This EPRI report speculates about daily life in the year 2020 in order to anticipate technologies that will be needed by the people who inhabit the industrialized world twenty years from now. Four different scenarios are used to predict potentially attractive and useful paths for investment in technology development today. Lessons learned from the scenario exercise include the following: • No scenario can meaningfully be described as "anti-technology," although the scenarios differ in the success and the enthusiasm with which inhabitants approach technology and the extent to which they turn to innovation for solutions. • Energy efficiency plays an increasingly important role in people's lives, although the drivers behind this trend differ from scenario to scenario. • The development of standards and protocols is essential for technological advances of the sort contemplated here. Each of scenario has different implications for the built environment, for energy use, and for energy providers. According to the author, the two most critical variables embedded in these scenarios are the rate of technology change and the degree to which society embraces individualism. Scenario 1 – Overview) Contractor Nation. This is a high-tech world characterized by flexible, pragmatic work relationships and prickly individualism, in which rapid innovation allows inhabitants to deepen their commitment to individual choice. Scenario 2 – Overview) Rave New World: This scenario features communal connectivity in an atmosphere of radical technological change, with an affinity for group solutions and a youthful optimism in the fertility of experimentation. Scenario 3 – Overview) Gridlock: Incremental technological advances, combined with a desire to "get away" from other people, and a failure to resolve common standards and solutions, makes this scenario a stressful place, characterized by both competition and frustration. Scenario 4 – Overview) Take Our Medicine: This world thinks of itself as mature and inhabitants are willing to make difficult decisions to advance the greater good, even if that requires the sacrifice of some individual rights; restraint and community-level planning characterize the scenario.


China’s Sustainable Energy Future: Scenarios of Energy and Carbon Emission. Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Shell Foundation. October, 2004.

In the China’s Sustainable Energy Future: Scenarios of Energy and Carbon Emissions, the Energy Research Institute (ERI), an independent analytic organization under China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), sought to explore in detail how China could achieve the goals of the Tenth version of the Five-Year Plan. These goals include economic development, technological improvement, and access to energy resources. China’s ability to forge a sustainable energy path has global consequences. The country’s annual emissions of greenhouse gases comprise nearly half of those from developing countries, and 12% of total global emissions. The scenarios in this study estimate realistic targets for energy efficiency and energy supply development that are in line with a sustainable development strategy. The scenarios also help to analyze and explore ways in which China might slow growth in greenhouse gas emissions. Scenario 1) Ordinary Effort. “This scenario depicts a situation in which sustainable development and environmental policies receive much less emphasis than economic policies. Ordinary Effort represents a trajectory for China that could result if the Government fails to assign a high priority to reducing growth in energy use. It assumes that China’s current high economic growth trajectory will continue at the rates projected in government plans, and that no significant new environmental or energy efficiency policies will be adopted. Population growth is at the high end of current forecasts, reaching 1.485 billion in 2020. Urban and rural housing grows rapidly, and urbanization rises, but less so than in the other scenarios. Although penetration of household appliances rises quickly, the rate of energy efficiency improvements is slow, leading to rapid growth in residential energy use. In the transportation sector, Ordinary Effort assumes only minimal upgrading and replacement of rural motor vehicles and a large increase in the total number of motorcycles and automobiles. Small and medium cities continue to lack effective planning mechanisms for public transport, causing heavy reliance on private vehicles, and a resultant increase in traffic congestion. These trends are accompanied by slow improvement in fuel economy. The Government plays a minimal role in directing manufacturers to produce or consumers to choose efficient technologies and make environmentally conscious decisions. Vehicle stocks are the same as in other scenarios, but vehicles are used more in this scenario than in the others. Industrial reorganization is relatively unsuccessful in changing energy intensity. China experiences difficulty adapting to global economic changes, damaging competitiveness in international markets. Domestically, the closure, merger and reorganization of small enterprises is not implemented successfully, leading to major economic inefficiencies. Progress in energy-sector reform lags behind other sectors, and monopolies continue to exist in some areas. In the electric power sector, desulfurization devices are gradually applied to coal-fired power plants. However, by 2020, power plants without desulfurization still comprise a large proportion of capacity. The development of hydropower, nuclear power, IGCC and wind power is relatively steady, but no direct policy emphasis is placed on renewable technology development. Energy efficiency policy is minimal in this scenario. The Energy Conservation Law is implemented, but policy measures fall short of creating effective market incentives. Technological development is hindered and the operating efficiency of equipment does not reach advanced international levels.” Scenario 2: Promoting Sustainability “Promoting Sustainability illustrates the implementation of government targets as promulgated in the 10th Five-Year Plan and related policy documents. It represents China’s energy growth trajectory through 2020 if current government targets are met. Compared to Ordinary Effort, policies to promote sustainable development are implemented earlier and more vigorously. Promoting Sustainability portrays a future in which current government policies and programs are carried out as expected. Population growth trends reflect effective implementation of State policies. Development of small cities is emphasized, with consideration given to sustainable urban development practices. The consumption of housing and automobiles increases significantly. Household energy used in large cities is mainly electricity and gas, while households in small cities use mainly electricity, coal and LPG. Demand for household appliances spurs a large increase in sales. Natural gas is used in large amounts in eastern China. For this study, 1 bcm of natural gas = 37.3 PJ (low heat) = 35.3 billion cubic feet. Throughout China, the scale and structure of enterprises are successfully reformed to increase economic efficiency. Energy firms are restructured and monopolies broken. The technical efficiency of industrial processes continues to improve at rates similar to those in recent years. Public transport and motorcycles are a key development focus. Between 2005 and 2010, Euro-II vehicle emissions standards are implemented in all big cities and some smaller coastal cities. These standards are also implemented in medium-sized and small cities between 2010 and 2020. From 2005 to 2010, LPG use in urban public transportation and taxis rises. In the electric power sector, all newly built coal-fired power stations are equipped with desulfurization equipment by 2020. Advanced clean-coal power generation technologies are used starting in 2010. Hydropower, nuclear power, IGCC and wind power all expand rapidly. Implementing measures to the Energy Conservation Law are adopted and improved upon, and the energy efficiency of technologies in all sectors and industries, including process equipment and cross-cutting technologies like motor systems, is on the way to reaching levels currently prevailing in advanced industrialized countries by 2030. Domestic oil supply shortages are met through oil imports. The development of domestic natural gas resources and related infrastructure construction is successful, creating a strong market for natural gas. In 2020, domestic output of natural gas is assumed to be 120 bcm and imported gas to be 50 bcm. China’s overall energy security strategy is to diversify energy imports and utilize high quality foreign energy resources. In this scenario, existing environmental standards continue, and new regulations are added. Air pollution control measures in Acid Rain Control Regions and key cities are implemented by 2005, with SO2 emission standards met by 2010, and all standards met by 2020, meeting the Government’s targets for controlling acid precipitation. New air pollution policies are implemented to target PM10 and PM2.5. Air quality in large cities is also improved by increasing the supply of gas fuels. Public awareness of energy conservation and environmental protection is moderate.” Scenario 3: Green Growth “Green Growth assumes that sustainable development will be a policy priority for the Government and that extensive environmental and energy policies will be implemented to achieve this goal. This scenario illustrates the energy consumption trajectory that would result from aggressive policies to promote energy efficiency, development of renewable energy, and other policies to promote sustainable development across all sectors. State birth-rate control policies are strictly implemented such that China’s national birth rate declines annually. Urbanization goals promote the development of western China with many new small and medium-sized cities, and the continued growth of large cities. Global economic integration and continued enterprise reforms promote efficiency improvements across sectors. Consumer purchasing power continues to increase, resulting in an increase in demand for energy services, which are met in a more sustainable manner compared to the other scenarios. Programs to promote environmental awareness result in consumers preferring environmentally sustainable means of transportation. Residents in large and medium cities rely primarily on public transportation. Intelligent Transportation Systems, which use information and communications systems to manage urban transport systems, are established in major cities. There is considerable technological advancement in the automobile industry. Clean fuel substitution technologies are widely applied to both public transportation and private cars. Euro-III vehicle emissions standards are implemented in key cities. Domestic energy consumption moves towards highquality energy resources, including gas fuels and electric power. There is a large increase in the consumption of natural gas in cities. The replacement of older household appliances with more efficient models is accelerated in urban households. In rural areas, the proportion of electricity and LPG use in the total fuel mix increases. Renewable energy technologies are commercialized to a greater extent than in the other two scenarios. In the electric power sector, desulfurization devices are extensively applied to coal-fired power plants. Clean energy technologies such as supercritical generating units and IGCC are applied in some areas. Hydropower continues to be developed at the current rate, nuclear power and IGCC growth rates are higher compared to the other scenarios, and wind power increases rapidly. In energy efficiency policy, there is comprehensive implementation of new financial incentives and an energy-pricing system to promote energy conservation. Implementing measures to the Energy Conservation Law are successfully adopted and improved upon. As in Promoting Sustainability, energy efficiencies of technologies across the board are on the way to reaching today’s advanced levels in industrialized countries by 2030. As in the other scenarios, the gap between domestic oil supply and oil demand is met through oil imports, but efficiency improvements relative to the other scenarios allow oil imports to be smaller. In addition, the natural gas pricing system is improved and demand for gas grows quickly, resulting in an increase in imported natural gas. In 2020, domestic output of natural gas will be 120 bcm and imported gas will be 80 bcm. China’s overall energy security strategy is to diversify energy imports and utilize high quality foreign energy resources. Current environmental regulations are implemented and new, more stringent policies are added, particularly in large cities. Stricter NOx emission standards are implemented. Substitution for coal occurs in big cities as well as some wealthier medium cities. A more stringent legal system to enforce environmental regulations is established. Stricter SO2 emission standards for power plants are implemented to reinforce the adoption of desulfurization technology in power plants. Public awareness of energy conservation and environmental protection is higher than in the other scenarios.”


Fusing Energy. BBC Book of the Future. www.bbc.co.uk

The BBC asked readers and citizens what would the world look like in the year 2020? As a result, the BBC received over one thousand submissions for the BBC Book of the Future. Users were able to vote on these articles and the most popular, interesting, and profound were published. Here is a scenario by Researcher “Red Yarn”, published on the BBC site January 2003. Scenario: Fusing Energy. “The discovery on July 26, 2016, of getting energy by using fusion truly revolutionised the world like no other. Producing fusion energy is vastly different from other forms of producing power in that it is cheap, plentiful and clean. Plentiful because it basically fuses water atoms to get the energy, and there's plenty of that about. Cheap because only a small amount of water is needed to get a vast quantity of energy. And clean because the waste products are non-radioactive and harmless. All oil, coal, and gas burning plants could be shut down; they were costly and polluting, and the raw materials were running out anyway. Renewable energy plants like windmills were just not needed. All fission energy plants could also be shut down immediately, the risk from these was just unacceptable. The new fusion plants meant that electricity could be produced at an incredibly cheap price. It suddenly made perfect sense for cars to run on electricity, petrol now just seemed unfeasibly expensive. Eventually, new engineering techniques meant that the fusion reactors could be reduced in size, so that fusion power stations were not needed anymore. Energy could instead be produced 'on the fly', when and where it was needed, by using portable reactors. Anything that needed a power source could be powered by a fusion 'battery' that just needed water topped up from time to time to run. At first these were huge things, and could only be used in submarines or as emergency generators in hospitals. However, they became smaller and smaller until they resembled the batteries from the end of the 20th century, and could power personal music stations and game boys. At this point scientists decided that no more research into energy production would be made, as it was just not needed!”


Energy Technology Perspectives -- Scenarios & Strategies to 2050 International Energy Agency (IEA) Published 2006. ISBN 92-64-10982.

At their 2005 summit in Gleneagles, G-8 leaders confronted the global energy question. They called upon the International Energy Agency to provide advice on scenarios and strategies for a clean and secure energy future. Energy Technology Perspectives is a response to the G8 request. This report assesses how energy technologies can work with emerging technologies to contain an overrun on emissions in CO2. These global energy scenarios go out to the year 2020. (See report for detailed scenarios.) The scenarios include major strategic elements such as energy efficiency, CO2 capture and storage, renewables and nuclear power. According to the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency , “A sustainable energy future is possible, but only if we act urgently and decisively to promote, develop and deploy a full mix of energy technologies – including improved energy efficiency, CO2 capture and storage (CCS), renewables and -- where acceptable -- nuclear energy. We have the means, now we need the will.” Key challenge discussed in this book is the need for a “portfolio of technologies” to spread risk and costs. “A sustainable, secure energy future will hinge on dynamic financial and policy efforts, within both public and private sectors, to streamline and deploy existing or emerging energy technologies and to boost energy efficiency in transport, industry and buildings. Urgent action is needed now to prevent current investment decisions from locking inefficient, high-carbon energy infrastructure into the world's economies.” Key trends in energy technologies are discussed in detail. Power generation, buildings, industry and transport are analysed to the year 2050. Assumptions based on forecasts analyse five accelerated technology scenarios about the epeed of energy efficiency gains and technology market penetration. Both demand side and supply side technologies are discussed. On the demand side, technologies are clustered under transport, buildings, and industry. ON the supply side, the technologies are clustered under carbon capture and storage, nuclear, and hydrogen.
The global scenarios provided analysis to illustrate how technologies can make a difference to 2050. Technology strategies discuss barriers and possibilities over the short term and over the next two to three decadess. The most important technologies and practices the study found were: Improved energy efficiency; Clean coal with CCS; Renewables, including biofuels; Nuclear, Hydrogen and fuel cells. In the study, the Baseline Scenario builds on the WEO Reference Scenario followed by two Accelerated Technology Scenarios (ACT). These pose as a family of scenarios to demonstrate how technologies that are already commercial or under development can help towards a sustainable energy future All scenarios analyse the impact from measures to accelerated R&D, demontration and deployment efforts as well as measures aimed at giving incentives for low-carbon technologies. The scenarios differ in terms of assumptions for nuclear, CCS, renewables, advanced biofuels, hydrogen fuel cells and energy efficiency progress.


Urban Ecology of the Future. Morton Elle. The author, Morten Elle holds a PhD in Civil Engineering. He has worked for many years on self-government, residents' schemes and urban ecology. He is a member of the local IVTB group at Danmarks Tekniske Højskole, where he holds a senior scholarship.

This publication describes four possible scenarios for the urban ecology of the future. The analysis includes solving the problems of energy, water, waste water, and waste and recycling in residential areas in the future. Each scenario is illustrated by examples of a futuristic Denmark. The author examines in detail a number of important aspects of social development, developments in housing areas and solutions to the problems of energy, water, waste water, and waste and recycling. There are a wide range of solutions to the environmental challenges of the future. The four scenarios described in this publication in detail are: Scenario 1) “A scenario in which information technology in particular plays a major role in solving environmental problems. This is primarily an individual solution on a voluntary basis, and little time is spent on solving environmental problems.” Scenario 2) “A scenario where each individual is responsible for solving environmental problems. Technology (or high technology) plays a negligible role. The individual solution is found on a voluntary basis, and this involves a considerable amount of time.” Scenario 3) “In this scenario, technological solutions at local-authority level play the dominant role. Technology is crucial, but this is applied outside the dwelling and the residential area. There is a relatively strong element of local authority control. Little time is spent in the dwelling or residential area on solving environmental problems.” Scenario 4) “A scenario in which those living in the residential areas are actively involved in solving many of the environmental problems. Technology plays a key role, but the most important element is cooperation between the local residents. There is a certain amount of local control. Those residents actively involved spend some time on solving the problems.”


Sustainable Consumption of Food: A Framework for Analyzing Scenarios about Changes in Diets Faye Duchin Department of Economics Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Journal of Industrial Ecology 99, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University, Volume 9, Number 1.2

This article describes the advantages of a global Mediterranian diet to counter the effects of ill-health and obesity among the developed nations. It reviews findings by industrial ecologists about the energy and land required for the production and consumption of alternative foods and diets in several European countries.Analysis of the environmental and economic implications of alternative scenarios describing healthy diets can help stimulate more intensive dialogue, debate, and action among the interested parties; such analysis can both benefit from and contribute to initiatives such as the World Health Organization's global strategy on diet and health, which intends to enlist the support of governments, corporations, and civil society. Faye Duchin

Global Framework for Scenario Analysis: A scenario serves as a hypothesis to be tested with a model. The implicit hypothesis lying behind the scenarios discussed in this article is the following: Scenario 1) If the meat-based diets favored by today's affluent populations were replaced by a palatable, nutritious, plant-based diet, and if the latter rather than the former were emulated in the developing countries, it would be possible to feed a growing global population without substantial increases in either the cost of food or pressures on the environment. One example of these hypothetical dietary assumptions is the Mediterranean-type diet, and the simplest scenario would have all diets converging to a common one. This could be a good choice for an initial analysis at a relatively aggregated level of representation of crops and foods. One could also define distinct regional versions of plant-based diets that make the most intensive use of customary, locally available items and further disaggregate to distinguish the current and possible future diets of different categories of households in each region.
By contrast, Scenario 2) a business-as-usual scenario would assume that regional average diets will remain basically unchanged from current patterns. It is unclear whether this scenario is feasible because the world population is growing and changes in the climate system increasingly affect the mixes and yields of crops in different regions. An analysis would have to be studied on a model framework used to describe the impact of climate change on agriculture and its ability to satisfy the demand for food. Another plausible scenario, Scenario 3) is that diets of growing segments of the populations of developing countries will shift toward the current diets of the affluent: more calories per capita and a larger share of calories from animal products and added fats and sweeteners. The physical feasibility of such scenarios for the future and their environmental and economic consequences have barely begun to be explored. Conclusion: It is conceivable that the American diet could be emulated in all parts of the world. Relative to that baseline, a global shift toward a Mediterranean-type or other plant-based diet could be expected to have a more favorable impact on the environment and on health. The upgrading of nutritionally deficient diets, though, especially in developing countries, could more than offset the environmentally beneficial impacts of adopting a plant-based diet in the rich countries. The outcomes will depend not only on dietary choices but also on changes in the current practices of the food production, processing, handling, and service sectors. Better understanding of the implications of these changes will facilitate the identification of specific agricultural, trade, or other policies that could promote effective dietary innovation and indicate the extent of changes that will be required.


Blogging a Pandemic- a Bird Flu Scenario Plausibly Real - Scenarios and Anticipations. Nature Magazine Issue 558, May 26, 2005.

The May, 2005 issue of Nature focused on avian flu and the possibility of a pandemic. This issue illustrates how a flu pandemic might play out with a future scenario that provides a nice exercise in bringing to life the information that is often buried as inputs or outputs to simulation models such as EpiSims. This article concludes with a look back at how unprepared society is in mid-2005. These short-term scenaric glimpses of possible futures sheds light on the present, revealing early warning signs and looming decisions that may turn us away from or towards the imagined events.

Scenario: "2 February 2008. The Virus Spreads" :Today, I was at a press conference at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. A guy from the CDC pointed to a giant screen, a map of the world dotted with red pixels. He said that they'd reckoned the virus might hit in two or more waves up to eight months apart, as in past epidemics. They'd hoped the first pandemic strain of H5N1 might be poorly contagious, and come back again with a vengeance after it had picked up more infectivity. By that time we might have had a vaccine. That was just a hunch, though. And it was wrong. The mild pandemic in 1968 took almost a year to cross the globe. This one probably started around October. So we're now almost four months in. Look at that map! With the huge increase in passengers travelling by air, it's already lodged in 38 cities around the globe. The outline of Asia is barely visible beneath the swarm of red pixels. Now the virus is in coastal cities on both sides of South America. It hit Europe two weeks ago, ripping through Paris in just 11 days. In the French capital alone, there were 2.5 million cases and 50,000 dead. That's par for the course's infection rate 25% and mortality 2%, similar to the 1918 pandemic. Extrapolate these numbers, and we're going to have over 30 million dead worldwide. In poor and densely populated countries like India, it could be worse. Where's next, I asked. Based on passenger data which had to be prised from the airlines, one epidemiologist was willing to make a guess. "Within two weeks, there." He traced his finger from San Diego to Los Angeles, up to San Francisco. Within another three to four weeks, it'll be the turn of the conurbations along the eastern seaboard.


A Playful but Sensible Approach to Possible BioFutures Plausibly Surreal. Jamis Cacio. Coverage on Elio Cavccavale's Utility Pets. March, 2005. Hybrids: towards a new typology of beings and animal products will be shown at the Science Learning Centre, Institute of Education, in London, till 02 June 2005. Elio Caccavale had also talked at the Subtle Technologies symposium , May 26-29, Toronto, Canada

Elio Caccavale's Utility Pets is a project that explores the idea of building animal farms to supply human spare parts. Elio devised a series of educational dolls exploring the emergence of biological hybrids in biotechnologies, and our moral, social, cultural and personal responses to the strange and different in human biology and also "transhuman" creatures. Learning from companies and organisations that produce educational dolls, the designer, with the help of bioethicist Richard Ashcroft, made twelve myBio dolls that could symbolise possible biofutures. The use of narrative and myBio dolls can help children understand how to deal with applications of biotechnology, and with the social development of biotechnological knowledge. Tomorrow’s children will need to know the key methods used in biotechnology so they can learn to understand the many possibilities of biotechnology. Elio Caccavale

Scenario: "2030: A Playful but Sensible Approach to Possible Biofutures" In this world of 2030, John, an avid smoker and organ recipient, takes home a pig and gives it a good quality of life until the day of the organ replacement comes. Psychologiests by 2030 have innovated a series of studies & objects to investigate the emotional exchange between John and the genetically modified pig that has been bred with elements of the owner's genetic makeup. In this world, John is supplied with a Smoke Eater, a device that allows the user to smoke at home without creating passive smoke that would damage the health of the pig, or, utility pet. John doesn't have to worry about damaging his own health since the pet has spare organs ready to be used if needed. In 2030, the general consesnsus is one of reluctant acceptance, as this biotechnique tends to encourage bad habits since there is no longer a fear of death as a result of smoking. Meantime, patients routinely are examined using GFP from jellyfish, which is a flourescent indicator used for monitoring gene expression. Cows produce proteins in their milk for pharmaceutical drugs (this is symbolised by the "milk thread" attached to the cow’s udders); myBio goat has a spider web attached to the udders demonstrating one animal making the natural product of another.


21st Century Policy Project California Integrated Waste Management Board Issues Summit, January, 1999. www. ciwmb.org

Under the leadership of the California Integrated Waste Management Board, the state is nearly two-thirds of the way toward achieving ambitious waste diversion goals set forth by the Legislature. As California entered the new millennium, many issues remained and new issues and waste streams are on the horizon. The 21st Century Policy Project brought interested parties together to form a new consensus for the future of solid waste management in California. Under the Board's leadership, this process provided the most current information from within the nation and around the world, stimulated fresh thinking, and built on the successes of the last decade to conserve resources while protecting the health, safety, environment, and economic well being of future generations. In its leadership role, the Board hosted several events to elicit participation from external and internal stakeholders. These events included an "issues summit", and a "trends and issues" convention, which ultimately led to the following scenario of the future of waste management. Before we get to the scenario, the following are the primary trends discerned by the stakeholders: Increasing home waste production; -.increasing inventory of recycled material in warehouses; - decrease in the need for new landfill space over last five years; increasing consumption of convenience foods and other highly packaged products; increasing population in California; - aging of the population; political mood shift--less trust in government institutions, call for more "accountability." Trend Analysis: The distillation of a global trend to a specific waste management-related trend. Also, determining which trends are most likely to have the greatest impact on CIWMB.

Scenario: Vision for the 21st Century: "In 2010, materials are managed as part of a “sustainable” system that resulted from a shift in our thinking and in our framework of incentives and disincentives. We have shifted from a “take make waste” linear approach to using natural resources and making products to a “systems” approach that incorporates the long-term costs and benefits of natural resource extraction and cross-media environmental impacts. This system minimizes the use of virgin materials, considers social equity issues, minimizes pollution and discards, and safely manages unavoidable discards as a resource. Business, government and community organizations are equal partners in a relationship to create a balanced economic, environmental and societal bottom line that moves us in this direction. This is accomplished through: Open access to information in each area; Balanced use of economic incentives and regulatory authority; and A planned and open process for participation in decision making by all parties. The Board is an advocate for sustainable materials management practices and their associated benefits to the public/communities, businesses, and to government. The Board does this through a strong legislative effort, education, practical assistance, up-to-date and comprehensive information on materials management topics, and progressive research and development programs."


Electric Power Horizens- For the First Time in History, U.S. Electric Power Infrastructure Could Create Dependence on Foreign Fuel Supply. Ron McMahan, Chairman and CEO of Global Energy Decisions. Global Energy Decisions released a study in September, 2004 oion looking ahead to America's energy security, utilizing a new scenario-based analysis of the energy future to 2020. Gary L. Hunt, President, Global Energy Advisors who can be reached at 916-609-7750

For the first time in history, U.S. electric power infrastructure could create dependence on foreign fuel supply. High oil prices, geopolitical instability, tightening constraints on U.S. natural gas production and toughening environmental regulations foreshadow tough choices ahead for America's energy security, according to a new scenario-based analysis of the energy future to 2020 released by Global Energy Decisions (Global Energy). "The electric power industry is the central nervous system of the U.S. economy. The relationship between GDP growth and electricity demand is well-understood. For the first time in history we are headed down a path of dependence on foreign supply to fuel our electric power infrastructure. The energy security debate today tends to focus too much on the price of a barrel of oil and not broadly enough on the critical question of the security of electric power supply," said Ron McMahan, Chairman and CEO of Global Energy. Using detailed scenario analysis combined with a fundamental market view to help companies examine the risks and opportunities of future energy alternatives to their business strategies, Global Energy's "Electric Power Horizons" study found: 1) An expanded deregulated power market increasingly served by the new fleet of gas-fired electric power plants combined with a steadily growing economy could see the U.S. consumption of natural gas almost double by the year 2020. This significantly increases the risk of relying on imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) under the RTOs Work scenario up to 15 TCF per year in LNG imports would be needed by 2020, a daunting infrastructure task. 2) The United Nations Kyoto Accord calls for greenhouse gas emissions limitations that may put nearly one-half of the nation's coal plants at risk of closing or serious limitations on their operation by 2018. The U.S. may be the Saudi Arabia of coal, but Kyoto compliance may negate coal as a viable fuel source. 3) Electricity load growth is the key factor to power market recovery, but a terrorist attack that threatens our economic recovery or a serious environmental risk from global warming could have economic impacts that take more than 10 years to overcome thus threatening the viability of the electric power industry. 4) Since the Three Mile Island accident and nuclear construction cost over-runs sank America's nuclear power plant building no new nuclear plants have been built. But new nuclear plants may be a critical stepping-stone both for energy independence as well as to meeting Kyoto green house gas emissions reduction targets and our growing energy demand. Today the current fleet of operating nuclear plants is performing spectacularly in providing reliable, economic base load energy for a growing economy. 5) Renewable and alternative energy offering strategic "sweet spots," such as geothermal, wind and solar energy resources exist across all possible energy futures. Will renewable energy fulfill its potential or remain a heavily subsidized niche play? Aligning our political and economic objectives with our energy reality is a key to making renewable energy sustainable. "'Electric Power Horizons' takes scenario planning to the next level with actionable insights leading to better strategic assessment by quantifying impacts and risks of our energy policies across alternative future business environments," said Gary L. Hunt, President, Global Energy Advisors, a Global Energy division. Global Energy, with input from utility, natural gas, coal, academic, financial and rating agency clients, developed three powerful and equally plausible scenarios captured in "Electric Power Horizons": Scenario 1) Terrorism & Turmoil: Terrorists' disruptions create economic slowdown, concerns about energy security and uncertainty, and the need for strategic action to restore America's self confidence and resolve. Scenario 2) RTO Works-Markets Reign -- FERC and states actually find ways to work together to expand regional transmission organizations nationwide in a non-gas-constrained world where America's genius for competition and innovation are unleashed to help secure our energy independence. Scenario 3) Green World: Evidence of global warming leads to a carbon tax and a shift to a carbon-constrained world. This crisis scenario is just as profound as a terrorist attack in undermining our energy security. Do we have an action plan to address this potential risk?


Climate Change and Insurance study commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Insurers. 'Expert-judgement' based probabilistic scenarios UK, 2005.

These scenarios are statistical, but they present interesting "expert judgements" for four climate futures for the British Isles. These expert-judgement based scenarios have been constructed based upon available evidence from the current climate science and climate change scenarios that have been presented in recent reports (e.g. Hulme and Jenkins, 1998 and Agnew and Viner, 2000). These climate scenarios are descriptive examples of how the climate of the British Isles may is likely to evolve in the future. These four possible realisations of the climate system shown are based upon different levels of probability from Scenario-1 High, what is likely to happen to Scenario 4-High-reaction, a plausible scenario but low probability of occurrence based upon the high values of climate sensitivity and rapid growth in greenhouse gas emissions. To the reader, these scenarios are not stories of the future, but rather, statistical versions of likely futures. These scenarios utilize changes in mean temperature, precipitation, windstorms, and sea-level rise; all easily understandable for the imagination of the layman.

The expert judgement based scenarios presented here should be used as guides for assessing possible future impacts and thresholds that may exist within the insurance and other exposure sectors and where applicable, other exposed sectors (e.g. transport, agriculture, water resources and tourism). A given exposure unit if deemed vulnerable to impacts as described by Scenario 1 High Probability: is going to be very sensitive to climate change in the near future, whilst one only sensitive to Scenario 4 is a robust sector which will show few impacts above those already experienced within current natural variability. Scenarios 1 and 2) have been constructed to capture the ranges of change for a number of variables as described by the IPCC. For example the 4-10cm rise of sea-level per decade and the temperatures changes prescribed by a climate sensitivity of 1.5 to 4.5oC. The scenarios are time dependent but where possible show rates of change rather than changes by a given period. One problem that exists in presenting climate change scenarios for given periods in the future (e.g. the 2050s) is that many stakeholders see this as a distant time horizon which is beyond their envelope of experience. Thus there can be a tendency to view climate change as a phenomena which is problematic for the next generation rather than the current. We have seen, however that it is the rates of climate change and how we move from the current state to an evolved climate that is problematic and that the impacts of human-induced climate change are impacting now. Scenario 1) High Probability: Mean temperature 0.2 to 0.3°C rise in mean temperature per decade 2020s: 1.3°C Warmer; 2050s 2.0°C Warmer, Higher night time temperatures. Occasional cold winters 0.2 to 0.3°C rise in mean temperature per decade. 2020s 1.3°C Warmer 2050s 2.0°C Warmer Higher night time temperature 0.2 to 0.3°C rise in mean temperature per decade 2020s 1.3°C Warmer 2050s 2.0°C Warmer Higher night time temperatures Occasional cold winters 0.2 to 0.3°C rise in mean temperature per decade 2020s 1.3°C Warmer 2050s 2.0°C Warmer Higher night time temperatures 0.2 to 0.3°C rise in mean temperature per decade 2020s 1.3°C Warmer 2050s 2.0°C Warmer Higher night time temperatures Occasional cold winters Precipitation 2020s Winters 7% Wetter Summers 2% drier 2050s Winters 11% Wetter Summers 15% drier Higher number of intense winter rainfall events Years with summer rainfall below 50% of 1961-90 average is approximately 1 in 5 Windstorms No change in variability/frequency of extreme high impact (e.g. windstorms) events Sea-level Rise 4-10cm increase per decade 2020s - South East (e.g. Harwich) 20cm North West 14cm 2050s - South East (e.g. Harwich) 41cm North West 28cm Localised coastal flooding due to higher tides - within design of sea-defences Scenario 2) Mean temperature 0.2 to 0.3°C rise in mean temperature per decade through 2020s :1.3°C Warmer 2050s: 2.0°C Warmer, no repetition of early 1980 winters Higher summer temperatures, higher night time warming. Precipitation: 2020s Winters 10% Wetter Summers 4% drier 2050s Winters 15% Wetter Summers 17% drier Higher number of intense winter rainfall events Increase in winter fluvial flood events Increase in summer droughts to 2 years in 3 Windstorms No change in variability/frequency of extreme high impact (e.g. windstorms) events Sea-level Rise 6-10cm increase per decade 2020s - South East (e.g. Harwich) 25cm North West 20cm 2050s - South East (e.g. Harwich) 55cm North West 40cm Severe localised coastal flooding, localised sea defence failures. Scenario 3) Mean temperature: 0.3 to 0.4°C rise in mean temperature per decade through the 2020s. 1.4°C Warmer through the 2050s. 2.4°C Warmer. No repetition of early 1980 winters. Higher summer temperatures, higher night time warming. Higher number of extremely hot (+40°C) days. Precipitation through 2020s: Winters 12%, Wetter Summers 10% drier, 2050s: Winters 20% Wetter Summers 20% drier higher number of intense winter rainfall events. Large Increase in winter fluvial flood events Summer drought increase to 8 in 10 years Windstorms 7% increase in severe winter and summer wind storms per decade. Increase in strong convective activity, and associated features e.g. tornados. Scenario 4) Mean temperature 0.4 to 0.5°C rise in mean temperature per decade through 2020s. 1.8°C Warmer through 2050s. 3.0°C warmer, Increasing number of very hot days. No cold winters Precipitation 2020s: Winters 15% Wetter Summers 15% drier 2050s Winters 20% Wetter Summers 20% drier Higher number of intense winter rainfall events. Regular number of winter fluvial flood events Summer drought increase to 9 in 10 years.Windstorms 15% increase in severe winter and summer wind storms per decade. Common strong convective activity, and associated features e.g. tornados Sea-level Rise 10 - 30cm increase per decade (WAIS Collapse) 2020s - South East (e.g. Harwich) 37cm North West 35cm 2050s - South East (e.g. Harwich) 100cm North West 70cm


Assessing Future Ecosystem Services: a Case Study of the Northern Highlands Lake District, Wisconsin Peterson, G.D., T.D. Beard Jr. Assessing future ecosystem services: a case study of the Northern Highlands Lake District, Wisconsin. Conservation Ecology 7 (3): 1.

The Northern Highlands Lake District of Wisconsin is in transition from a sparsely settled region to a more densely populated one. Expected changes offer benefits to northern Wisconsin residents but also threaten to degrade the ecological services they rely on. Because the future of this region is uncertain, it is difficult to make decisions that will avoid potential risks and take advantage of potential opportunities. This research group adopts a scenario planning approach to cope with this problem of prediction. They used an ecological assessment framework developed by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment to determine key social and ecological driving forces in the Northern Highlands Lake District. From these, they describe three alternative scenarios to the year 2025 in which the projected use of ecological services is substantially different.

Scenario 1) Walleye Commons: " In the 2000s, national and global economic growth accelerated due to reforms in energy policy, expanding globalization, and peaceful international relations. As wealth spread worldwide, many regional conflicts were resolved. Terrorist threats declined, and international travel increased sharply. The expansion of high-speed wireless networks increased the ability of people to telecommute and greatly increased the flexibility of the traditional work week. People had more disposable income than previous generations and more time for leisure activities. Global travel became easy, cheap, and common. Life in Wisconsin's northern highlands, however, has taken a turn for the worse. Climate change brought longer summers and milder weather. As expected, warming reduced opportunities for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and other winter sports. At the same time, quite unexpectedly, climate warming also contributed to the spread of disease. A deadly walleye pathogen, which was amplified in hatcheries, quickly spread and forced the closure of several valuable walleye fisheries in the NHLD. Even worse, a water-borne protozoan introduced from South America created a new human health hazard in the region. The protozoan easily moved from lake water through open cuts to infect the human nervous system. Over a period of years, victims of protozoan infection suffered gradual and debilitating nervous system disorders. Although the disease was usually not lethal, the quality of life of those infected was severely reduced during the multiyear recovery period. The coincidence of easy global travel, substantial disposable income, limited fishing opportunities, and fear of disease had a substantial impact on life in the NHLD. People from urban centers who had once flocked to the region due to its accessibility, charming beauty, and relaxed atmosphere now chose to vacation or retire to other, safer locations. The decline in tourism and the sale of many second homes, along with the fear of living with a mysterious and dangerous disease, led many local business owners to follow their former customers to other regions. These initial emigrations set in motion a downward spiral. Declining property values, bankrupt businesses, and school closures led more people to leave the area and accelerated the decline. Small towns lost almost all of their businesses. Larger towns, such as Minocqua and Eagle River, became small, poor, and dilapidated. When they couldn't be sold, many summer homes and cabins were seldom visited or simply boarded up and abandoned. During this emigration, however, few people left Lac du Flambeau. Despite unemployment and declines in casino revenue, people began to take advantage of low land prices to purchase land. Due to the construction of new casinos in southern Wisconsin, the Lac du Flambeau Tribe in cooperation with a consortium of other Native American groups was able to purchase land in northern Wisconsin. The State of Wisconsin and The Nature Conservancy also took advantage of cheap land to expand existing nature reserves. The net result was an increase in the size of protected areas and tribal lands and a decrease in the amount of land held in small private plots. Ecologically, this series of events had both predictable and surprising consequences. Wetlands greatly expanded as riparian vegetation reclaimed once-manicured lawns. Wildlife proliferated due to reduced exploitation and increased available habitat. The reduction in fishing and boating slowed the spread of invasive species, especially into small isolated lakes. Reduced human activity increased overall water quality and improved fish populations in the region. However, erosion from poorly maintained roads and lawns increased turbity in a number of lakes. Size and age distributions of fish populations shifted toward older, bigger fish, i.e., those typically targeted by anglers. In lakes affected by the hatchery-borne walleye disease, walleyes did not recover, but other fishes such as smallmouth bass and muskellunge established robust stocks. A few larger lakes became eutrophic as the septic systems of abandoned lakefront homes failed and leaked. However, there was less pollution in the area in general, and the increase in wetland area provided more filtering and buffering capacity for the pollutants that remained. Surprisingly, mercury pollution in lakes became an increasingly severe problem. Coal burning upwind of the NHLD continued to deposit mercury across the region, and the increased wetland area exacerbated the bioaccumulation of mercury. The increase in wetlands caused an increase in anoxia and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in lakes. Increased anoxia increased the generation of methylmercury, and increased DOC reduced the ability of light to degrade methylmercury. The presence of large, old fish, which bioaccumulate more mercury than do the smaller fish lower on the food chain, in combination with the increased amounts of methlymercury led to high levels of mercury in many fish. For Native Americans heavily dependent on spearfishing walleye, which selects for larger, more mercury-laden fish, this presented a health risk, but an innovative system that combined lake rotation with pulsed harvesting was invented to reduce mercury exposure. In 2025, there were roughly 12,000 people living in the NHLD district, which represented a fourfold population decline from 2000 to near 1900 levels. However, the Native American population had grown from less than 10% of the population to roughly 40%. People living in the area were not much better off than they were in 2000 and relatively much worse off than in Wisconsin as a whole. With the exception of walleye, fish populations were healthy. The lakes looked good, but the water was dangerous. However, the people of the NHLD now say that the wealth they receive from nature more than compensates for their low incomes. Those who disagree left long ago. Scenario 2) Northwoods.com: In the 2000s, concerned that the robust growth of the U.S. economy would leave Wisconsin behind, the state government, business leaders, academics, and community groups created state-wide economic and community development plans that would allow Wisconsin to thrive in the 21st century. A program that combined venture capital with university and community partnerships lead to the establishment of a new University of Wisconsin campus and business park in Rhinelander. The goal of this university was to retain young people in Wisconsin. The university emphasized local community and business development. With the establishment of the university campus and the influx of faculty, staff, and students, the regional economy gradually diversified away from tourism toward an economy that included a number of branch or back offices for a wide variety of businesses. Some initial local successes combined with the high quality of life led to the rapid expansion of these branch offices. Young people were drawn to the area by the low cost of living and the high quality of life in the North Woods. Companies found the area attractive because they could recruit talented people for relatively low wages. Some companies even argued that the residents of the NHLD received two paychecks: one from their jobs and the other from life in a region that offered remarkable opportunities for outdoor recreation. As young people remained in the region, the Rhinelander and Minocqua areas began to urbanize. The young residents tended to cluster near the social life of the university. As the area developed and property values rose, this area gradually expanded along the Wisconsin River from Rhinelander to Merrill. The fresh waters in the Wisconsin River corridor from Eagle River to Merrill became highly urbanized and heavily used. The lakes closest to this corridor sustained major ecological impacts from urban development and heavy human recreation. Most nearby wetlands were drained for lakeshore development, more pollutants entered these lakes from the watershed, blue lakes turned green from increased nutrient runoff, increased fishing pressure caused fish stocks to decline, boat traffic accelerated the dispersal of invading species, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons increased 100-fold in the lakes. A series of fish kills in the Wisconsin River caused widespread concern about the costs of development. Economic growth around Rhinelander had increased the tax base of cities and towns, which increased the relative political power of urban residents. These fish kills mobilized the urban residents to protect the aquatic resources of the surrounding areas. City governments and then county governments and businesses all supported new land use policies to appeal to their new constituents. However, businesspeople in the NHLD preferred market-based policies to strict regulation, and, in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin faculty, they created an innovative and profitable market for quality riparian habitats and a variety of ecosystem services provided by pristine lakes. Acquiring conservation lands became a major goal of the local government. Zoning ordinances and conservation easement plans, funded by a steep horsepower tax on boat motors and riparian development, were enacted to preserve the lakes in the surrounding region. Although many landowners profited from these policies, other residents grew angry as development costs for lakefront property soared, as did the cost of utilities, wells, and fishing. Some rural constituents took advantage of the cost-sharing programs and capitalized on the increased value of their property for tourism, whereas some urban residents still wanted to use large motorboats on pristine lakes. However, regardless of this opposition, the majority agreed that, if the inhabitants wanted to degrade ecosystem services, they would have to pay to replace them. Although the Lac du Flambeau casino did not do as well as hoped, the influx of new job and training opportunities into the NHLD greatly improved job, educational, and cultural opportunities for Native Americans. In two decades, they went from having a per capita income less than half that of other northern residents to one as high as the state mean. Despite some conflicts with the new town-oriented environmental regulations, these regulations increased the value of much of the Lac du Flambeau land. The tribe, controversially, limited access to a number of reservation lakes to produce highly profitable, high-quality fishing lakes. In 2025, the population of the region had grown to nearly 65,000 people, a 50% increase over the population in 2000. Most of the population growth occurred near the Wisconsin River. Household income in the region was now about equal to that of Wisconsin as a whole. Rather than being older than the rest of Wisconsin, the population of the region was slightly younger. In general, the conservation policies caused most of the lakes in the region, specifically those further away from the urban corridor, to improve in quality. Overall, the region was providing more ecosystem services than in the past. More riparian habitat improved fish recruitment and growth, and more trophy fish were caught. Lakes that previously had experienced a lot of motorboat activity and associated pollution improved in water quality. Wetland area increased, adding to the improvement of the water quality in many lakes. Increased wetland area also increased DOC inputs to some lakes, and, through methylation-light penetration feedback, mercury problems were exacerbated in some areas. However, because few people depended on fish for food, mercury was not considered a serious health problem. Scenario 3) Lake Mosaic: Economic growth in the late 20th and early 21st centuries created many wealthy baby boomers. Despite a generally robust economy, international tensions, terrorism, and warfare greatly reduced international travel. Their ready cash and reluctance to travel led many families to consider either buying a vacation home in, or retiring to, the NHDP. Furthermore, the milder climate resulting from global warming made northern Wisconsin a more desirable location to live in year-round. These changes, combined with the expansion of high-speed wireless networking, increased the number of people who could alternate their lives between two homes. All these factors increased the number of households that decided to move, full- or part-time, to the NHLD. Most of these new residents wanted lakeshore property and homes in the woods away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Lakeshore development proceeded rapidly. The residents, most of whom moved to the area because of a love of the outdoors, spent lots of time on lakes or in the nearby wooded areas. Consequently, they chose locations that were not highly developed. As the number of cabins on an individual lake began to climb, that lake became less attractive to new arrivals, and new developments began on other, less developed lakes. As a result, almost all lakes in the region became moderately developed. Most residents were very attached to their lakes. Often people were attracted to a particular lake because of its features and the attitudes of the other people living around it. These people frequently organized themselves into lake associations. Many existing lake associations became quite powerful organizations and implemented a wide variety of activities intended to improve life around their lakes. However, the scope and ultimate goals of these activities varied greatly. Some people improved their lakes by removing all hazards to boat navigation and importing sand for beaches, whereas others tried to improve fishing; still others added woody debris to their lakes in an effort to return them to a past wild state. The great variability among lakes and the diverse interests of the people settling around them led to considerable variety in lakeshore development patterns. Some lake associations advocated the rights of residents to build "dockominiums," modify habitat, and intensify boating activity. Other lake associations worked to ban personal watercraft, severely restrict loss of habitat, limit access, and improve fishing. With the increased population of the region, fishing quality generally declined despite ever-stricter regulation by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. This led several groups of people, including some fishing clubs, to purchase the entire perimeter of a lake to allow them high-quality fishing. On these lakes and a few lakes in government-maintained wilderness areas with "trophy-only" regulations, fishing quality was excellent. Some private landowners were able to profit handsomely by selling extraordinary fishing opportunities at premium prices. However, in most lakes accessible to the public, fishing quality continued to decline because of increased fishing pressure and the continual removal of the larger individual fish. Whenever one lake had a particularly good year, mobile anglers would quickly descend on it and reduce the quality of its fishing to the level of the other lakes in the region. The decline in public fishing opportunities combined with the improvement in private fishing was only one of many initially subtle, but increasingly open conflicts among people living on different lakes. Tourist operators complained about how the new residents, through overfishing, limited their ability to attract tourists. Lake residents were often unfriendly to outsiders, and conflicts over noisy boats, roads, land use, and the deterioration in water quality sometimes led to nasty and long-running feuds. Ecological management decisions were frequently court-mandated. There were many irate letters to the editors of local papers, more intense influence peddling, more acrimonious County Board meetings, and increasingly frequent acts of vandalism. This gradual spread of low-density residential development across the landscape had variable and lake-specific ecological effects. These depended on the preferences of the lakeshore owners and the characteristics of the individual lakes. For example, a "swimming lake" might have less coarse woody debris, better or at least stabilized water quality, and decreased motorboat traffic. In other lakes, especially small lakes or lakes with only a few property owners, habitat, water quality, and fishing quality remained high. In 2025, the population of the NHLD was 55,000 people, a population increase of 25% from 2000. The region's inhabitants were generally older and richer than in Wisconsin as a whole. However, there was a lot of inequality. Whereas a number of rich people owned huge homes that they occupied for only a few weeks a year, many local residents earned minimum wages for cleaning and security companies. Everyone could agree, however, that the North Woods had become more like the suburban environments found commonly throughout the United States. There were many suburban features, ranging from extensive lawns to strip malls. Local politics were more contentious and divisive. Although many people were unhappy with the ways that the NHLD had changed, there were conflicts that prevented effective organization to improve the situation. There was a sense of quiet resignation that the North Woods would inevitably follow the path of suburbanized counties "down south." Some long-term residents even sold their homes to relocate to quiet, wild, undeveloped lakes in Canada.


CERA: Three Scenarios for Transmission Evolution Hart Energy Publishing, LP, publishers of Hart’s Energy Markets magazine. October 16, 2000.

North America’s interstate power transmission system is gridlocked and plagued by a tangle of problems and regulatory uncertainty, according to High Tension: The Future of Power Transmission in North America, a study recently released by Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA). With the gridlock comes rising concern about the quality and reliability of the nation’s power network. CERA found there is too little incentive to invest in building up the transmission system, and strategy and planning are lacking with no clear consensus on how to open the electricity logjam. “Electric transmission and its future has become a central focus and strategic uncertainty for the North American electric power industry, said Larry Makovich, CERA senior director for North American power. CERA outlined three scenarios for the future of the North American grid. They are: Scenario 1) Incentivized Grids: “Scenario suggests the transmission sector could evolve into a viable stand-alone business. For-profit regional transmission organizations (RTOs) would combine ownership and control of the grid and become the predominant form of transmission operator. Scenario 2) Off-Road Solutions: “Scenario envisions the continuation of gridlock in the transmission sector with more consumers and industry players pursuing generation solutions, such as distributed generation, to alleviate bottlenecks.” Scenario 3) Commanding Heights: “CERA’s name for a scenario in which the federal government takes a direct role in restructuring the transmission sector, maintaining and controlling the existing grid, and planning new transmission capacity additions. The federal government would implement and enforce common reliability standards, dispatch policy, and interregional coordination of the transmission system.” According to CERA, signs to watch that would indicate the industry is moving toward one of the above scenarios are: experimentation with performance-based rates for transmission service; implementation of price caps; investment in merchant transmission projects; expansion and consolidation of RTOs; resolution of jurisdictional disputes; congressional action on restructuring and reliability legislation; response to FERC Order 2000 RTO filing requirements; incidence of grid sabotage; and political constraints on market integration and power reliability.


Three Scenarios of a Deregulated Energy Marketplace Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA). March, 2004.
Will the deregulated energy landscape resemble a checkerboard or Silicon Nation? Or are we headed for a "service plus" approach to retail competition? These three scenarios are sketched by Cambridge Energy Research Associates in a report, "Customer Choice in the Information Age: North American Retail Energy Scenarios to 2015," cosponsored by Arthur Andersen and EDS.
"The struggle in the coming years will be over whether retail competition continues to evolve in a patchwork quilt fashion or whether financial forces, new technologies, e-business and other forces cause the industry to move even more rapidly to competitive markets," says Claire Behrens, CERA director of retail energy. She adds, "The question becomes whether the majority of customers are served under a regulatory framework that only supports the principles of competition or one that fosters practical competition."
The CERA report describes the three scenarios as follows: Scenario 1) Checkerboard: A long and uncertain transition to retail competition leads to massive utility industry consolidation into super-regional distribution companies. The regulatory rules governing the transition to competitive retail energy markets effectively inhibit "practical" energy competition from emerging for almost a decade. Most mass-market customers continue to be served under regulated utility company sales rates or default service rates for the majority of the period, with all customers getting choice only at the end of the period. Scenario 2) Service Plus: Low stock market prices relative to earnings pressure utility holding companies to exit the regulated merchant function. Their exit creates new growth opportunities in both unregulated retail energy sales and services for retail energy markets and new entrants that favor established, high-profile brands. These players bundle energy with other product and service offerings. All customers get choice by the middle of the scenario period, and by the end of the period, one-third of power customers and half of natural gas customers have switched providers. Scenario3) Silicon Nation: The development of e-commerce auction exchanges and portals, robust wholesale markets, and national standards for retail natural gas and electricity transactions pressures utilities to exit the regulated merchant function and provides customers with an opportunity to gain direct access quickly to wholesale markets through Internet portals and auctions. As a result, most customers have access to choice before 2010. Switching rates are high, with two-thirds of natural gas customers having switched by the end of the period and almost half of power customers exercising choice.


I am Your Local Power Plant. Larry Armstrong, Senior Writer for Business Week, August, 1999.

This scenario examines trends in self-sufficient enery, technology, and home ownership.

Scenario of the 21st Century: I am Your Local Power Plant. “By 2009, most everybody's got a personal turbine. They can run on palm oil or manure gas, keep things purring in the house, and if there's excess juice, homeowners can sell it back to the grid It is 2009 and I have two electric meters: ``in'' and ``out.'' The ``in'' meter runs most of the time. But once in a while, when power is scarce and expensive, a little generator in my cellar comes on. It keeps everything in the house humming; excess electricity gets sold to the grid. I love watching that ``out'' meter whirl. Personal power plants have come a long way from the 20th century, when they mostly made a racket on camping trips. Now, they're everywhere in 2009, purring like kittens. Sure, there are still big central generating plants, just as there are big mainframe computers. But the hot trend is ``distributed generation''--putting generation close to consumption. That way, the utilities can dismantle their nuclear- and coal-fired plants, and there's no need to tear up the streets to replace power distribution cables. My personal power plant takes over automatically whenever there's a power failure or a big price spike. I signed up for so-called marginal cost power, which is supercheap most of the time but gets astronomical during peak periods--like hot summer days. Remember when you could get a discount if you let the utility remotely turn off your air conditioning for a couple hours? Now, it can remotely switch on my generator when it needs an extra punch.” Wow. 21st Century stuff. Pretty cool.


What if the Forests Were Silent? Alan Rabinowitz of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and John Carey, senior writer, Business Week, August, 1999.

Conservationists believed they had succeeded in safeguarding the forests. But although trees and land have been secured, the animals are disappearing. More than a quarter of all extinctions, where blame can be attributed, have been caused by human hunters.

Rabinowitz describes a scenario of the 21st Century: What if the Forests Were Silent? “It is 2020. Dawn breaks on a tropical forest. Conservationists had succeeded in protecting the trees from the bite of the chain saw, and under the dense canopy, all seems primordial and pristine. But something is missing. Dawn normally brings a symphony of sound. But here there is only silence. No raucous cries of monkeys. No trilling avian melodies. No rustling in the underbrush. The animals are largely gone.” By 2020, this silent dawn is occurring almost everywhere in the world. Indeed, such ``empty'' forests have appeared in countries from Laos to Zaire. The cause is simple: Humans continue to kill the animals. Whether by snare or spear, trap or gun, people have been taking a staggering toll on anything that can be eaten or sold for food or medicine. Wildlife biologists are only starting to tally the cost, but estimates range from up to 24 million animals killed each year in the Brazilian Amazon to 600,000 pounds of wild meat taken annually from Korup National Park in West Africa alone. “Through the early 21st century to 2020, conservationists struggled to protect a natural world already reeling from such threats as population growth, deforestation, and pollution; the rising slaughter adds a formidable challenge in 2020. The underlying causes include the growing numbers and Westernization of forest-dwelling tribes. To that add three other factors: the influx of ranchers and settlers, the building of logging roads that make remote areas accessible, and the enormous value of the natural-medicine trade. By 2020, conservationists succeeded in holding onto the forest, but the world was losing the animals that made the forest function.”


The Pentagons Weather Nightmare: The Climate Could Change Radically and Fast. That Would be the Mother of all National Security Issues. David Stipp, Fortune Magazine, February 9, 2004. This article is about a recent study on global warming commissioned by the Pentagon with consultant Monitor Group’s Global Business Network.

There is growing evidence suggesting the ocean-atmosphere system that controls the world's climate can lurch from one state to another in less than a decade—“like a canoe that's gradually tilted until suddenly it flips over.” Scientists don't know how close the system is to a critical threshold. But abrupt climate change may well occur in the not-too-distant future. If it does, the need to rapidly adapt may overwhelm many societies--thereby upsetting the geopolitical balance of power.” How will this world look in 2020? Or perhaps, 2010?
Scenario of the 21st Century: A National Security Nightmare. “A TOTAL SHUTDOWN of the ocean conveyor might lead to a big chill like the Younger Dryas, when icebergs appeared as far south as the coast of Portugal. Or the conveyor might only temporarily slow down, potentially causing an era like the "Little Ice Age," a time of hard winters, violent storms, and droughts between 1300 and 1850. That period's weather extremes caused horrific famines, but it was mild compared with the Younger Dryas. For planning purposes, it makes sense to focus on a midrange case of abrupt change. A century of cold, dry, windy weather across the Northern Hemisphere that suddenly came on 8,200 years ago fits the bill--its severity fell between that of the Younger Dryas and the Little Ice Age. The event is thought to have been triggered by a conveyor collapse after a time of rising temperatures not unlike today's global warming. Suppose it recurred, beginning in 2010. Here are some of the things that might happen by 2020:
At first the changes are easily mistaken for normal weather variation--allowing skeptics to dismiss them as a "blip" of little importance and leaving policymakers and the public paralyzed with uncertainty. But by 2020 there is little doubt that something drastic is happening. The average temperature has fallen by up to five degrees Fahrenheit in some regions of North America and Asia and up to six degrees in parts of Europe. (By comparison, the average temperature over the North Atlantic during the last ice age was ten to 15 degrees lower than it is today.) Massive droughts have begun in key agricultural regions. The average annual rainfall has dropped by nearly 30% in northern Europe, and its climate has become more like Siberia's. Violent storms are increasingly common as the conveyor becomes wobbly on its way to collapse. A particularly severe storm causes the ocean to break through levees in the Netherlands, making coastal cities such as the Hague unlivable. In California the delta island levees in the Sacramento River area are breached, disrupting the aqueduct system transporting water from north to south. Megadroughts afflict the U.S., especially in the southern states, along with winds that are 15% stronger on average than they are now, causing widespread dust storms and soil loss. The U.S. is better positioned to cope than most nations, however, thanks to its diverse growing climates, wealth, technology, and abundant resources. That has a downside, though: It magnifies the haves-vs.-have-nots gap and fosters bellicose finger-pointing at America. Turning inward, the U.S. effectively seeks to build a fortress around itself to preserve resources. Borders are strengthened to hold back starving immigrants from Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean islands--waves of boat people pose especially grim problems. Tension between the U.S. and Mexico rises as the U.S. reneges on a 1944 treaty that guarantees water flow from the Colorado River into Mexico. America is forced to meet its rising energy demand with options that are costly both economically and politically, including nuclear power and onerous Middle Eastern contracts. Yet it survives without catastrophic losses. Europe, hardest hit by its temperature drop, struggles to deal with immigrants from Scandinavia seeking warmer climes to the south. Southern Europe is beleaguered by refugees from hard-hit countries in Africa and elsewhere. But Western Europe's wealth helps buffer it from catastrophe. Australia's size and resources help it cope, as does its location--the conveyor shutdown mainly affects the Northern Hemisphere. Japan has fewer resources but is able to draw on its social cohesion to cope--its government is able to induce population-wide behavior changes to conserve resources. China's huge population and food demand make it particularly vulnerable. It is hit by increasingly unpredictable monsoon rains, which cause devastating floods in drought-denuded areas. Other parts of Asia and East Africa are similarly stressed. Much of Bangladesh becomes nearly uninhabitable because of a rising sea level, which contaminates inland water supplies. Countries whose diversity already produces conflict, such as India and Indonesia, are hard-pressed to maintain internal order while coping with the unfolding changes. As the decade progresses, pressures to act become irresistible --history shows that whenever humans have faced a choice between starving or raiding, they raid. Imagine Eastern European countries, struggling to feed their populations, invading Russia--which is weakened by a population that is already in decline--for access to its minerals and energy supplies. Or picture Japan eyeing nearby Russian oil and gas reserves to power desalination plants and energy-intensive farming. Envision nuclear-armed Pakistan, India, and China skirmishing at their borders over refugees, access to shared rivers, and arable land. Or Spain and Portugal fighting over fishing rights--fisheries are disrupted around the world as water temperatures change, causing fish to migrate to new habitats. Growing tensions engender novel alliances. Canada joins fortress America in a North American bloc. (Alternatively, Canada may seek to keep its abundant hydropower for itself, straining its ties with the energy-hungry U.S.) North and South Korea align to create a technically savvy, nuclear-armed entity. Europe forms a truly unified bloc to curb its immigration problems and protect against aggressors. Russia, threatened by impoverished neighbors in dire straits, may join the European bloc. Nuclear arms proliferation is inevitable. Oil supplies are stretched thin as climate cooling drives up demand. Many countries seek to shore up their energy supplies with nuclear energy, accelerating nuclear proliferation. Japan, South Korea, and Germany develop nuclear-weapons capabilities, as do Iran, Egypt, and North Korea. Israel, China, India, and Pakistan also are poised to use the bomb. The changes relentlessly hammer the world's "carrying capacity"--the natural resources, social organizations, and economic networks that support the population. Technological progress and market forces, which have long helped boost Earth's carrying capacity, can do little to offset the crisis--it is too widespread and unfolds too fast. As the planet's carrying capacity shrinks, an ancient pattern reemerges: the eruption of desperate, all-out wars over food, water, and energy supplies. As Harvard archeologist Steven LeBlanc has noted, wars over resources were the norm until about three centuries ago. When such conflicts broke out, 25% of a population's adult males usually died. As abrupt climate change hits home, warfare may again come to define human life.”


Striving to Have it all in Sustainable Rural Development Institute for Alternative Futures. Newsletter. June, 2004.

It is possible to develop rural areas in a way that brings economic prosperity, maintains social cohesion, and promotes environmental sustainability - all at the same time. But the social science research required to help reconcile these objectives must be interdisciplinary and must go beyond the boundaries of conventional rural studies. Topics that need to be dealt with range from environmental impacts of new technologies, migration, and changing land use patterns to impacts of ageing and growing diversity in the UK's population, to developments in global trade policy, food security, and "joined up" government. The research agenda for fostering sustainable rural development is large, but so are the potential benefits.

This insight emerges from a project on Rural Futures: Scoping SOcial Science Research Needs carried out by the Institute for Alternative Futures (IAF) and the Institute of Innovative Research (IiIR) at the University of Manchester. The project was commissioned by the UK's Economic and Social research Council (ESCR) to develop recommendations on priorities for long-term econojmic and social research.

Scenarios were used to stimulate creative thinking about research proorities. IAFs President, Clem Bezold, says "This approach enabled project participants to look at a wider "possibility space" of plausible futures conditions than they would have simply working from current conditions, outlooks and assumptions. The scenarios, adapted from the Countryside Agency's previous scenario study, State of the Countryside 2020, explored thee challenges presumed to be inherent in rural development: Scenario 1) Growing On: High economic growth at the expense of social cohesion and environmental sustainability. Scenario 2) Growing Together: Rapid growth done in a way that maintains social cohesion, but at the expense of environmental sustainability; Scenario 3) Green in Pieces: The countryside becomes more environmentally sustainable, but also more economically divided and socially fragmented. Scenario 4) Green Together: Economic growth, social cohesion, and enviornmental sustainability come together and prove mutually reinforcing.


Human Population and the Future of Biodiversity. An information update produced by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS): Population-Environment Linkages Series, No. 4. August, 2000.

The population of our species—which recently reached six billion—is ecologically unprecedented. “Based upon mathematical relationships comparing animal body size to habitat area, human population is estimated to have reached over 30 times what would have been expected had agriculture not been adopted (Cincotta and Engelman 2000).” We have entered an era where the extent of human numbers, per capita consumption, and technological prowess are altering global biophysical and atmospheric processes. A USC scenario in the 21st Century: Demographic Hope for BioDiversity. “According to the most recent long-range population projections, by 2100 today’s human population of six billion could reach as high as 16 billion. Alternatively, it could peak at less than 7.5 billion around 2040 and return again to below 5.5 billion by the century’s end. Between these two extreme projections lies a vast array of possible futures, including everything from continued exponential growth to early stabilization and even eventual decline. The outcome of this range of possible population trajectories, now uncertain, could make a critical difference to the prospects for conserving the remainder of our biological diversity in the coming century and beyond. The past 30 years have seen enormous progress toward providing universal access to family planning services, as called for in the Cairo Programme of Action. There is still a long distance to go. “More than 100 million married women would like to space and limit childbirth but lack access to the means to accomplish these goals.” (Alan Guttmacher Institute 1999.) Fertility rates are not descending “on their own,” in apparently spontaneous response to economic change. The investment and hard work of governments—those of developing countries as well as industrialized donor nations—and non-governmental organizations have made a difference. Studies of Southeast Asian nations suggest that today’s declining population growth rates resulted in large part from policies and programs supported decades earlier. Voluntary family planning programs were key. But so were other policies that increased the demand for these programs—especially policies that put more girls into classrooms, and opened employment opportunities for women. The future could see a continuation of today’s impressive decline in fertility—“if citizens and the governments that represent them support and fund the policies and programs that make such change possible. Decisions made today will have an enormous influence on the future size of world population. No one can accurately predict how much of a difference a stabilized or even temporarily declining world population will make to the survival of the other species that accompany us on this living planet. But the difference could hardly be small. And we humans ourselves—simultaneously the threat to, and the caretaker of, earthly life—will be among the greatest beneficiaries.”


Biomass Energy. Natural Resources Defense Council, last revised January 10, 2003
http://www.nrdc.org/air/energy/fbiom.asp.

(Note: The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is US based environmental action group dedicated to protecting the planet's wildlife and wild places and ensuring a safe and healthy environment for all living things. It has over one million members.)

In this scenario, the NRDC discusses the future use of biomass as a source of energy (such as electricity or liquid fuels) and its benefits.
“In the future, modern technology for using biomass and farms cultivating high yield energy crops, including many varieties of trees and grasses, will significantly expand the available supply of sustainable biomass energy.
“New technologies will eventually allow us to use whole plants such as fast growing willow trees and switch grass to produce ethanol, a more promising option from both an economic and an environmental perspective. Biomass energy crops, if grown in bulk, could be a profitable alternative for farmers, complementing existing crops and providing an additional source of income. A substantial amount of agricultural land exists that is marginal for conventional crop production but could be brought into productive use by growing energy crops. Perennial herbaceous and woody energy crops can be selected that also provide advantages such as erosion protection, drought tolerance, and improved animal habitat.
“The development of more productive agricultural processes that generate food, fuel, chemicals and fiber products in an integrated system will create more revenue for farmers and more rural jobs. In addition, expanded biomass power deployment can create high-skill, high-value job opportunities for utility and power equipment vendors, power plant owners and operators, and agricultural equipment vendors.
“The future widespread adoption of biomass energy in the United States depends in great part on the adoption of policies that address the global warming problem seriously by requiring reductions in fossil fuel use. Today, the success or failure of biomass as a promising, environmentally and economically sound energy source depends greatly on political factors. Tomorrow, perhaps, adoption of more biomass energy will be more of a necessity than a luxury as our fossil fuel-based resources continue to dwindle.”


The Human Genone Project: What Does Decoding DNA Mean for Us?
Author: Kevin Alexander Boon, 2002, Enslow Publishers Inc. (No notes on the author; book was written for young adults) Biology Scenario Taken from Chapter 8, A Look to the Future, page 103

Author Kevin Boon lays out a future of the 21st century in which he sees probable cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other genetic disorders. In the near term future, he believes cloning will become “as commonplace as surgery” but the activity of cloning will predominately be used to perpetuate a desirable genetic code among animals or to grow organs for human transplants. It is unlikely, Boon states, there will be much human cloning in the near future. But he does see parental efforts to genetically design children coming on strong. Although he believes public opinion and legislation will limit how much parents can actually engineer, he also believes parents will eventually see genetic engineering of their children as a right.
By 2100, Boon predicts life expectancy will be 150 to 200 years.


The Future of Life, Edward O. Wilson, 2002, Random House.
(Note on author: Edward Wilson is author of two Pulitzer Prize winning books on science and conservation. Currently he is the Pellegrino University Research Professor and Honorary Curator in Entomology of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard. He lives in Lexington, MA)

The Future of Life: A Scenario: In The Future of Life, author Edward Wilson presents a scenario describing the ecological state of the world in 2100, if current trends continue. Wilson envisions a world supporting a global population of nine to ten billion that occupies all remaining habitable areas on the plant. The “techno-scientific” civilization of the wealthy and elite countries has resulted in populations that better fed and more educated than during the previous century. But the majority of the world population remains living in developing countries and remains poor. Although war is rare, tensions and conflicts exist between the elite countries and “resentful poor countries.”
Generally, humanity is living longer; post-centarians are commonplace. Birthrates, however, have plummeted, particularly in the richest countries. Young people are recruited to these countries from the poor. The genetic homogenization of the world population has accelerated and individual biological races grow fainter as each generation passes.
By 2100, the natural world is considerably degraded. “Frontier forests are typically gone” as are most of the world’s biodiversity “hotspots” and half of the plant and animals species. There is no Amazon, no Congo, no New Guinea wilderness; “coral reefs, rivers and other aquatic habitats are badly deteriorated.” The few remaining wild habitats are closely guarded.
“The fragmentary biodiversity that survived to 2100 has also become much more geographically simplified” thanks to easy migration of organisms. “To travel around the world along any chosen latitude is to encounter mostly the same small set of introduced birds, mammals, insects, and microbes.” The human population understands, too late, “that Earth is a much poorer place than it was back in 2000, and will stay that way forever.”
“Such is likely to be the world of 2100—if present trends continue.”


Tomorrow Now, Envisioning the Next Fifty Years
Bruce Sterling, 2002, Random House.

In his recent book, Bruce Sterling describes a biotech future in which “inside of you is where it’s at” and bacteria is your friend. People are “DNA literate,” according to Sterling, “even a five year old child can tell you not just that you have an influenza virus but what kind you have and where it came from.” Bacteria are viewed as “little chemical factories that can put DNA to work. They turn raw, cheap chemical feedstocks into almost anything that DNA can make: proteins, hormones, drugs, antibodies – and structural materials: skin, horn, bone, coral, bamboo, plastics even.” People drive hydrogen powered vehicles that cause no pollution and will, upon command, become compost. Showers are in fact, body imaging systems that scan daily for health status while toilets measure and report a body’s metabolic information. There are no human conditions such as tooth decay or dandruff, and glasses are no longer needed. “Pills don’t contain drugs but rather organisms that make drugs inside of you.” Homes are made
entirely of organic substances; lawns are biodiverse centers. And although the world is genetically altered, there are no mutants or monsters.


Sustainable Food and Farming in the Connecticut River Valley: A Vision.
Author: Small Systems Company, 1995. http://www.smsys.com/pub/cisa/part4.htm

Note: Small Systems Company provides design, consulting, and production services in four general areas: 1) technology and enterprise, 2) environmental restoration and planning, 3) architecture and construction, and 4) community and business development). Small Systems Company created a series of scenarios on the topics of farming and sustainability. The scenarios are set in the year 2020.

FUTURE SCENARIO 1: The Farm and Food Council is holding its regular monthly meeting. The Youth Farm Service Corps director reports that urban youth have enrolled for mandatory two year programs and one teen in the group indicates they are now “compost-certified.” The Valley Farmland Trust reports it is purchasing 1400 developed acreage that will be returned to farmland and discusses the possibility of installing “bubbles” over land creating greenhouse so the growing season can be extended to year-round. The Grow Local campaign is reported a success.

FUTURE SCENARIO 2: Sixty Minutes is doing a segment on the successs of the farming effort in the valley. Mike Wallace reports that food production in the area has doubled over the last 25 years thanks to two programs: the Grow Local campaign and teen education and training in farming. He also reports that this community has no jails; lawbreakers are put to work on local farms instead of in jails.

FUTURE SCENARIO 3: The setting is an auction of the last premium space for farming and recreation in the area. The closing bid: 150 million dollars (US).

FUTURE SCENARIO 4: Town Meeting is scheduled for tonight. On the agenda: a proposal to increase subsidies to farm workers. The proposal is expected to pass without any problems.

FUTURE SCENARIO 5: Malls no longer exist in the valley; they have been replaced by farms. Residents now predominately buy foods that are locally grown. Kids belong to very active 4-H clubs. The bike path gets lots of use; waking is a favorite mode of transportation. People are now more environmentally conscious.

FUTURE SCENARIO 6: Grandparents describe the 20th century to their grandson. It was a time when people ate something called a hamburger, at a place called McDonald's, but McDonald’s no longer exists; and when Styrofoam was heavily used and is still cluttering the landfills. Grandfather describes his involvement in setting up the clustered housing they now live in and Uncle Terry’s work to rid the river of jet skis and other mechanized vehicles. The youth asks about taxes. Grandfather explains that there are no longer taxes.

FUTURE SCENARIO 7: At a gathering at a local restaurant, where, of course only locally grown food is served, participants are electronically communicating with farmers from all over the world. They are reporting that the area is importing substantially less food than it did 25 years ago and that most of the food in stores here is now locally grown. The farmers, sporting an average age of 35 years, are solvent, crops are stable and provide them with a good return. Organic farming has replaced chemical-intensive farming. Agriculture is taught in the schools; even the youngest understand the food and waste systems. Ninety-five percent of waste is composed.

SCENARIO THEMES: In the year 2020 - Composting and recycling are practiced diligently; resources are renewed; the "grow local/buy local" campaign has paid off; wisdom and expertise are routinely imparted via the Internet - advances in communications technology allow the exchange of ideas, advice and knowledge on an international level with "sister cities; financial support is provided through bank loans, barter, collectives, development corporations; first-time farmers receive the aid that was not available a quarter-century earlier; farmland is passed on through families, and continues to be used for agricultural purposes; farming no longer relies solely on petroleum and pesticides; advances in biotechnology have improved the quality quantity and shelf life of crops; genetic engineering has created disease- and pest-resistant livestock and crops; the growing season is extended, and we can grow fruits and vegetables that once flourished only in tropical climates; children are an integral part of the farming community; agriculture is incorporated in the curriculum in all grades; a career in farming has prestige; housing is clustered; there is a shift toward more human, family, community values; the extended family is once again a visible component of the community; the community is more self-sufficient.


Our Posthuman Future, Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution.
Author: Francis Fukuyama, 2002, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux Pub.

In his most recent book, Francis Fukuyama takes the position that “biotech will have profound and potentially terrible consequences for our political order and belief that human beings are equal by nature.” Biotech’s most significant threat, he states, is the possibility that it will alter human nature and thereby move us into a "posthuman" stage that will have “malign consequences for liberal democracy and the nature of politics itself.” He argues for regulatory limits on biotech advances and believes such limits can be enforced by the global community.
Fukuyama puts forth a number for future scenarios for the next one or two generations:

“The first scenario has to do with new drugs. As a result of advances in neuropharmacology, psychologists discover that human personality is much more plastic than formerly believed…..But in the future, knowledge of genomics permits pharmaceutical companies to tailor drugs very specifically to the genetic profiles of individual patients and greatly minimise unintended side effects. Stolid people can become vivacious; introspective ones extroverted; you can adopt one personality on Wednesday and another for the weekend. There is no longer any excuse for anyone to be depressed or unhappy; even "normally" happy people can make themselves happier without worries of addiction, hangovers, or long-term brain damage.

“In the second scenario, advances in stem cell research allow scientists to regenerate virtually any tissue in the body, such that life expectancies are pushed well above 100 years. If you need a new heart or liver, you just grow one inside the chest cavity of a pig or cow; brain damage from Alzheimer's and stroke can be reversed. The only problem is that there are many subtle and some not-so-subtle aspects of human ageing that the biotech industry hasn't quite figured out how to fix: people grow mentally rigid and increasingly fixed in their views as they age, and try as they might, they can't make themselves sexually attractive to each other and continue to long for partners of reproductive age. Worst of all, they just refuse to get out of the way, not just of their children, but their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. On the other hand, so few people have children or any connection with traditional reproduction that it scarcely seems to matter.
“The social impact of ever increasing life expectancies will depend …..on the "evenness" of future life-prolonging advances.

The best scenario would be one in which technology simultaneously pushes back parallel ageing processes - for instance, by the discovery of a common molecular source of ageing in all somatic cells, and the delaying of this process throughout the body. Failure of the different parts would come at the same time….“The worst scenario would be one of highly uneven advance, in which, for example, we found ways to preserve bodily health but could not put off age-related mental deterioration. Stem cell research might yield ways to grow new body parts. But without a parallel cure for Alzheimer's, this wonderful new technology would do no more than allow more people to persist in vegetative states for years longer than is currently possible. “An explosion in the number of people in category two might be labeled the "national nursing home scenario", in which people routinely live to be 150 but spend the last 50 years in a state of childlike dependence on caretakers.

“In a third scenario, the wealthy routinely screen embryos before implantation so as to optimise the kind of children they have. You can increasingly tell the social background of a young person by his or her looks and intelligence; if someone doesn't live up to social expectations, he tends to blame bad genetic choices by his parents rather than himself. Human genes have been transferred to animals and even to plants, for research purposes and to produce new medical products; and animal genes have been added to certain embryos to increase their physical endurance or resistance to disease. Scientists have not dared to produce a full-scale chimera, half human and half ape, though they could; but young people begin to suspect that classmates who do much less well than they do are in fact genetically not fully human. Because, in fact, they aren't.”


Energy and Transportation Task Force Report.
Author: Global Business Network Prepared for the President’s Council on Sustainable Development (1996), as part of the Sustainable Energy and Transportation Scenarios Project http://clinton4.nara.gov/PCSD/Publications/TF-Reports/energy_appa.html

The Energy and Transportation Task Force report was one of seven such reports prepared for the President’s Council on Sustainable Development to understand how energy and transportation systems might evolve in the future. The report outlines four scenarios set in the year 2025, which explore the interplay of the global economy and the environment.

Scenario 1) The Way We Are: “This is a world where gradual change continues, but the future is not necessarily a mirror of the past. The restructuring of the global economy is the major force shaping this scenario. Fragmentation, not cooperation, keeps people’s lives a bit unsettled. A shifting job market in the U.S. and the resulting underemployment keep real incomes stagnant in many sectors well into the new century. In this world, people desire more mobility, but also face increasing congestion. Looking back from 2025, observers would note that most Americans are better off, in part due to technology instead of rapidly increasing incomes, but remain conce
rned by chronic social problems and a latent perception that the United States is no longer the world’s economic power.”

Scenario 2) Inclusive Development: “This is a world where social and economic priorities overwhelm environmental ones, at least temporarily. Over the course of the 1990s, a new social consensus emerges in the U.S., acknowledging that the widening gap in incomes and advancement opportunities is not sustainable. As the trend continued into the 1990s, concerns about social justice came into the forefront – a concern that already motivated many environmentally concerned citizens. The Inclusive Development scenario presents the story of a new political bargain that delays the timing of environmental progress.”

Scenario 3) Eco-Crisis: “In this future, the onset of global climate change is characterized by increasing weather variability and turbulence, which quickly reaches crisis intensity by the year 2001. This phenomenon is not limited to the United States, as Asia, Europe and other pa
rts of the globe are hard hit. Following close behind are two nuclear accidents in Europe, which surprise and shock the world. A series of steps, which move beyond strictly environmental concerns to include trade and security, are taken to restructure and ensure a more harmonious relationship between the environment and economic development.”

Scenario 4) Eco-Eco-Tech (Economic-Ecological-Technologies): “This is a world of increasing environmental awareness linked with a strong U.S. (and global) economy, technological developments, and governmental initiatives to create cooperative win-win solutions. Unlike the previous scenarios, this world is driven by the values of the baby boomers, who occupy top management and policy positions and favor market and incentive-based approaches. But as this scenario plays out, not everyone in society benefits from these technological changes, with technological elites receiving most of the gains from economic and environmental improvements.”


North American Transportation Energy Futures Study – Long Term Scenarios to 2050.
Office of Transportation Technologies Department of Energy, July 2002 www.ott.gov/future_highway.htnl

The North American Transportation Energy Futures Study outlines three long-term scenarios for the evolution of the North American transportation sector through the period 2000-2050. Based on three drivers – energy interdependence, environmental responsiveness and the pace of innovation – the scenarios are designed to estimate the energy, oil carbon and economic impacts of introducing alternative technology/fuels into the North American market over the next 50 years.

Scenario 1) Greening the Pump: “This is a world with a slow pace of innovation, full of energy interdependence and high environmental responsiveness. Fuels such as natural gas are preferred for the North American market while conventional, offshore and oil sands resources are extracted processed and used in incrementally cleaner and more efficient ways. Technology investment is mainly for the demonstration and deployment of off-the-shelf technologies. This focus on deployment and nearer term activities resulted in a very uneven pattern of investment along the innovation chain. The lack of commitment to longer-term planning and R&D in transportation left North American with limited pools of technologies from which to draw on.”

Scenario 2) Rollin’ On: “Full energy interdependence and a revolutionary pace of innovation with low environmental responsiveness have led to a North American transportation sector with a high reliance on fossil fuels. North Americans growing demand for passenger and freight transportation are met by a concerted effort of governments and industry. Rapid growth and capital stock turnover result in the new technologies being developed and deployed as rapidly as possible and North American energy sources tapped and delivered to market.”

Scenario 3) Go Your Own Way: Rapid innovation, limited energy interdependence and high environmental responsiveness have led to regions in North America seeking their own solutions to the development of a sustainable energy system. Rapid innovation has produced a variety of fuel and vehicle choices; however, many of the individual country solutions are constrained by the slate of vehicles and drive trains produced by the U.S. who continues to be one of the major vehicle suppliers. This world sees the greatest strides in renewable energies, fuel cell technology and biofuels.”


Hubbert’s Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage.
Author: Kenneth S. Deffeyes. Princeton Univ Press, October, 2001.

In Hubbert's Peak, Deffeyes writes about the history and future of the oil business. He says quite frankly that, “ the 100-year petroleum era is nearly over. Global oil production will peak sometime between 2004 and 2008, and the world's production of crude oil will fall, never to rise again.” “…If nothing is done to reduce the increasing global demand for oil--energy prices will soar and economies will be plunged into recession as they desperately search for alternatives.” Is this just another doomsayer forecast? The original author of “Hubbert’s Peak,” M. King Hubbert, was a Shell geologist who, in 1956 predicted that U.S. oil production would peak in the early 1970s and then begin to decline. Hubbert was dismissed by many experts inside and outside the oil industry. Pro-Hubbert and anti-Hubbert factions arose and persisted until 1970, when U.S. oil production peaked and started its long decline. (Scientific American) The Hubbert method is based on the observation that oil production in any region follows a bell-shaped curve. Production increases rapidly at first, as the cheapest and most readily accessible oil is recovered. As the difficulty of extracting the oil increases, it becomes more expensive and less competitive with other fuels. Production slows, levels off and begins to fall. In the last chaper of this book, “A New Outlook”, Mr. Deffeyes boldly assumes that Hubbert’s theory is correct and makes a case for an imaginative scenario.

Scenario: A Hubbert Scenario of Crisis and a Case for Normative Action. “An unprecedented crisis occurs during the first quarter and second quarter of the 21st Century. There will be chaos in the oil industry, in governments, and in national economies. Even if governments and industries were to recognize the problems, it is too late to reverse the trend. Oil production begins to shrink. In an earlier, politically incorrect era the scene would be described as a "Chinese fire drill." What will happen to the rest of us? In a sense, the oil crises of the 1970s and 1980s were a laboratory test. We were the lab rats in that experiment. Gasoline was rationed both by price and by the inconvenience of long lines at the gas stations. The increased price of gasoline and diesel fuel raised the cost of transporting food to the grocery store. We were told that 90 percent of an Iowa corn farmer's costs were, directly and indirectly, fossil fuel costs. As price rises rippled through the economy, there were many unpleasant disruptions. In the future, particularly around 2010, to avoid deprivation resulting from the exhaustion of non-renewable resources, humanity must employ conservation and renewable resource substitutes sufficient to match depletion.” Anticipating that demand for energy will continue to increase as supplies decline, humanity may, in a normative sense (with the exception of some elements of “Deprivation”), adjust by some combination of the following: Conservation -- the same life-style accomplished with more energy-efficient artifacts ... more fuel-efficient cars; Life-Style Change -- a form of conservation: telecommuting instead of commuting ... back to the land ... living closer to work ... ; Substitution -- using other energy sources to accomplish the same objectives ... solar power... walking not driving .. ; Deprivation -- just plain doing without ... no more plane trips to visit the family across the country ... or, more seriously, pestilence ... mass starvation ... war ...”

The following graph depicts possible alternative scenarios for humanity (as described above) as oil goes into decline over the next few decades.


Plotting Corporate Futures: Biotechnology Examines What Could Go Wrong.
Author: Barnaby J. Feder. New York Times Business/Financial Section. June 24, 1999.

As biotechnology becomes more widespread and debated as a global issue, Montsanto, a company oftentimes “demonized” by environmentalists, invited Jeremy Rifkin and 13 members of the World Business Council to lead a scenario planning session about the future landscape of biotechnology to the year 2030. Mr. Rifkin, an environmentalist, is known the world over for his illustrious statesmanship and environmental protests. To say the least, this scenario exercise caught Montsanto by surprise. It increased awareness of the vital importance of challenging assumptions. Can we, in 2002, make assumptions about public reactions to political surprises, potential industrial accidents, and social disruption in the future? In a normative sense, Montsanto’s scenario exercise presents a good example to other industries manufacturing product-lines with long-range impacts that may or may not affect the environment in a good way, such as, insect-resistant crops and blockbuster drugs.

Scenario One: Unheeded. “In the first scenario, none of the critics' warnings about health and environmental hazards prove warranted and biotechnology products gain widespread acceptance. It is not a happily-ever-after story for the companies, though, because success brings wide-ranging consequences and challenges. This scenario includes examples of the social and political impact of large numbers of people living past the age of 100. There are pressures to divert public spending and product development to the needs of the elderly. Some biotechnology products in this story become unprofitable because they become so widespread that they turn into low-margin commodities.”

Scenario Two: Chaos Theory. “Complex systems can be changed radically by tiny disruptions that have dramatic ripple effects. This story turns on an event such as publication of a small research report attributing an environmental setback to genetically engineered crops. This in turn kicks off a string of public reactions leading to drastic regulations that stifle many biotechnology applications. A Presidential candidate who is courting environmentalists is cast as the leader of the anti-biotech charge. One plot twist to this story : the perceived threat to the environment is the result of faulty research. The lesson for the industry: the same science that serves you so well today can trip you up in the hands of critics.”

Scenario Three: The Market Decides. “In the third story, which might be summarized as ''thanks but no thanks,'' consumers and financial markets decide that most biotechnology applications simply are not as appealing as the alternatives. Insurers balk at liability risks and investors flee the industry's meager returns. Agricultural biotechnology markets shrink as farmers and consumers embrace organic food. Biotechnology becomes a tool to improve breeding techniques rather than to move genes among different species. At the same time, health care companies conclude there is limited profit in engineering new drugs and in harvesting organs for transplants in humans from genetically engineered animals. Instead, they use their expertise to analyze people's vulnerability to certain diseases and then reap profits from advising people how to avoid getting sick.”


Scenarios for a Clean Future (CEF).
Report commissioned by the US Department of Energy (DOE), 2001.

The Interlaboratory Working Group was commissioned by the DOE to examine the potential for public policies and programs to foster efficient and clean energy technology solutions. The introduction to this work communicates a number of energy and environmental challenges as humanity moves into the 21st century; among them: acid rain, rising sea levels, and more extreme weather. The CEF scenarios address energy and environmental concerns & issues for the next 20 years, then couples them with a well-surveyed analysis of current and future policy solutions. This highly quantitative study provides near-term issues to illustrate specific clean energy technology and policy opportunities.

Scenario One: “Advanced” & Scenario Two: “Moderate”: Both scenarios develop into highly quantitative charts, graphs, NAU forecasts for 2010 (for both scenarios ), as well as assessments of Btu, cost, demographics, consumption of domestic and imported crude oil and petroleum products; and, an additional set of NAU quantitative forcasts for 2020 . These forecasts are defined by fifty policy actions. The following 10 are the most important: In the Building Sector: efficiency standards for equipment, voluntary labeling, and deployment programs; For Industry in General: voluntary programs; voluntary agreements with individual industries and trade associations; In the Transportation Sector: voluntary fuel economy agreements with auto manufacturers; “pay-at-the-pump” auto insurance; For Electric Generators: renewable energy portfolio standards & production tax credits and electric industry restructuring.

The scenarios led to three key conclusions: 1) Smart public policy can significantly reduce carbon emissions; 2) Overall economic benefit of good policy matches cost; 3) CEF Scenarios show an abundance of good policy to consider on a local, state, regional, and national level.


Weathering the Debate Over Climate Change.
Author: Peter Schwartz, Red Herring Magazine, January, 2002.

In this compelling article, Mr. Schwartz writes about what we know and what we don’t know about climate change. What we know is, that we are experiencing a period of climate change. What we don’t know is, “how fast it is changing? What are the dynamics of climate change? Where will it end up?” Humanity is on the threshold of understanding that climate change is indeed, the result of “human activity amplifying dynamics.” Mr. Schwartz reviews three theories of climate change and encourages scientists to watch climate change more carefully and to continue improving climate science and modeling. A profound book Mr. Schwartz references in this article, “The Two-Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future(Princeton University Press, 2000), quotes Dr. Alley, professor of geosciences : “Our ice core records show that huge shifts have happened in the climate – not over centuries or even decades, but over years.” Humanity needs to go beyond the threshold of understanding, and walk into the living room of more actionable study. This takes courage.

Scenario One: Gradual Warming: “We could experience a gradual warming of 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century. Such a change could be highly disruptive, especially to agriculture. The reduction of greenhouse gases proposed in the Kyoto protocol is far too modest to help change this scenario.”

Scenario Two: Modest Blip: “In this scenario, there is little cause for concern, because we are experiencing just a modest blip and will return to stability. But if it proves wrong, then trusting in it will prove catastrophic.”

Scenario Three: An Era: “Finally, the third scenario is an era of unstable climate extremes. We don't know when the climate will whipsaw, but human activity will likely produce change sooner and cause it to be more extreme. If this scenario is correct, then it may make sense to reduce our output of greenhouse gases much further and faster than the Kyoto protocols dictate.”


Game Changer.
Author: Anders Hove, RAND Corporation (with the assistance of James Bartis, Richard Silberglitt and Helena Chum of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy.)
“Game Changers" is the title of a RAND study about the innovations and technologies that could potentially drive discontinuous change on a global scale. The technologies examined in this article focus on those that could change the environmental landscape. These include methane hydrates (a large source of energy that is currently untapped), the prospect of a hydrogen-powered economy, and the regulation of contaminants that are only now emerging as problems in our water supply. “Water World”, written by Anders Hove, is a scenario to the year 2020.
Water World: Powering the Nation with Hydrogen: “Imagine a world powered almost entirely by an infinitely abundant and totally clean fuel. Hydrogen is just such a fuel: the most common element in the universe, it can be made from water and used to generate ordinary electricity for homes and cars. In such a world energy would come from an easily stored and domestically produced fuel. Electric power and transportation would be totally clean and entirely free of messy geopolitical problems. Peering into the glass, we could see people using "cHars" -- run on powerful but silent fuel cells -- as mobile power plants. Plugging the home into the family car in the evening would offset the peak loads created by heating, air conditioning, lighting, and recreation. At work, employees could receive a bonus check every month for contributing power to the office park "grid." Unlike fossil fuels used in today's cars and power plants, the only by-product of hydrogen power would be pure water. With hydrogen the challenge isn't finding a supply, but extracting the hydrogen cheaply and cleanly.” ("Yes, my friends," [said Cyrus Smith], "I believe that one day water will be used as a fuel -- that the hydrogen and the oxygen which constitute it, separately or simultaneously, will provide an inexhaustible source of heat and light of an intensity unknown to petroleum. One day, instead of being fired with coal, steamships and locomotives will be propelled by these two compressed gases, which will burn in their engines with enormous energy. Thus there is nothing to fear. As long as the earth is inhabited it shall provide for the needs of its inhabitants, and they will never want for light or heat... Water is the coal of the future." "That I'd like to see," said the sailor. Jules Verne, The Mysterious Island, 1874)


Scenarios for society and the environment in 2020.
The Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency asked the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies to outline four scenarios for tomorrow’s society and environment. Each of the four scenarios presents its vision of how society and the environment will interact in 2020. The scenarios are outlined in a graph with two axes – a society axis and an environment axis, which together create the four scenarios. The two axes are produced from answers given in qualitative interviews with a number of key players in the environment area, including representatives from NGOs, industry and the authorities. The society axis illustrates actions in society. We may have a situation where environmental initiatives originate at the bottom of society or a situation where initiatives are primarily centralised. The other axis is aimed directly at the environment and environmental discussions. The axis illustrates a world where, at one extreme, environmental discussions are characterised by little or almost no will to create a sustainable society. Each of the following four scenarios paints its own picture of Denmark in the future.

Scenario 1. A world on the brink of environmental disaster. All danger signals have been ignored, and we must react immediately to save the world.

Scenario 2. A technologicalised world. Man lives in symbiosis with technology, and environmental problems are solved by means of technological innovations.

Scenario 3. The staged world. We live in a society of entertainment, and environmental questions must amuse us to catch our attention.

Scenario 4. A world at peace with nature. Danes have come to their senses. We have realised that we have caused excessive environmental impact over time and are now reacting accordingly.

Consumer Power. Author: by Joel Makower, edior of the “Green Business Letter” and creator of GreenBiz.com, a nonprofit resource center on corporate environmental responsibility.
Mr. Makower takes a look at how technology and economy growth have impacted consumption, waste generation, and energy use patterns over the last 50 years. This study takes a close look at consumer habits and trends; as well as industrial trends that contribute to environmental responsibility. Of course, there are the downsides – environmental work has only begun, particulaly with the enhancements & effectivness of technologies and educating the consumer. Three current trends are described as having a significant impact on consumer decisions in the marketplace:
1) “Sustainable Consumption" Goes Mainstream - “Amid an age of plenty -- at least in the U.S. and other industrialized nations -- there is growing interest in the simple question about "How much is enough?" This question is certainly not new, but more recently it has extended beyond a small corps of alternative lifestylers to more mainstream folks. who, for a variety of reasons, are beginning to question the linkages between quantity of possessions and quality of life.”;
2) Looking Beyond Products to Companies - “The protests over the notion of globalization in recent years are a pointed reminder of the growing collision of environmental concerns with those of human rights, labor, and community economic development -- the so-called triple bottom lines of economic, environmental, and social sustainability. Activists -- and a few enlightened business leaders -- are recognizing that companies increasingly are being judged not just on how much economic value they add, but also on how much environmental and social value they add -- or destroy.”
3) The Rising Power of NGOs: - This third trend reviews a scenario written by World Resources Institute scientist Allen Hammond in his book, Which World? This book explored three scenarios of possibilities for how the global future may unfold. In the scenario, “Transformed World” Hammond describes an explosion in the number and influence of nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs. The NGO’s power, he said, comes from their “ability, despite the bewildering number of causes they espouse, to form spontaneous coalitions and to motivate and arouse public opinion.” The concluding portion of Mr. Makower examines the “state” of Hammond’s 1998 scenario.
The State of a 1998 Scenario: “Transformed World”. “ Whether "Transformed World" comes to pass remains to be seen, but the transforming power of the NGOs already is evident. In recent years, coalitions of activists increasingly have influenced how companies, politicians, and the public think about issues ranging from child labor to sustainable forestry. The world of NGOs -- which range from public-service and humanitarian-relief agencies to local, national, and global activist organizations -- is growing. For example, in 1948 there were 41 consultative groups formally associated with the UN Economic and Social Council. Half a century later, there were more than 1,500.
Why the growth? One contributing factor may be the near paralysis of government institutions in addressing environmental and sustainability issues. Another may be the recognition that there is a wealth of knowledge and expertise outside of government and the private sector. Still another is a sense that cooperation is needed to produce new technologies and policies. Today's NGOs are more willing to engage companies in productive dialogues and partnerships. They are better tuned to what makes companies tick, and they know how to leverage meager resources to promote corporate change.
Consider, for example, the experiences of one well-known consumer-products company that came under scrutiny by a group of "zero-waste" NGOs for failing to live up to a commitment to use a significant percentage of recycled material in its packaging. The NGOs placed the company on a list of targets for a nationwide campus boycott. Most such boycotts have negligible effect on company sales and profitability, and this boycott was no exception. But the NGOs added a twist: College students also were urged to boycott the company's recruiters when they visited campuses seeking to interview potential job candidates.
That hurt. The company's top environmental manager received a call from senior management, wanting to know how the company got into this mess -- and how it could get out of it. In an economy in which a company's ability to attract and retain talent has become a source of competitive advantage, the recruitment boycott cut to this company's core business strategy. NGOs' roles can cut both ways. As P.J. Simmons writes in "Learning to Live with NGOs": "Embracing a bewildering array of beliefs, interests, and agendas, they have the potential to do as much harm as good. Hailed as the exemplars of grassroots democracy in action, many NGOs are, in fact, decidedly undemocratic and unaccountable to the people they claim to represent. Dedicated to promoting more openness and participation in decisionmaking, they can instead lapse into old-fashioned interest group politics that produces gridlock on a global scale."
All signs indicate that NGOs' power will not wane any time soon. During the 1990s, NGOs rose to become almost de facto governments, often wielding more clout than elected officials in engendering change in the corporate sector. Emboldened by their fight against globalization and empowered by the Internet, NGOs increasingly will band together to fight industrial pollution, push a sustainability agenda, and encourage consumer participation. But NGO activity won't all be anti-business: Many groups will promote firms they see as proactive and responsible, create buyers' groups to support emerging technologies, and even launch for-profit ventures to jump-start promising products and services. All of which will create opportunities for companies and consumers to engage in new and productive dialogues.”


The Future of Consumer Power Mr. Makower summarizes his final conclusions with a summary chapter, The Future of Consumer Power. “Where green consumerism goes from here will depend a great deal on the ability to unite companies and consumers. The problems described above -- the lack of public understanding of the relationship between purchases and environmental impacts, the timidity of companies to make environmentally bold statements, and the need for businesses to vastly increase their communication with consumers on environmental topics -- can only be solved by a kind of shared vision between producers and their customers. In the end, the future will hinge on everyone's ability to improve environmental literacy at all levels, from elementary school to the marketplace. The challenge will be to communicate in a fair, balanced, and accurate way the impact of everyday purchases on the environment in a way that will empower, not alienate, consumers. Without such empowerment, the majority of consumers will be doomed to a frustrating and cynical assumption that there is little they can do and it is up to others to solve the planet's woes. The environmental and social marketplace is a dynamic, living entity, and today's marketplaces appear more dynamic than ever. The turn of the century has seen the birth and maturing of new environmental and sustainability issues around which consumers are increasingly being heard. The growing furor over genetically modified organisms, for example, whose marketing often promotes their environmental benefits, points up the double-edge sword of environmental technologies in the era of the triple bottom line: They must do more than merely reduce pollution; they must also improve people's lives. Energy deregulation and the advent of so-called "green power" is another area rife with opportunities for consumers to vote with their dollars. The growing activism against sprawl -- and all of the congestion, pollution, and loss of green space that comes with it -- may represent yet another area in which companies will come under consumer and activist scrutiny. On the horizon loom other, increasingly sophisticated, information-based technologies, such as robotics, genetics, and nanotechnology. All three bring the promise of dramatic new breakthroughs in food, medicine, communications, and other commodities needed for a sustainable world -- as well as the potential to wreak havoc on social structure and natural ecosystems. In the coming years, as these technologies' capabilities become commercialized at breakneck speed, the power of consumers in the marketplace will undoubtedly play a role in whether and how these products succeed -- and their impact on the environmental and social landscape.”


The Sheldon Scenarios.
A collaboration created for the Architectural Program for the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2002.

The leadership of the Contemporary Arts Architectural Working Group asked a very significant question: What form will the arts take in the future? The arts, not unlike the global economy, have highly uncertain elements. Yet, there are predetermined notions that the arts will continue “as is” - mostly derived from global trends - particularly historic triggers in Europe. (A stone already knows what it will be before it is carved? [Michelangelo].) Can the arts be predetermined? Architecture is among the arts. What is the future of the building? (*There is an excellent book by Stewart Brand, “How Buildings Learn”.) The Architectural Working Group acknowledged that these challenges are all dynamic in nature and therefore, it was decided that scenario planning would help the Working Group to envision future changes in architecture to optimise solutions and opportunities. Key questions asked among the Working Group:
1) “What is the future of cultural institutions?
2) “What is the future of the relationships between economy and culture?
3) “How can form serve to support the building of community through experience?
4) “What will the dynamic be between new media and technology and the arts and culture?
5) “How does an organization plan through a structure to support innovative thought and creative action toward the development of a vital cultural community?” Four scenarios for each of five elements were developed. The five elements: External Environment, Structuring, Sustaining, Experiencing, and Movements. Each element contained a set of four distinct scenarios. In sum, this study developed a total of 20 scenarios of the future of architecture. Here is a sampling of four (out of the 20), representing the “External Environment”.

“External Environment” Scenario One: Institute Showcase. “The economy is stable and subtly stratified. The work environment is steady and stratified into 25% information and management workers, and 70% in service and some manufacturing. Income difference between these groups is significant. Downtown development in both residential and commercial areas progresses. Development spreading out from the Arena finally reaches Sheldon. Country retreats and the nostalgia of small towns are popular escapes. New technology blossomed, then was quickly overrun by commercial interests and trash. Currently, internet techies still progress the technology, but it never took off for broad community and democratic discourse. People seek cultural experiences that reinforce and develop their interests. Meaning is found in exposure to new forms and ideas. People value their personal objects. People associate mostly with other individuals of similar economic, religious, and cultural backgrounds.”

“External Enviornment” Scenario Two: Urban Community. “Businesses work to maximize profit by targeting upper income groups, government, and other businesses resulting in extreme economic stratification. Manufacturing moves offshore and value of commercial property plummets as economy is based on financial paper and information. Work is scarce for 40% of the eligible population. The government gives credit for volunteering in community service organizations. UICA qualifies as a site for these credits. Downtown becomes deserted as financial power centers move to Ada, Cascade, and Holland. Regional and local planning bodies are controlled largely by corporate politics. New technology has grown under the control of big commercial media companies. However, access is expensive, putting it out of the reach of 70% of the population. Microsoft Network is the ultimate because it is seamless, organized, and composed. People seek cultural experiences through which one gains a sense of place in community through material interaction with form. Meaning is made by focused engagement with material. There is a reverence for hand-made objects: crafts, weaving, pottery, and gardening are popular. People value family keepsakes. People associate within groups of similar social, religious and political beliefs. Radical political groups thrive.”

“External Environment” Scenario Three: Contemporary Bazaar. “Businesses work to maximize profit by creating many targeted micromarkets. Success in this approach hinges on effective prediction and control of consumers' interests. Choice is high and costs are low. The economy is fast and diversified. The world of work is process-oriented and individualized. People organize in professional firms and trade groups which facilitate protocol between trades and distribute projects to its members. Zoning quickly responds to the market. Both the city and the suburbs experience continuous and quick redevelopment, with shifting phases of growth and deterioration. New media is the focal point of culture and commerce. People seek cultural experiences that refine individual interests. Meaning is found by developing one's interests through refinement of technical understanding. People value personal tools and technologies. People associate mostly with other individuals of similar professional and recreational interests. Many relationships begin on the internet. There is a strong resurgence of cultural uniformity.”

“External Enviornment” Scenario Four: Art Expo. “The economy is diversified, with quickly changing markets. The work environment is organized by projects. People work based on independent contracts and form crossdisciplinary relationships, teaming up for specific projects. Consequently income, activity, and schedules are erratic. Neighborhood centers grow and diversify, including downtown, with a mix of commercial and residential. Small town and rural locations are popular options for homes and businesses. New media has become ubiquitous: small, wireless, inexpensive and commonplace. People seek cultural experiences in which new connections among people are formed. Meaning is made through progressive cyclical shifting from experiencing form to engaging in discourse. People value new policy. People associate in ever-changing and overlapping networks of contacts centered on projects, events, and activities.”


A Whole Earth View of the Global Environment and Environmental Movement.
Author: Peter Warshall, Whole Earth

Peter Warshall discusses the "briefest history of the environmental movement ever written," accompanied by a compelling future vision for the environmental movement - a staple for environmental scenarios and a lesson for business to learn. As Warshall puts it, "Environmentalism" has transformed government, business, religious, and citizen organizations throughout the planet. This is the story, much condensed...[taking into account]...Industrial ecology, conservation biology, ecological economics, environmental health, environmental justice, green plans, natural resources management, landscape ecology, and international environmental law; ... thousands of citizen groups, government bureaucrats, consultants, teachers, and corporate departments concerned with environmental matters. This author firmly believes that the environmental movement strengthened both the democracy movements, especially in former communist nations, and "side agreements" on labor and health in international trade pacts.

Lifeboat Earth: The environmental movement to the present changed the world - “ burning down walls between disciplines formerly considered separate (e.g., ecology and economics, transportation infrastructure and fisheries); reviving the British idea of "commons,” but transforming it into an enriched sense of one kind of common embedded into another: local commons embedded in a network of many-places-commons; a many-places-network inside a global commons, and all of it under the umbrella of the human mythic/moral commons. This expansive view of common grounds has followed the increasing worldwide acceptance of the planet as a metaphorical "lifeboat"... the image of Earth afloat in an inhospitable universe revives pride and care for the biosphere.” For any scenarist or futurist contemplating scenarios for business, governance, international, or local, some serious questions must be considered: Will in 2010 or 2020 "this ecological and moral view persuade enough citizens, and take hold in time to prevent serious local and global disasters?" In all likelihood, according to Warshall, the future holds one of many, but still, a startling vision: the environmental movement, especially since the 1960s, being visited and revisited so that the vision continually "revision(s) the planet and keep the boat afloat."


World Energy Outlook 2000.
International Energy Agency (IEA)

According to the OECD, "The International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook has become the authoritative source for medium-term projections of the world’s energy future." This report presents probable developments from now to the year 2020. Most importantly, the projected "reference scenario” takes into account those greenhouse gas policies that have been adopted since 1997 and are now in place in OECD countries. Along with solid global statistics, this report offers a selection of "alternative cases", which trace what could happen if additional measures were taken.
Reference Scenario of the WEO 2000: “This scenario is dynamic, expanding and rapidly changing. It assumes that the world economy will grow by 3% a year, that fossil fuel prices remain flat till 2010, then rise to $28 in today's money by 2020. In that event, overall energy demand will grow by 57 percent over twenty years, just slightly below the rate in recent years. CO2 emissions will swell by 60% or 2.1% annually - one-third from power generation. Fossil fuels - coal, oil and natural gas - will continue to provide 90% of the world's primary energy, although gas will displace coal in some regions. Petroleum will remain the dominant fuel, meeting 40% of world energy needs. Oil use will surge from 76 million barrels a day now to 115 mb/d in 2020. Nuclear power output will remain constant in absolute terms, but decline as a proportion of total energy supply as older nuclear reactors in Europe and North America are retired. New renewable energy sources will increase rapidly, from 2% to 3% of total demand. " In addition to the reference scenario, there are two alternative growth scenarios for both high growth and low growth, with a different set of assumptions made about the range of possible economic growth rates among industrial, transitional, EE/FSU, and developing economies. For the high growth, one percentage point is added; for low growth one percentage point is subtracted, using the reference case as the median.
NOTE: Another way to examine the uncertainty associated with the IEO2000 projections is to compare them with those derived by other forecasters. Four organizations provide forecasts comparable to those in IEO2000. The International Energy Agency (IEA) provides “business as usual” projections out to the year 2020 in its World Energy Outlook 2000. Standard & Poor’s Platt’s (S&P) also provides energy forecasts by fuel to 2020 in its World Energy Service: World Outlook 1999. Petroleum Economics, Ltd. (PEL) and
Petroleum Industry Research Associates (PIRA) publish world energy forecasts, but only to the years 2015 and 2010, respectively. For this comparison, 1997 is used as the base year for all the forecasts.


Powerful Sunshine Vs Deadly Meltdown - What Can We Leave For The Growing Generations In The 21st Century?
Author: Kazuo Mizuta, Millennium Project.

The author very boldly and plausibly challenges the report, “Energy Prospects to the year 2010 - Energy and its Consumption", filed by the Department of Natural Resources and Energy, Japan Ministry of International Trade and Industry. Mizuta makes a clear case that some of rather 'radical" scenarios on energy futures for Japan are based on assumptions that don't take into account the reality of finity: fossil fuels run out. The energy "face saving" alternative of nuclear power is dangerous. By technical definition, power plants live short lives and there are too many that meet only minimal safety standards. Meltdown can bring devastation. Moreover, decommissioning processes are risky, and, as Mitzuka reminds the reader, "More than 300 facilities around the world will have to be decommissioned by 2010," which creates the problem of what to do with the hazardous waste?

Another energy alternative is infinity: solar energy. Mizuta discusses another scenario by the same Ministry, in which solar energy is acknowledged, and has in fact, attracted some attention. The possibilities of solar energy in terms of cleanliness, abundance, and security are better. Science is proving that solar transition rates from the "old" energy production to "new" is reasonable if applied with genuine effort. Harnessing solar energy is a matter of harnessing two simple things: heat & light. The author adds a fundamental scenario of solar energy in the year 2010, written on a personal level, that "strike at the heart" of the average household:

Scenario 2010: On the Sunny Side: One day in the year 2010, I go downstairs as soon as I get up and check the number on the meter of our household solar light electricity generator. Our household system of solar power has been producing more than an adequate electricity supply for our daily life. We can now sell stored electricity to a commercial power dealer. Communities operate their greenhouses where they grow vegetables and flowers; public buildings are also equipped with solar panels to produce enough electricity for heating and cooling. And a great number of firms of various kind use electricity provided by the sunlight to manufacture products. Since we produce electricity at home, we have grown more conscious of conserving energy, and the Internet is available at a minimum cost for 24 hours, our sons and daughters have changed their life-style, from a mid-morning-to-midnight-life-style to a sunrise-to-sunset-life. With the development of the information network, they don’t have to be at the office at nine o'clock in the morning everyday. So they have more time to spend with their family. The cars they drive are also run by electricity. The air is cleaner and the sky is brighter. But alas, [if we go back in our imaginations back to 2001] at the moment we have to lead our lives in the more than
ever deteriorating city environment.

2050: A Scenario for People and Forests. Jan Laarman, Journal of Forestry 2/01/00.

In this trip into the future, a professor of history interviews two retired foresters in the year 2050. They tell how events and trends during the preceding 50 years have transformed forestry and the professionals who practice it.

2050: A scenario for people and forests: “Professor Knowgood: Based on what I learned earlier about the two of you, it seems you were surprised by your career paths, and by the changes that overtook you along the way. Can you begin to describe that for me?
Margaret Sylva: Well, Richard, when I look back to what I thought I knew in the late 1990s, I have to admit that I was not prepared for the decades that followed. You might say that I was a "babe in the woods." I really had no idea of the twists and turns that we foresters would encounter down the road.
David Woods: That's also true for me. I never cease to be amazed by where I started in forestry in the 1990s, and everything that happened after that. The signs and symptoms of a different future were all around us, but in many ways we failed to act on-or even to believe-what we were seeing.
Knowgood: David, will you elaborate on that?
Woods: To start with, I remember that foresters back then were wrangling about whether timber production was the dominant purpose of the forest and the profession. Foresters were locked into ideological positions, and they wasted a lot of time and energy over them. Thank goodness that squabble has nearly ended.
Knowgood: What caused this change?
Woods: Today, virtually all wood production is agribusiness. It is plantation tree growing-high-tech, neat and clean. On the other hand, virtually all public lands in this country are managed for recreation, water, and wildlife. There is almost no tree cutting on these lands. In effect, we separated the commodity business from the aesthetics. We divided the land and the profession into two distinct sectors, which defused the old arguments about timber getting in the way of other things we want from forests. But it did not happen because of planning and design. No, it happened because of social and political forces,
and economics.
Knowgood: What kinds of social and political forces?
Woods: Even before the new century began, the influential people of this country wanted forests for wildlife, recreation, and water. And the leaders of our government agencies agreed with them. When I was a university student in the 1990s, the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management were hiring fewer traditional foresters than in the past, and they were recruiting more biologists, hydrologists, recreation managers, and so on. I suppose that pattern was replicated at state and local levels.
Sylva: From what I remember, I accept David's observation. The traditional foresters were up in arms, but there was little they could do because of their shrinking numbers. The rank-and-file foresters slowly but surely became a minority element. And as I recall, by about 2020 the extreme, "timber beast" forester was an extinct species, at least on the public lands.” See article for continuation of the scenario.

Discovering Sustainability: A Case Study of Learning through Environmental Scenarios.
Author: Lars Strannegard, Greener Management International, Autumn 98 Issue 23, p 53, 15p.

Describes how actors within the appliance group Electrolux conducted a change program aimed to introduce business-driven views of environmental issues. Process toward sustainability; features of Electrolux's change process; details on the Environmental Change Programme (ECP); aim of the ECP; scenarios that were agreed and on which the ECP based; conclusion.

Scenario 1: Summertime - This scenario describes the environmental situation in 2005. A series of 'natural' disasters has led to a worldwide consensus that global warming is a significant problem and that it is induced by anthropogenic emissions. In 1999 severe storms hit the east coast of the United States, destroying several tall buildings and bridges costing millions of dollars. Dramatic weather changes, evidenced by floods and droughts, and increased skin cancer as a result of ozone depletion have now proved conclusively--along with the use of simulation tools--that human use of fossil fuel is the cause of global warming. This problem has led policy-makers to triple the price of electricity, enforce a compulsory 'energy content' label on products, and introduce ration books for electricity purchases. To encourage counter-behaviour, governments are presenting examples of 'good citizenship', such as a bus driver holding a bottle of ethanol to indicate the amount of energy she saved during her shift, as she was able to drive without braking even once.
People are buying local products with a small energy content as a result of short transportation distances; they share cars, and use public transport. Greenpeace is focusing on companies that are nonenergy-efficient in production or that sell products requiring large amounts of energy to manufacture. Managers travel less and use video conferencing; companies mostly favour railway distribution, and the key to success is to be as energy-efficient as possible.”

Scenario 2. Cocktail: “In the Cocktail scenario, the year is also 2005 and chemical and toxic substances are the issues in focus. The problems are local and the situation is chaotic. Companies are being attacked by militant environmental organizations such as the Green Army Faction. Findings on estrogen-like substances that affect organisms' reproductive capacity and birth defects caused by toxic substances have made the public suspicious and frightened. The mixture of two or more substances from landfills, industrial sites or incineration emissions could cause toxic 'cocktails' with unknown effects. Governments throughout the world are unable to keep pace with the new findings, and market demands drive companies to change. The percentage of people suffering from allergies has increased vastly; computer game manufacturers are sued by consumer organizations and parents, charged with causing electromagnetic allergies. People avoid all substances that are thought to trigger intolerance, and risk avoidance in general is high. There is information fatigue regarding new threats, and therefore a trend towards the use of traditional materials: natural fibres, wood, metals and mono-materials are chosen in favour of synthetics, plastics and composites. The precautionary principle, i.e. staying away from everything that is perceived to be harmful to personal health or the environment, is heavily practiced. Companies try to manage the credibility issue through environmental certification, environmental indicators, labeling, etc. in their marketing. Crucial factors for business success are constant vigilance in identifying environmental problems within the organization and finding credible ways of communicating with different actors.”

Scenario 3: Evergreen: “In the Evergreen scenario, the volume of waste is the number one problem facing society in the year 2005. This scenario imagines a more positive development. Extended producer responsibility is enforced by law, virgin materials have vastly increased in price, and legislators, to a great extent, leave industry to design their own systems to close value chains. Ash from incineration plants has been proven to be poisonous and special landfills have had to be constructed. Eighty per cent of the population thinks it is necessary to take 'extreme measures' to reduce virgin material use and waste. There is a near-consensus that effective recycling schemes can be developed, mostly due to new technology that allows the effective recycling of used plastics.

Landfill costs have increased dramatically: the cost of disposing a kilogram of waste has, in Sweden, increased from SEK2 per kilo to SEK 30. Products are being designed for disassembly; retailers offer take-back systems; and material content labels give information about the products. A majority of consumers are willing to buy second-hand appliances if they get a one-year guarantee on functionality. There is 'nostalgia' value in old cars and appliances, and it is politically incorrect to throw away consumer durables.”


What Would a Green Future Look Like?
Author: Charles P. Alexander, Time Canada; 11/08/99, Vol. 154 Issue 19, p80, 2p, 1c. Twenty-first century -- Forecasts; MAN -- Influence of environment.

Predicts lifestyle in the 21st century. Description of the work and transportation environment; food; shopping. See original article on Web for an interactive view of each aspect of this scenario –www. time.com.

What Would a Green Future Look Like? “By the year 2025 society will no longer tolerate the scourges of 20th century suburban life: the marathon commutes, the maddening traffic jams, the pollution spewing from tailpipes and chimneys. Society will demand neighborhoods where the air is pristine and places to work, shop and play are close at hand. In work and transportation, lots of us will work in our houses or apartments, telecommuting with our computers. Others will make a short hop to a nearby office park. Those who have to go downtown will prefer swift mass transit. Cars and trucks will still be used, but they will run on clean, hydrogen-powered fuel cells. To keep in shape and save money, people will spend more time on bicycles. In the area of food, people will likely favor fruits, grains and vegetables grown close to home, either in our backyard gardens or on nearby organic farms. It won't take much energy to get the fresh produce to local markets. Since the farms will employ natural forms of pest control rather than potentially toxic chemicals, there will be much less of a buildup of suspected carcinogens in the food supply. Shopping - even in an era of online marketing, there may still be a mall, but it will be relatively small and easy to get to, with sidewalks and bike racks instead of a mammoth parking lot. An airy place where a flood of natural light will cut down on energy use, the mall will be a two-way operation: when consumers are through using any product bought, the stores will be required to take it back for recycling. Energy - power will come from sources cleaner than fossil fuels. Some energy will flow from modern-day windmills, but much of it will be generated in our own homes. Rooftop solar panels will supply electricity to appliances and to a basement fuel cell, which will produce hydrogen. When the sun is not shining, the cell will operate in reverse, using the hydrogen to make electricity. Waste - sewage piped into enclosed marshes where selected plants, fish, snails and microbes will purify the wastewater before it enters streams and reservoirs.” See article for more details.


Sustainable Farming, Possibilities 1999-2020: A Discussion Paper.
Science Council of Canada, 1991.

This discussion paper offers a series of scenarios that depict various paths to sustainable agriculture. Each scenario was evaluated by international experts for the logic, economic feasibility, and timetable of the described transitions. Two scenarios depict a fairly surprise-free future based on existing trends, and the remainder present scenarios that could arise from the fracture of existing trends, or discontinuous change. To order this report contact NTIS by: phone at 1-800-553-NTIS (U.S. customers); (703) 605-6000 (other countries); fax at (703) 321-8547; and email at orders@ntis.fedworld.gov. NTIS is located at 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA, 22161, USA.


Can We Make Garbage Disappear?
Author: Barry Michael, Time Magazine, November 1999, Special Issue. Visions of the 21st Century.

An emerging field of smarter technologies that use one industry’s waste as raw material for another, coupled with the emerging field of nanotechnology brings a world of non-waste. Making Garbage Disappear: According to the vision of Gary Liss of Loomis, California, a veteran of recycling and solid-waste programs who advises clients aiming to reduce landfill deposits, his vision is to see humanity emulating nature’s garbage-free ways. The drivers are innovative technology and a big change in society’s attitude. Kalundborg, Denmark is the prototype of more wide spreading “eco-industrial parks” designed for recycling and resource sharing. Within the park, for example, a power company, a pharmaceuticals firm, a wallboard producer and an oil refinery share in the production and use of steam, gas and colling water. Excess heat warms nearby homes and agricultural greenhouses. “One company’s waste becomes another’s resource.” The power plant, for example, sells the sulfur dioxide it scrubs from its smokestacks to the Wallboard Company, which uses the compound as a raw material. Biotechnology turns waste into an advantage - microbes that take toxic substances in contaminated soil or sludge and convert them into harmless by-products. Genetic engineering creates “designer waste streams.”

Recycling gains momentum, as materials become easier to reuse. New types of foamed glass that can be made unusually strong and still lightweight. Society increasingly puts less value on things that use lots of materials – like three cars in the family driveway—and more on things that don’t swallow up resources – like telecommuting and surfing the Internet. Downloading collections of music from the web will reduce the demand for CD cases. And while visions of a “paperless office” have proved wildly wrong so far, the future holds an opportunity to use computers to cut consumption of paper and the trees it comes from. The attitude that, ‘one person’s garbage is another’s treasure’ goes global - human beings of the third millennium look back on their former garbage-producing ways as a forgivable error of their youth as a species.


Will we Still Eat Meat?
Author: Ed Ayers, Time Magazine. November, 1999. Special Issue on the 21st Century.

Article outlines how man ‘awakens’ to the what unnecessary mass production of animal flesh is doing to health – and the planet’s. Forsees a huge global shift in food habits from one in which the developing world today consumes more meat in rising out of poverty to realizing the environmental and social costs of this habit. Imagining the future of meat : “The developing world leads the charge in conserving freshwater and other scarce resources through production of creative meat-less foods indigenous to cultures. India, China, North Africa, and the US continue to run freshwater deficits, and are, for that reason, at the forefront of new policies of sustainability. Protein sources supplement with a wide variety of vegetables in the average diet. Mankind begins to move down the food chain; eating foods that take less water and land, and that pollute far less, than cows and pigs do. In the long run, some theorists believe, society can lose it’s memory of eating animals and discover the intrinsic satisfactions of a diverse plant-based diet, as millions of people already have. However, this world doesn’t spell the end of meat eating. Decades from now, cattle will still be raised, perhaps in patches of natural rangeland, for people inclined to eat and able to afford a porterhouse, while others will make exceptions in ceremonial meals on special days like Thanksgiving, which link us ritually to our evolutionary and cultural past. But the era of mass-produced animal flesh, and its unsustainable costs to human and environmental health, is forecast by the authors to be over before the next century is out.”


Meeting the Challenges: Natural Resources and Environmental Scenarios.
Author: Chris Fay, chairman and chief executive, Royal Dutch Shell. Given in an address to the Foresight Sustainable Technologies for a Cleaner World Conference, May 19, 1998.

Royal Dutch Shell scenarios given by speech to Natural Resources and Environment Foresight Panel comprised of Shell and government Technology Foresight Program. Government’s aim is that of encouraging long-term planning and helping British industry to capitalize on new markets and technologies over the next twenty years. Building a sustainable future will require a partnership, shared expertise and experience. It will be a challenge among government, industry, academia, NGOs and consumers. Two long-term energy scenarios which are helping to drive important research and development and which are pointing to new business opportunities for the future. “ We believe that technological advance is essential both for continued economic growth and for developing new and more successful approaches to environmental management. Our faith in good science remains undented. We agree with the Government’s Panel on Sustainable Development that "in future we shall be more rather than less dependent on technology for our society to be sustainable."

Chris Fay Scenario 1. Sustained Growth: “This scenario suggests that global energy demand will continue to grow at its current rate of about 2 per cent a year. Under this scenario, the world’s energy supply will see a continuing trend from high to low carbon fuels, from coal to oil and gas, and to renewables. In other words, continued decarbonisation. Over the medium-term, Shell believes that renewables will at last begin to compete in terms of price, availability and convenience. The ‘Sustained Growth’ scenario indicates that renewables may have about 5-10 per cent of the energy market by 2020. This process accelerates after 2020, as continuing innovation lowers renewable costs, and depleting reserves lead inevitably to higher prices for oil and gas...”

Scenario 2. Dematerialization: “Under this scenario the world experiences far more radical changes in energy consumption. Improved energy efficiency and the more widespread use of new information technologies, particularly in the developing world, suggests that the world’s increased energy needs will be met with fewer materials and less energy. Overall, demand for energy rises more slowly because human needs are met through technologies which require lower energy input. It’s easy to see how this scenario could be used to encourage practical solutions to today’s sustainable development challenges. For example, in road transport, the widespread use of "cleaner" vehicles is not going to come about overnight. No one, least of all, individual companies can wave a magic wand and solve Britain’s air quality problem just like that. But it is possible to envisage a convergence of complementary developments in politics, business and wider society. Government action, the development of new technologies and lighter materials in car manufacturing, and the widespread availability of alternative fuels could all come together. According to this scenario, "new generation vehicles" three times more fuel-efficient than today’s vehicles, could become commonplace…”


Five Complex Forces Could Change Structure of Industry.
Author: Roland Kjell, The Oil and Gas Journal, April 13, 1998.

Projections about the future of energy fall into Conventional or Environmental (Green) categories. Although the issue of global warming dominates the Green projections, there are other forces in addition to the environment that are capable of undermining the current structure of the energy industry. Expectations for the coming decade: Much effort has been devoted to looking at the future of energy, particularly for oil. Despite an impressive amount of sophisticated computer methodologies, the reputation of energy forecasting has been in decline. Long term trends in energy consumption display some remarkable resilience in the underlying structures that determine energy growth. The dramatic rise and fall of oil prices over the last few decades were more than blips in the curves, but they hardly caused fundamental changes to the relationship between economic activity and energy use. The role of oil relative to other energy sources has not changed in any permanent and fundamental way. However, climate policy may eventually call for a change in historical trends, and this is currently reflected in forecasts of energy futures. Roland Kjell To illustrate this, Kjell collected energy scenarios from a number of respected and well known institutions involved in the analysis of future energy developments and divided them into two basic scenario camps: “Green Scenarios” and “Conventional Futures”. The fundamental difference between Green Scenarios and Conventional Futures is 2022 mtoe in 2020.

Scenario-set 1. Green Scenarios: “Exit fossil fuels? Many seem to believe that the oil age will soon be over. Green Scenarios show lower overall growth in energy consumption, albeit not drastically lower. The basic fuel mix remains generally the same. In the Green Scenarios, global oil consumption grows by 0.5% per annum from 3,180 mtoe in 1990 to 3,714 mtoe in 2020. At the end of the forecasting period, oil demand approaches a plateau and further growth in developing countries is offset by a decline in consumption in industrialized countries. For gas, the situation appears to be even less dramatic. Global consumption grows by an annual rate of 1.5% to 2020. Gas is less vulnerable to environmental measures than oil and coal because a number of environmental policies may result in a change in the fuel mix in its favor. Green Scenarios contain vigorous environmental policy efforts, and as a result, stretch the imagination compared to what has been observed in energy/environmental policies. Still, they are less radical than many environmentalists would like to see, and less alarming than some industrialists fear…”

Scenario set 2. Conventional Futures: “Starting with overall energy consumption, in most scenarios, energy consumption increases from 7,850 mtoe in 1990 to 12,550 mtoe in 2020, by 1.5% annually. This compares with 1.0% per year to a total of 10,550 mtoe in Green Scenarios. Relative to historical trends, both projections are low. In the past 3 decades, global total primary energy (TPE) increased more than 2.5% annually (1965-1996 = 2.6%, 1970-1996 = 2.1%). The Conventional Futures energy growth of China (TEA, 1996a) is set at 4.2% per annum to 2010 based on a GDP growth rate of 7.8. Keeping the same energy intensity decline as in the International Energy Agency (TEA) forecast, an economic growth of 10.1% would imply an energy consumption level in 2010 of 1,800 mtoe, 23% higher than in the IEA forecast and 176% above the 1990 level. This illustrates that if China, and other developing countries for that matter, succeed in their striving for modernization and economic development, energy demand growth may turn out to be notably higher than most of the forecasts have shown in Conventional Futures…”


Global Environmental Scenarios 2000 - 2050.
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), 1998. <www.wbcsd.com>

Sustainability is a topic of our age. In creating global environmental scenarios, the Council for Sustainable Development conducted extensive interviews worldwide. The Council started with the Brundland Commission’s definition of sustainable development: “Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable – to be sure it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The Council’s explorations of sustainability identified these major components: economy and technology, ecology and demography, and governance and equity. These components are embedded in the prevailing myths – those deep premises on how the world works, which we take for granted. In industrial and trading societies, for example, the economic myth of self-interest dominates. WBCSD The Council built three scenarios to illustrate the number of plausible routes forward that pose challenges to business and industry.

Scenario 1. Frog: “The world of FROG! is a familiar world - at least at first. Many nations experience a fair degree of economic success, and, for almost all, economic growth is the major concern, with sustainable development acknowledged to be important, but not pressing. As environmental NGOs continue to demand enforcement of standards that have been set in global summits, those nations who are striving to develop argue that if the developed nations insist on raising environmental standards, they should “First Raise Our Growth!” Indeed, in this scenario, some nations leapfrog from underdeveloped status to benchmarker in particular areas of technology. People in western nations respond in uneven ways—sometimes by offering help in improving the environment, and sometimes in raising various cries of “FROG!”…But, by 2050 there is evidence that the darkest predictions about global warming are actually nearer to the truth than the more optimistic ones...

Scenario 2. Geopolity: “ Geopolity begins with a succession of signals in the first two decades—some real, some imagined – that an environmental and social crisis looms. The prevailing “economic myth” is increasingly viewed as dangerously narrow. This is particularly true in Asia, where rapid economic growth has meant that corners have been cut and traditions lost. Because many institutions, especially governments, have lost credibility as problem-solvers, people expect something from the new centres of power—multinationals. But the business sector seems unable or unwilling to respond adequately. …In the absence of leadership from business and government to solve problems, people form new global institutions such as the Global Ecosystem Organization (GEO), with broad powers to design and enforce global standards…”

Scenario 3. Jazz: “In the world of Jazz, diverse players join in ad hoc alliances to solve social and environmental problems in the most pragmatic possible way. The key note of this scenario is dynamic reciprocity. This is a world of social and technological innovations, experimentation, rapid adaptation, much voluntary interconnectedness, and a powerful and ever-changing global market. What enables the quick learning and subsequent innovation in Jazz is high transparency—the widespread availability of information about ingredients of products, sources of inputs, company financial, environmental, and social data, government decision-making processes, and almost anything else consumed with what consumers want to know. …Jazz is a world in which NGOs, governments, concerned consumers, and businesses act as partners—or fail...”


Victory Cities.
Author: Orville Simpson, author and inventor; <www.victorycities.com>, 1999.

Present-day cities are already obsolete and are threatening to engulf the entire countryside. According to Orville Simpson, futurist in urban planning and renewal, Victory City ™ is the wave of the future. His vision is to build an entire city under one roof, to be built and operated by private enterprise alone. There will be not just one, but many such cities throughout the entire world. The scenario of Victory City is highly plausible and realistic as Simpson takes the reader through his website (www.victorycities.com) and introduces a utopia of no crime, no pollution, and no over-crowding. Future projections show tremendous advances in heating, venting, air conditioning, air purifying, and humidity control so that rooms will be pleasant, healthful, and comfortable. Victory Cities will create a higher standard of living for people, but will require less natural resources, money and energy to achieve it.

A Scenario of Victory City: Among the extensive list of contents in the Resident’s Guide, the viewer of this site can click on any aspect of this futuristic city - from schools to safety and security, to postal systems. The money system, for example, is such that no money will be used. Instead, everyone will carry a bankbook that automatically debits purchases. Bills are deducted automatically. In the food system, the bulk of food will come from the city’s own farms in the surrounding countryside. Fresh foods are brought into the city, cooked, served, and eaten on the same day. Food is cooked in all-electric kitchens, brought to the cafeteria on high-speed elevators, and served on a Circle-Serve. From a nutritional standpoint, this will bolster the health and stamina of citizens, and contributes to the more favorable future evolution of man. Transportation connects all cars, trucks, busses, monorails, and railroads. Citizens can go from any one place to another, anywhere in the city, in only five to ten minutes and without hurrying. Cars are replaced by electric cars the size of wheelchairs within the city. Auto accidents are kept to a minimum, as automobiles are only used to travel between cities. The most unique feature of the scenario are the innovations applied to protecting the environment, e.g. 90% trash eliminated before it gets started (since apartments will have no kitchens); high-end recycling; no cemeteries; no emissions.

Sustainable Global Future: Scenario Building for the Twenty-First Century.
United Nations University.

This research project constitutes a further development of UNU's work on global change and modeling. The objective is to generate information and apply analytical skills to formulate medium- and long-term strategies and policy alternatives for restructuring the global ecology-economic system for sustainable development. The UNU/IAS is providing a forum where existing modeling groups and scenarios analysts may discuss their studies and findings. The project is centered on database development, trend analyses, broad scenario building for the 21st century, and simulation studies evolving into plausible configurations of the future of natural and societal systems. Scenarios for future global development can be viewed as a tool for systems analysis to allow for a structured debate on global trends and on the opportunities for, and threats to, sustainable development. Global models and scenarios are, therefore, useful tools to support and facilitate national and international efforts to (re-) direct development towards a socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable future. In this context, scenario building offers a framework for debating key issues related sustainable development, at the global scale and taking into account different regional and sectoral perspectives and interests. This is an ongoing project that seriously takes into account the global modeling and global scenarios of developing countries as well as industrialized countries. The work will be published in a series of papers in which different groups around the world will develop, compare, and debate comprehensive future global scenarios. In doing so, the UNU/IAS adds its own perspective: "global sustainability and fairness in economic growth."


Global Energy Perspectives: A Summary of the Joint Study by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and World Energy Council. Authors: Arnulf Grubler, Michael Jefferson, and Nebojsa Nakicenovic. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 51, 237-264 (1996).

Global Energy Perspectives to 2050 and Beyond was conducted jointly by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the World Energy Council (WEC). Three cases of economic and energy developments were sprawled into six scenarios of energy supply until the end of the 21st century. Each of these six scenarios covers the energy system as a whole from resource extraction to the provision of energy services. The study purposely involved a long lead-time - changes in the energy system that would become significant only after the year 2020. The internal consistency of the scenarios were assessed with the help of formal modeling that included world population prospects, economic growth, technological advance, the energy resource base, environmental implications from the local to the global level, financing requirements, and the future prospects of both fossil and nonfossil fuels and industries. Patterns that are robust across a purposely-broad range of scenarios are identified. Three High Growth Scenarios: Three scenarios that assume high rates of economic growth and technological progress, a liberal international trading regime, and preference for markets rather than detailed regulation.

Scenario A1.) Clean Fossils: “ Favors neither coal nor nuclear, but as a result of technological changes sees the tapping of the cost potential of conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources. As a result, fossil fuel resources are sufficient to allow a smooth transition to alternative supply sources based on acceptable nuclear and new renewables, matched with high quality energy carriers in the form of electricity, liquids, gas and -- later--hydrogen. Coal is regarded as a relatively unattractive fossil fuel and continuously loses market share.

Scenario A2.) Dirty Fossils: “ For a variety of reasons, concerns about potential climate change wither away, and coal’s vast resources make it the fossil fuel of choice as conventional oil and gas resources dwindle. Local and regional sulfur and nitrogen emissions are controlled through add-on technologies; however, challenges continue as coal is exploited at ever deeper and more remote locations, and conversion to synthetic liquids is increasingly required.”

Scenario A3: Bio-Nue: “Large-scale renewables and a new generation of nuclear power lead to a technology-driven transition to a post-fossil fuel age. The transition parallels history as industrialized countries moved from fuelwood through coal to oil and natural gas. In this scenario, natural gas is the transitional fossil fuel of choice, supported by economically competitive oil resources. There is little pressure to exploit nonconventional oil resources or large columns of coal. By 2100, there is almost equal reliance on nuclear energy, natural gas, modern biomass, and a fourth category composed mostly of solar energy with smaller contributions from wind, geothermal, and a few ocean/tidal schemes.

A Middle Course Scenario: “A single scenario with more modest assumptions about economic growth, technological development, removal of trade barriers, and satisfaction of the development aspirations of the South (more so than in Case A). Recent setbacks and slower economic restructuring than anticipated for the transitional economies, together with weak economic performance in sub-Saharan Africa and some other developing countries, are also reflected in the comparatively modest near-term economic growth assumptions of Case B. This case has the greatest reliance on fossil fuels of any scenario except the coal-intensive Scenario A2. Beyond 2020, the failure to match depleting fossil fuel resources with the necessary technological advances and exploration and production effort creates challenges for energy supply structures.” Two Ecologically Driven Scenarios. These are the most ambitious by being highly optimistic about technology diffusion and geopolitical innovations to meet the challenges of the environment and international equity. “Substantial resource transfers from North to South recycle environmental taxes to spur growth in the South, enabling wide participation in international environmental agreements and policies to reduce emissions from energy supply and end use. Nuclear energy is at a crossroads illustrated by two scenarios.”

Scenario C1) Assumes nuclear energy is a transient technology that is phased out entirely in the long-term, leaving new renewable forms of energy to substitute for fossil fuels.

Scenario C2) Assumes a new generation of small-scale nuclear reactors is developed which is, and is also perceived to be, inherently large.”

Mending the Ozone Hole - Science, Technology, and Policy.
Author: Arjun Makhijani and Kevin R. Gurney. Cambridge, MA; MIT Press, August, 1995.

The potential for ozone depletion beyond what has already been ensured by past releases of ozone-depleting compounds (ODC) is intimately tied to the amount and pattern of future emissions. Because stratospheric ozone depletion is exhibiting a nonlinear response to the present chlorine and bromine burden in the atmosphere, any future emissions of chemical compounds that would contribute to this problem must be minimized. This report examines the potential magnitude and timing of future atmospheric chlorine and bromine levels by constructing a model of ODC emissions under various control strategies. The time domain of the model for which the three emissions scenarios are based extends from 1985 - 2090. The scenarios are referred to as the Copenhagen Amendments scenario, the Accelerated Phaseout scenario, and the Saving Our Skins scenario. The primary differences among these ODC emission scenarios concern regulatory issues such as: the phaseout schedule of ozone-depleting compound production; consumption of the ODC production and consumption phaseout schedule followed by Third World countries; the extent of future HCFC production; the future control or elimination of emissions from ODC banks; and the future control of methyl chloride and methyl bromide emissions due to low-temperature biomass burning.
The highly detailed scenarios are global in scope, representing all production and all emissions. The reader is encouraged to view the original material, as it also presents a table comparing the three scenarios; each scenario categorized by Industrialized countries and Third World. The table then compares by global CFCs, Halons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, HCFCs, Methyl bromide, and Methyl chloride.

After Man: A Zoology of the Future.
Author: Dougal Dixon, Published 1981. Evolutionary scenarios.

Contains an introduction by Desmond Morris, author of the “Naked Ape”. Dixon spends the first part of the book discussing important evolutionary concepts including natural selection, radiation of many species from a single species and convergent evolution of species in similar niches. He includes a history of the earth to the present and then jumps to a time 50 million years into the future. Dougal includes the theory of plate tectonics to show how the continents will be arranged in the future. He assumes that human impact will cause a major extinction episode, which might be already happening. Dixon describes the human species dying off: “Man’s knowledge grew, most significantly in the field of medical science. Accidents and diseases that help to keep natural populations in check were overcome or reduced in their effects by man’s endeavors. Genetic defects that, in the wild, would have proved fatal and would have been eliminated by natural selection were perpetuated because their possessors were allowed to live and reproduce. World population increased exponentially and hardly a region of the earth remained untouched by man.”.... “The ultimate effect was that, whereas other animals change and adapt through the slow process of evolution to fit into their environment, man was able to change his environment to suit his current needs, reaping a short-term advantage in the process. Living outside evolution each stage of his rapid cultural development was passed on to the next generation, not through his genes but by learning. Although he avoided the unpleasant effects of natural selection, he also did without its long-term benefits and in short called a halt to evolution as it applied to himself. The result was a world overburdened by a population of beings unable to survive without their own conscious intervention, a world given over to the essential needs of man, a world poisoned by his waste.” With man’s extinction, “... the animal world entered a period of evolutionary chaos that lasted tens of thousands of years. However, man’s extinction provided the impetus for the formation of many animals and his disappearance was of fundamental importance in shaping the world that has emerged 50 million years later.” Dougal then describes the species that came to be in the various ecosystems of 50 million years into the future. Many species disappeared in the age of man, such as whales and many large predatory mammals. More adaptive mammals and birds filled in these niches eventually. Rats and rabbits radiated into many species, including predators. The whale niche was eventually assumed by krille-eating penguins 50 feet long.

Quite a fun scenario. The language of Dougal dates him, and of course he isn’t aware of the newer paradigms available to biologists today, such as the preeminence of plants, fungus, insects, and especially bacteria. Stuart Kauffman’s ideas coming from chaos and complexity theory and from modern biochemistry are also available forcing Dougal to rely on natural selection more than would be necessary today. Ideas like the Gaia hypothesis were just showing up on the radar in 1981. Dougal does well in coming up with a plausible scenario, which insists that the earth will be fine and evolution will go on after man is gone. Of course, there is always hope that we will become a species which is not dominated by men, but also includes the wisdom of women and appreciates the connections to the rest of nature. With that, maybe we could stay around a little longer. [Summary written by James “Jim” Laurie, graduate of Futures Studies, University of Houston Clear-Lake, Texas.]


Deep Design - Pathways to a Livable Future.
Author: David Wann with the Center for Resource Management. Island Press, Washington, DC, 1996.

“The industrial revolution was characterized by mechanical designs that didn’t accommodate biology and human psychology; the post-industrial revolution is characterized by designs that are more nature compatible and, like nature, flexible enough to adapt to changing conditions. The best nature-compatible new designs--whether they are products, buildings, technologies, or communities--are sensitive to living systems with which they come into contact, accomplishing their missions without undesirable side effects such as pollution, erosion, congestion, and stress.” Rather than being above nature, deep designs are aligned with nature--water, the sun, our genetic heritage. Their strategies often incorporate living systems, such as alternative wastewater treatment in a greenhouse environment that’s designed to take advantage of lilies, snails, and fish. These living machines, as John Todd calls them, are self-adjusting and capable of improving their own performance. Rather than being “one-size fits all”, systems, living machines can be customized to meet a particular need. Thus, they are a synthesis of nature and technology.

This book presents a best-case scenario: Diversity, Conservation, and Caretaking. In the scenario, deep designers resist many of the industrial guidelines of twentieth-century engineering. They know that if they follow the specs as currently written, it will result in inefficiency, isolation, planned obsolescence, lack of quality, environmental decay, and social chaos. Deep designers believe it is well worth the effort to shoot for something more inspired: that designs can be made reasonably fail-safe if they incorporate diversity, flexibility, and biological compatibility, eliminating the need for overengineering.


Certification of Forest Products: Issues and Perspectives.
Edited by Virgilio M. Viana, Jamison Ervin, Richard A. Donovan, Chris Elliott, and Henry Gholz. Washington: Island Press. Oct. 1996.

Over the past 10 years, forest conservation has become an increasingly high-priority issue for policy make and the general public throughout the world. Initial concern focused on tropical forests and the activities of the timber industry. In the mid-1980s, two international initiatives were launched to lessen the industry’s impact on tropical forests: the Tropical Forestry Action Program (TFAP) and the International Tropical Timber Organization (Iyyo). This book covers the concept of certification, key issues raised by certification, and a variety of perspectives - opinions from conservation NGOs, forestry professionals, community groups, businesses, certifiers, and regional, national, and government perspectives. Three scenarios for certification are explored: an optimistic, a pessimistic, and a catalytic one.

Optimistic Scenario. “In this scenario, forest certification becomes part of mainstream forestry for major forest-producing regions of the world within the next 10 years. This scenario implies that certification becomes supported by major forestry institutions at the national and international levels. Certification would then become a part of regular protocols of forest management, and certified operations would receive governmental and intergovernmental support. This scenario would depend on negotiations and institutional linkages within and between key international players.”

Pessimistic Scenario. “Economic viability of certification schemes is vital for their credibility. There are indications that, although a significant part of the world markets has increasing environmental concerns, consumers are not willing to pay prices for certified products that are much higher than those of uncertified products. The costs of certification are now often being subsidized by various donors with the understanding that eventually certifiers and support institutions will be self-sustainable. If a time comes when certification is proven not to be economically viable either through higher prices or better market share for certified products, then it may collapse and become discredited.”

Catalytic Scenario. “Certification assumes an important role as a catalyst of change in the development of sustainable forestry. The development of criteria and indicators of sustainability at regional or national levels, as well as the development of guidelines for certification at the forest management unit level, is developing, and will continue to have profound influences. The participatory processes of consultation with multiple stakeholder groups from different geographical regions has also provided a new dimension in the global perspective of sustainable forestry.”


The Climatic Effects of Nuclear War.
Authors: Richard P. Turco, Owen B. Toon, Thomas P. Ackerman, James B. Pollack, and Carl Sagan, Scientific American 251:2, August 1984, 33-43. Global scenario of a nuclear winter.

The long term climatic effects of nuclear war are much more severe than had been supposed. The scenario of a nuclear winter is a world in which vast regions are subjected to prolonged darkness, abnormally low temperatures, violent windstorms, toxic smog, and persistent radioactive fallout. Under such circumstances, the extinction of many species, including humans, is possible.


Our Common Future.
Author: Faye Dunchin and Glenn-Marie Lange. Oxford University Press, 1994.

The Our Common Future scenarios and alternative scenarios were designed in relation to the Brundtland Report in 1987. These scenarios examine likely future changes in emissions of carbon dioxides and oxides of sulfur and oxides of nitrogen, thus focusing on the most energy-intensive sectors. In the latter part of the book, case studies were used to develop the scenarios. They rely mostly on technological changes in lowering pollution or climate change. Along with a global scenario, the book contains regional scenarios. In all scenarios, it is assumed that the levels of economic activity (as measured in GNP) will increase by 2.8% a year worldwide, that the relative price of petroleum will gradually rise above its level of the 1980s to $44 per barrel and by 2020, the population will increase from 5.l3 million in 1990 to 8.1 million in 2020, with 42.7% in 1990 to 57.5% in 2020 of urban population worldwide. Case studies cover the likely future changes in the use of energy in households, transportation, electricity generation, and industrial production, along with pollution control options.

Neptune’s Revenge: The Ocean of Tomorrow.
Author: Anne W. Simon (NYC). NY: Franklin Watts, Oct. 1984/222p. Environmental scenario in the 21st century.

The author describes mankind’s various uses of the ocean and how these uses have turned into abuse. A continuation of these trends would drastically affect the ocean of tomorrow. Some abuses cited by the author include overfishing and the dumping of sewage, radioactive waste, and toxic chemicals. A pessimistic scenario “Neptune’s Revenge” describes a world in which the oceans have suffered irreversible damage in the 21st century, and are no longer able to support mankind. This is a scenario of survival of life on earth.

Global Climate Change: Linking Energy, Environment, Economy, and Equity.
Edited by James C. White, NY: Plenum Press, 1992/242p. Energy scenarios to the 21st century.

Proceedings of the 8th annual conference of the Center for Environmental Information (Rochester NY), held December 1991 in Washington. This conference examined trends affecting climate change such as increasing greenhouse gases; warming generally greater at higher latitudes than at lower latitudes; and how differences in seasons can create trouble for urban water supplies. Conference papers include scenarios of multiple benefit environmental policies, local and regional policies, the role of markets in energy/environmental policy, and sectoral perspectives (government, electric utilities, auto industry, industry); other conference papers included scenarios of future energy consumption.


Principles for Electric Power Policy.
Technology Futures, Inc. and Scientific Foresight Inc., Greenwood Press/Quorum Books, Oct 1984/448p. Six scenarios of electric power to the year 2014.

A National Science Foundation sponsored technology assessment on the future of electric power conducted within the context of six alternative sets of scenarios of the 30 year future of the U.S. Trends and assumptions driving the scenarios are: growing importance of electrical power; projections for long term size and distribution of electrical power demand is increasingly uncertain; the type of practical power generation sources will increase dramatically; roles, structures, and procedures for electrical utilities will change significantly; electric power policy will find it increasingly difficult to find a balance between efficiency, equity, and risk.

Scenario 1.) The Average Future: total energy demands and electrical power demands in particular will continue to grow. There will be a limited but increased role for nuclear power and a dominant role for coal based generation.

Scenario 2.) Nuclear Resurgence: high energy demand and increased acceptance of nuclear power, coupled with disenchantment with coal based generation results in a resurgence of nuclear power generation.

Scenario 3.) Mega Plant: high demand, coupled with resistance to both nuclear and coal based generation results in unconventional, high capacity sources of electricity, such as solar power satellites.

Scenario 4.) Small Coal Plants: high energy demand and moderate increase in oil prices slows the trend towards electrification. As a result, relatively small coal based generators are preferred.

Scenario 5.) Post Industrial Economy: an economy dominated by services and high technology manufacturing results in low demand for energy generally but a high demand for electricity. This demand is met by distributed electric power technologies such as solar cells.

Scenario 6.) Economic Malaise: economic malaise results in low demand for both electricity and energy in general. Conventional coal based generators supply the electric power that is needed.


Vision 2020: Reordering Chaos for Global Survival.
Author: Ervin Laszlo, Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, March 1994/133p. World environmental scenario to 21st century.

This book provides an analysis of environmental trends. Laszlo projects that human population will soon be at the edge of the planet’s carrying capacity, masses of people will be poverty stricken, and food production will decline. A normative scenario, “Vision 2020” shows a world in which the environment is supportive of humanity. The author recommends that five objectives be accomplished: restraining the power of the nation-state; restraining the power of politicians by promoting direct democracy; concords of cooperation in defense environmental protection; and development. The “Vision 2020” scenario is a strategy to launch humanity on the path toward a global “holarchy” where human beings co-evolve with their societies. This calls for maintaining mastery over the complex and interdependent world we have created.


A 21st Century World Gas Scenario.
Author: Ove Sviden Futures, 18:5, Oct. 1986, 687-691. Three gas scenarios to 2010, 2040, and 2070.

This article represents a long-range outlook on natural gas as a primary energy source and gas as an energy product.

Scenario 1.) Scenario Scene 2010: “world population is 7 billion. Natural gas now represents 25% of world TPE. The gas supply pipelines span the continents and cross deep waters. Offshore exploration of natural gas takes place around most continents. The world is again experiencing flourishing growth. Demand for energy is growing by 2% per year. The search for petroleum resulted in a bigger growth for the natural gas reserves than for the oil reserves, but oil is still the dominant energy form with its 31% of world TPE.”

Scenario 2.) Scenario Scene 2040: “ World population has increased to 9 billion. World energy demand has more than doubled since 1985. Natural gas is now the major fossil fuel used. The volume consumed is four times larger than in 1985. Its share of world TPE is 34%. Worldwide gas supply and distribution networks span the continents. Natural gas is recovered from subsea installations. Gas is considered to be the only environmentally acceptable form of carbon to be burned.”

Scenario 3.) Scenario Scene 2100: “ World population has stabilized now at 12 billion. World energy demand is six times the amount consumed in 1985. This represented an average energy growth rate of 1.57% /year during the last 15 years. Over 40% of the energy is reserved for transportation usage. This means that 2.5 times the world total energy consumption in 1985 is now used in mobile power packs. The environmental specification for combustion is very strict indeed. The only sufficiently clean fuel is gas, i.e. hydrogen.”

A Matter of Degrees: The Potential for Controlling the Greenhouse Effect.
Author: Irving M. Mintzer, Report #5. Washington: World Resources Institute, April 1987/60p. Four scenarios of greenhouse warming to 2030.

Various models are integrated into the Model of Warming Commitment, a major model that was used to project future emissions of the six gases that contribute most to global warming. From the perspective of 1987, four scenarios are utilized to reflect different levels of effort toward the slowing of greenhouse warming.

Scenario 1.) Base Case: there is no change in industry practices, it is a business as usual world, with no policies to slow down Co2 emissions and minimal environmental costs are included in the price of energy.

Scenario 2.) High Emissions: growing population in the industrialized nations and developing nations accelerate the use of technology and thus the demand for energy, but no policies are set in place to improve Co2 emissions or improve end-use efficiency.

Scenario 3.) Modest Policies: in this scenario, there is a lot of successful research and development in the area of solar energy, which gives people a strong realization about the importance of the environment; substantial environmental costs are imposed on energy prices to encourage fuel switching.

Scenario 4.) Slow Build-Up: strong emphasis on energy efficiency, major global commitment to reforestation, high environmental costs imposed on energy prices. Even in the bast case scenario of a slow build-up of greenhouse gases, there is still a likelihood of an increase in 2 or 3 degrees C by 2030, resulting in major climate change. In the other scenarios, temperature change could be two to three times as great.


Superquake! Why Earthquakes Occur and When the Big One Will Hit Southern California. Author: David Ritchie (Baltimore MD). NY: Crown, Feb. 1988/185p. An “Earthquake Day” scenario to 21st century.

At 7:30 on a summer morning in the not too distant future the Los Angeles area is hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake lasting 75 seconds. This is the “Big One,” but it occurs not along the San Andreas Fault, but along the relatively minor Newport Inglewood Fault. The results, however, are anything but minor. Tens of thousands are killed, a million injured. The transportation links that tie the Los Angeles area to the rest of the United States are virtually severed. Fire rages and toxic chemicals spill. Ultimately the costs are in the trillions of dollars, driving the U.S. economy into a tailspin. In addition to this scenario, the history of earthquakes in California and discussions of other quake prone areas of the United States are discussed in this book. Worthwhile to compare the details of this scenario with the 1994 Los Angeles quake.


Global Warming: Are We Entering the Greenhouse Century?
Author: Stephen H. Schneider, San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, Oct. 1989/317p. A global warming scenario to the 21st century.

A warmer climate resulting from the greenhouse effect causes significant impacts on North America. Drier, hotter summers result in a loss of agricultural production in the Midwest, the death of forests in northern states like Minnesota, and water shortages in states like New York and California. Violent hurricanes spawned in the warm waters of the Atlantic and Caribbean devastate large areas of the coast from the Gulf of Mexico to New England. Smoke from massive forest fires darkens the skies across vast areas of North America. Coastal areas and areas around the Great Lakes are faced with decisions to either abandon shoreline infrastructure or invest hundreds of billions, perhaps trillions of dollars to rebuild them so as to accommodate fluctuating sea and lake levels.


Using Scenarios to Explore Future Energy Demand in Industrialized Countries.
Author: Lee Schipper and Stephen Meyers Energy Policy March 1993. Three scenarios of OECD average sectoral energy intensities in the year 2010.

This article presents scenarios that represent the direction in which current and expected trends seem to be moving; what might happen if energy efficiency were given a high priority by governments and the private sector; and what might be achieved if restraining energy use became a very high priority for public policy. The scenarios delineate an important boundary between a relatively easily attainable improvement in efficiency and a more problematical level of change.

Scenario 1.) Trends: “this scenario reflects a world in which energy prices rise slowly, and only modest attention is given to energy efficiency. In keeping with the current expert consensus world oil prices increases by around 50% between 1990 and 2010, with more of that increase coming in the first decade of the next century than in the 1990s.

Scenario 2.) Cost: “this scenario envisions a future in which full adoption of marginal cost energy pricing and internalization of many environmental and other externalities boosts real energy prices to uses by 25-50% relative to the trends scenario.”

Scenario 3.) Vigorous Effort: this scenario depicts the most that could plausibly be achieved within a 20-year time horizon. The limit is not so much technology itself, but rather the rate at which more efficient technologies and practices could penetrate widely into the capital stock. Energy prices rise to 50-100% higher than in the trends scenario, reflecting incorporation of strong carbon taxes as well as more aggressive internalization of externalities associated with local environmental problems related to energy production and use.”


Scenarios for Energy: Sustainable World vs. Global Mercantilism.
Author: Adam Kahane Long Range Planning August 1992 Vol. 25. Two energy scenarios of the world to 2010.

This paper outlines two scenarios prepared in the Group Planning coordination of Shell International Petroleum Company. The World of 1990: “The only solid basis we have for discussing the future is information about the past and the present. In 1990, the present is a time of promise but also of considerable risk. In these scenarios, we concentrate on three areas of potentially far-reaching change: geopolitics, international economics, and the natural environment.

Scenario 1.) Global Mercantilism: “In this scenario, the new post-Cold War international order proves to be too weak to withstand serious political and economic shocks and set-backs. Regional conflicts, such as in the Middle East, are destabilizing and difficult for the new order to deal with. The current GATT negotiations fail or, at best, produce a feeble and meaningless agreement. Financial instability is accentuated by deregulation and rising interest rates. Faced with a downturn, politicians focus on national economic difficulties, and there is little international leadership. Continued frustration over trade and investment imbalances leads to increased protectionism. Overall, the response to the downturn is ineffective and confrontational, and it turns into a recession as severe as in the early 1980s.”

Scenario 2.) Sustainable World: In this scenario, the international economic frictions that have been in the headlines can be resolved, and attention focuses instead on the resolution of common problems, including environmental ones. There is widespread consensus on recipes for economic stability and growth, and co-operation among the largest economies allows economic shocks to be defused rather than accentuated. The dangers of a failure in international trade negotiations are recognized, and interdependence -- especially between the U.S.A. and Japan--is seen to be too great for ‘divorce’ to be a feasible option. Regional conflicts are dealt with effectively by large power alliances. A new security framework is built in Europe around the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE).


The Greenhouse Doomsday Scenario.
Author: Jeremy Rifkin, The Washington Post, Sunday, 31 July 1988, C3. A global warming scenario to 2035.

In the mid-21st Century, the world is hotter by 4-15 degree F. Current industrial growth, fossil fuel use, and consumption continued unchanged - global temperature rise was destined to be the result. “By 2035 there were palm trees in New York City, Holland was under water, Bangladesh no longer existed; there were parched deserts in central Europe and the US Midwest, and the Canadian population swelled to 200 million.” This scenario concludes that the only effective means of absorbing Co2 is through reforestation, but currently, the rate of deforestation is 10 times greater than reforestation. Reducing Co2 will require enormous worldwide coordination and mobilization.


Our Drowning World: Population, Pollution, and Future Weather.
Author: Anthony Milne, Bridgeport, Dorset UK: Prism Press, March 1988/154p. A environmental scenario to mid-21st Century.

The author describes the earth getting warmer, in which rising tidal levels may be the most critical environmental problem of the coming century. “During two centuries of progress we have been our own ‘Horsemen of the Apocalypse,’ killing not with fire and sword but by unleashing ill-understood and complex chemical and biological processes.” The author describes a pessimistic floodwave scenario of the end of the world, as we know it, due to warming. “Our assault on nature was driven by what was perceived as the virtue of accumulation, and for a long time we excused it as cruel innocence, a tolerable side effect of progress. But it turned into a culture of consumption and an inexcusable threat to human survival.”


Los Angeles 2007: Implications of a Scenario Analysis for Energy Forecasting.
Author: Stephen M. Millett Planning Review May/June 1992. Three scenarios of L.A. to 2007.

Using alternative scenarios of possible future conditions, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWAP) has developed contingency plans to meet long-term demand in the most efficient and economical manner.

Scenario 1.) Continued trends: In this extrapolation of current statistics, the population grows to 10.8 million by 2007; growth in per capita income is moderate; the regulatory environment remains the same; fuels increase in price between 3 and 8 percent per year; advances in technologies using electricity create modest increases in total demand; technologies improving the efficiency of generation and transmission of electricity make minor advances; rates charged by LADWP rise at or near the inflation rate: demand for electricity increases slowly and steadily, mostly in the commercial and residential categories.

Scenario 2.) Technology Pull for Electricity: “Innovations in certain technologies, such as electric cars, vastly increases demand, especially in the residential category; Federal regulation toughens; fuel costs rises more than 8 percent per year; co-and self-generation of electricity by commercial and industrial customers increases; LADWP rates rise faster than inflation; population ranges from 8.8 to 9.8 million; and growth in per capital income is moderate.”

Scenario 3.) Reduced Demand for Electricity: “Adoption of the electric car and other demand-creating technology is slow; regulation is weak, co-and self-generation facilities increase; power station generation or transmission technologies don’t become significantly more efficient; the cost of fuel increases less than 3 percent per year or even declines slightly; LADWP rates increase at or near inflation rate; current economic and demographic trends continue; electricity sales to residential, commercial and industrial categories falls almost to 1986 levels, largely due to conservation.”


Twelve Scenarios for Southern California Edison.
Case Study Planning Review May/June 1992. Twelve scenarios of the energy environment for Southern California to 21st century.

In 1986, Southern California Edison completed a review of its planning practices over the past 20 years. The company decided that the best way to plan for future uncertainties is to postulate a series of plausible scenarios and prepare flexible responses for each of them. After a historical review of trends and a scenario planning analysis, the following 12 scenarios are presented and in the article, coupled with responses.

Scenario 1.) Economic Bust: “the nation is in a protracted depression, the result of a U.S. imposed high tariff on imports, followed by retaliations, which greatly reduce international trade...The reduced level of economic activity results in a direct loss of 3,000 megawatts of load...”

Scenario 2.) High Fuel Cost: “extremely high oil prices and sluggish economic growth are triggered by such events as the re-emergence of OPEC. The price of oil skyrockets to $80/bbl and the resulting shock creates a global economic recession much like the mid 1970s.”

Scenario 3.) Extensive Bypass: “Plentiful supplies of natural gas, improvements in micro-cogeneration systems, and high SCE rates induce many industrial and commercial customers to provide their own power...”

Scenario 4.) Expanded Environmentalism: “drastic environmental restrictions on air emissions, water quality, waste disposal, and land use are imposed on Southern California to meet EPA standards...”

Scenario 5.) Noncompetitive Pricing: “SCE’s efforts to contain “uneconomic bypass” cogenerators have been unsuccessful. Sales lost to self-generation increase, and SCE’s ability to maintain its cost competitiveness is in jeopardy. As a result, the company loses 1,000 megawatts of load”.

Scenario 6.) Economy Imports: “An abundance of externally generated, low-cost energy is now available for purchase by SCE from new hydro projects in Canada...”

Scenario 7.) Generation Shutdown: “Two thousand megawatts of SCE-owned baseload capacity is lost due to events beyond the company’s control...”

Scenario 8.) Conflict: “Because of global tensions, a large military buildup occurs. California defense contractors increase production of airplanes, missiles, and space weapons...”

Scenario 9.) Electrification: “A sudden wave of new electrical devices, processes, and applications on the market. There is also a big increase in industrial electricity usage and wide acceptance of electrical powered vehicles...”

Scenario 10.) Low Oil Prices: “A period of strong economic growth is bolstered by low oil prices as a result of declining open power or the discovery of new resources elsewhere...”

Scenario 11.) Economic Boom: “There is an explosion of economic activity in California created by strong economic activity throughout the Pacific Rim, which produces a large proportion of the world’s manufactured goods, particularly electronics, computers, automobiles, steel, machinery, aerospace, and textiles. China and Japan rival the U.S. as the largest consumer markets in the world.”

Scenario 12.) Base Case Business Environment: “Assumes a continuation of present trends. These include economic expansion, a continued shift from heavy industry to services, moderate inflation, stable prices for oil and gas fuels, intensified environmental quality concerns, and continued residential construction and customer growth within SCE's service territory.”


Environmental Futures: Four Visions from the Appalachian Trail.
Author: Rik Scarce, Futures Research Quarterly, 4:1, Spring 1988, 5-22. Four environmental scenarios to 2000.

In 1986 the Appalachian Trail Conference (ATC) established a Long-Range Planning Committee (LRP) to look at environmental and control issues affecting the Appalachian Trail (AT). The committee wrote a report, Alternative Futures for the Appalachian Trail and Appalachian Trail Conference in the Year 2000 that included scenarios derived from an extensive alternative futures matrix. The matrix and four scenarios are presented.

Scenario 1.) Continued Growth: “an optimistic scenario extrapolating trends touting the success of U.S. economic liberalism, achievements in technology, and the promise of general advancement for all. Tensions between the icehouse effect (another theory about climate change) and the greenhouse effect stabilizes world climate. The AT is managed by private hands and private funds, with the ATC as a shining example of the success of private groups directing the use of public lands.”

Scenario 2.) Decline and Stagnation: “the economy is weak and American life is chaotic. Ecological changes along the Trail are most profound and the demand for wood, long the primary fuel of developing countries, skyrocketed in the US, as natural gas and oil prices rose.”

Scenario 3.) Sustainable Society: “a new set of values gains growing acceptance throughout the US. The bioregional concept, based on the geographical, floral, and faunal characteristics of given areas, appealed to people from coast to coast who were disgusted with the ever-increasing environmental degradation. The Trail stands as a symbol of these new values and is well taken care of.”

Scenario 4.) The Transformation Future: “people realize the importance of individual freedom. The work-hard-for-money 80’s was appreciated, but there is more to life than that. There are many choices since society has become high-tech. New technology and increased leisure time have influenced the Appalachian Trail in profound ways.”


Paradigms in Progress: Life Beyond Economics.
Author: Hazel Henderson. Knowledge Systems (1991); Berrett-Koehler, 1995. Environmental scenario to the 21st century.

Social and environmental costs increasingly challenge the price system and GNP/GDP calculators of economic growth as “progress.” The rise of civil society: the world’s informal, non-money sectors and citizen movements for corporate and government accountability compete for media and policy attention. The search for new values and “earth ethics” leads to new statistics beyond GNP/GDP which are inter-disciplinary and measure “quality of life” directly.


Dead Heat: The Race Against the Greenhouse Effect.
Author: Michael Oppenheimer and Robert H. Boyle, A New Republic Book. NY: Basic Books, April 1990/268. A global warming scenario to 2050.

In this scenario, a series of disasters from the mid-1990s until 2050 devastate the continental United States. The cause -- global warming. This book considers the many strategies that might be applied toward reducing the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.


Into the 21st Century: A Handbook for a Sustainable Future.
Author: Brian C. Burrows, Alan J. Mayne and Paul Newbury, Adamine Studies of the 21st Century, #1. Twickenham UK: Adamantine Press, Aug 1991/442p. Three scenarios of sustainable development to 2100.

After considering world models and past scenarios of world futures, the authors provide the following alternative scenarios of sustainability.

Scenario 1.) A Pessimistic Scenario: unchecked continuation of present trends. In the 1990s, widespread conflict continues in the Middle East despite efforts to build a lasting peace. As a result, oil production is reduced and major pollution problems occur. Terrorism becomes an increasing problem around the world. Environmental damage continues unabated as economic expedience overrides long term sustainability. In the 21st century, the situation worsens as climate change resulting from global warming, combined with massive population growth, results in wide scale environmental destruction.

Scenario 2.) A Piecemeal Scenario: various environmental problems facing the planet are tackled, but slowly and separately. The Middle East conflict continues with much destruction to the environment but relatively small loss of life. The economies of Eastern Europe make a successful transition to capitalism while poverty and malnutrition becomes endemic in the developing world. China’s industrial development adds to the greenhouse gas problem. Although some technological “fixes” have solved a few problems, accidents by technology, such as nuclear power plant explosions, contaminate urban and rural areas.

Scenario 3.) An Optimistic Scenario: a new world social order emerges and problems are dealt with systemically. Private enterprise becomes more responsive to the environmental needs of the planet. This, combined with public pressure, results in dramatic reductions in energy and resources. The improved economic and political climate results in a decline of social tensions and a reduction in terrorism. In the 21st century, many of the world’s problems are well on the way to being solved. By the mid 21st century the standard of living for all of the world’s people begins to increase significantly as new technologies (for example, solar energy, genetic engineering, and computers), are put to uses that benefit humanity.


2050: Standing Room Only?
Author: Carl Haub, The Washington Post, Sunday, 8 July 1990, C3. Population scenarios to 2050.

This article makes a plausible argument against conventional population projections. The author believes that population growth will be much higher by 2050. The article utilizes mini-scenarios to illustrate population trends. Recent trends suggest that generally accepted UN estimates of a world population peaking at around 10.2 billion people may be too low, citing such things as the increase in fertility in some industrialized countries and decreasing commitment to controlling population growth in the developing world.


Beyond the Petroleum Age: Designing a Solar Economy.
Authors: Christopher Flavin and Nicholas Lenssen. Worldwatch Paper 100. Washington: Worldwatch Institute. Dec. 1990/65p. A practical energy scenario to 2030.

The authors describe a scenario that is driven by sustainable energy technologies becoming increasingly cost effective. In this scenario, a major transition from petroleum energy sources to sustainable energy (solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and hydroelectric) occurs in the early part of the 21st century. These renewable energy sources will be cleaner and more secure than current petroleum based sources. By 2030, renewable energy will supply much of the world’s energy needs 50 to 70 percent of current U.S. needs, for example, can be plausibly supplied by renewable energy.


The Potential Effects of Global Climate Change on the United States.
Authors: Joel B. Smith and Dennis A. Tirpak, NY: Hemisphere Publishing Corp. May 1990/689p. Global warming scenarios to 2100.

A variety of computer-based scenarios using different meteorological variables identify a series of impacts that could result from global climate change. These impacts include: changes in water availability and quality, a one meter rise in sea level by 2100 resulting in 25% to 80% of U.S. coastal wetlands being drowned; reduction in food crop production; significant changes in the country’s forests by the mid 21st century; a reduction of air quality in urban areas; increase in the mortality rate of the population, and increased demand for electricity


The Cosmic Winter.
Authors: Victor Clube and Bill Napier. Oxford UK and Cambridge MA: Basil Blackwell, March 1990/307p. An asteroid scenario.

This book opens with an apocalyptic scenario of Earth encountering a cosmic swarm of asteroids. The first few strikes occur in the Midwest of the U.S. and are initially interpreted as low-level nuclear attack. “The Secretary is informed that the damage corresponds to explosions amounting to at least twenty megatons. …The conclusion seems unavoidable that for some reason the Soviets have targeted bombs onto American territory, having somehow circumvented military radar.” Within 24 hours the entire earth is bombarded by this terrestrial catastrophe. Clube discusses “terrestrial catastrophism” - the idea that the evolution of life and fundamental geological processes were actually controlled by sudden impacts of material from space. The conventional view is “that earth evolves in splendid isolation from its surroundings.” According to the authors, this is proving to be wrong. “Swarms of asteroids that have crossed earth’s path have been proven to have occurred and had thus affected cosmic winters and sudden cooling of the globe over the past 5000 years.”


Our Country, The Planet: Forging a Partnership for Survival.
Author: Shridath Ramphal, Washington: Island Press, May 1992/291p. Three scenarios of the environment to the year 2000.

This book derives from a personal statement by the former foreign minister of Guyana on the agenda of the Earth Summit. It contains a number of chapters on the environmental state of the world and concludes with three scenarios.

Scenario 1.) Muddling Through: “a continuation of the present pattern of inadequate ad hoc responses to developments as they become critical. This is a scenario of well intentioned but usually limited action; fire fighting rather than fire prevention. Only lip service is paid to the “precautionary principle” of minimizing, and wherever possible, preventing discharges of substances that would be harmful and of ensuring that products and processes are nonpolluting.”

Scenario 2.) An Ordered World: “the IMF and World Bank gain power as these institutions increasingly tackle global environmental problems, but on the overall, failure ensues because external values and methods are imposed on communities that more often have a better understanding about how to manage resources than outsiders.”

Scenario 3.) Enlightened Change: the path of shared responsibility for our common future. A significant degree of multilateral commitment to environment and development, and ascendancy of democratic values worldwide. A good line is struck between self-denial and self-indulgence. Multilateral funds finance sustainable development.


Factors Shaping and Shaped by the Environment: 1990-2010.
Author: Joseph F. Coates J.F. Coates Inc, Washington, Futures Research Quarterly, 7:3, Fall 1991, 5-55. Six regional scenarios of the environment to 2010.

Despite a mixed regional situation, the overall prospects for environmental improvement are poor. These scenarios provide a glimpse of the major trends driving each region, and environmental consequences from the perspective of 1991.

Scenario 1.) Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc: the openness of glasnost reveals massive environmental degradation and economic systems ill-equipped to deal with it the hope is a massive Civilian Conservation Corps like program.

Scenario 2.) Taiwan: rapid economic growth is both cause and cure. It leads to a very degraded environmental situation, but provides the financial means for a subsequent cleanup.

Scenario 3.) Western Europe: environmental prospects are the brightest here of any region in the world.

Scenario 4.) Brazil: faces the problems of rapid industrialization and world outcry about the degradation of its rain forests. A promising development are debt for nature swaps.

Scenario 5.) China: faces the problems of industrialization, but unlike many other developing nations, has it’s population growth more or less effectively under control.

Scenario 6.) Sub Saharan Africa: grim prospects as governance deteriorates and limits effective actions, and population growth is largely unchecked.


From Growth to Equity and Sustainability: Paradigm Shift in Transport Planning?
Author: Ian Masser, Ove Svinden, and Michael Wegener Futures, 24:6, July - Aug 1992, 539-558. Two scenarios of transportation in Europe to 2020.

The Network for European Communications and Transport Activities Research was set in 1986, “involving more than 70 scholars from 19 European countries in a series of research projects. One project sought to explore the future evolution of transport and communications in Europe and to discuss alternatives for an integrated policy. The year 2020 was chosen as the forecasting horizon.” Future Survey Annual 1994 This report poses two scenarios of transport and communications in Europe. Key assumptions driving the scenarios are: continuing legitimacy of the European government, population of 400 500 million, and no big catastrophes.

Scenario 1.) Basically a scenario of growth, equity, and environmental sustainability.

Scenario 2.) A horror scenario, considered most likely by experts if the growth path of Western European economies continues. There will be “unparalleled spatial disparities between regions and cities, congested roads, a collapsed public transport system, a disappearing countryside, and a devastated environment.”


The Future of World Population.
Author: Wolfgang Lutz, Population Bulletin, 49:1, June 1994/47p. World population scenarios to 2030.

This is a report based on a late 1992 meeting of demographers at the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis. Key trends discussed were: world population continues to grow; developing countries will account for a growing share of the population; and average age increases will take place in all regions. This report provided a full array of scenarios.

Scenario 1) Baseline: moderate levels of fertility decline and mortality improvement yields a world population of 9.5 billion in 2030 or 12.6 billion in 2100;

Scenario 2.) High Migration, High Mortality, Low Fertility: world population is 8.3 billion in 2030;
Scenario 3.) Low Migration, Low Mortality, High Fertility: world population is 10.7 billion in 2030;

Scenario 4.) Low Migration, Low Mortality, Low Fertility: world population is 9 billion in 2030.


Energy for Tomorrow’s World: The Realities, the Real Options, and the Agenda for Achievement.
World Energy Council, WEC Commission. London: Kogan Page & NY: St. Martin’s Press , Dec 1993/320p. Energy scenarios to 2020.

The World Energy Council developed four energy scenarios to illustrate future possibilities in a world of 8.1 billion people by 2020, with global demand ranging from 17.2 gigatons (Gtoe) oil equivalent in a “high growth” scenario to 11.3 Gtoe in an “ecologically driven” scenario. Major concerns are reflected in the proposed Agenda for Action, such as increasing availability of non-fossil fuels, curbing harmful emissions, and removing institutional rigidities. This report concludes that, beyond 2020, the magnitude of supply problems could expand drastically, especially if higher global energy demand occurs and too little is done to develop alternatives.


The Fragile Tropics of Latin America: Sustainable Management of Changing Environments. Edited by Toshie Nishizawa and Juha I. Uitto, Tokyo: United Nations University Press, March 1995/325p. Two scenarios of sustainability to 2030.

Two scenarios in the next forty years are made for tropical Latin America, a region that is critical to global health with its biodiversity and natural resources.

Scenario 1.) Reference Scenario: continuation of trends that push the agricultural frontier and intensify land use. Moderate economic growth and decreasing national regulations cause the unchanged mode of development, expanding influence of transnational corporations, and the dominance of market forces. Social and economic inequities can only increase. The performance of environmental policies is ineffective, further threatening ecosystems due to an export-oriented economy. New technology fails in its application. International coordination of economic policies would reform the external debt of the LDC, reversing the current net capital flow from the South to the North.

Scenario 2.) Sustainable Scenario: characterized by the satisfaction of the needs of the population, better economic and social equities, participation, and decentralization. Assumptions are the implementation of national and regional environmental policies; R&D focusing on regional issues; social and economic reforms; land use zoning and regulation of the agricultural frontier; industrial policies for renewable and non-renewable natural resources and agriculture; the development of local energy sources; technological innovations for the revalorization of the renewable natural resources, and the development of new sustainable productive uses and internal and international market “windows of opportunity”, especially regarding tropical forests and agricultural production. The technological pluralism (complementary use of traditional, modern, and high technology), and productive pluralism (the coexistence of different types of agriculture), are emphasized. Future Survey Annual 1996


Growing Green: Enhancing the Economic and Environmental Performance of U.S. Agriculture.
Author: Paul Faeth (WRI). Washington: World Resources Institute, April 1995/81p. Six scenarios of sustainable agriculture to the 21st century.

US economic and environmental performance in agriculture can be enhanced, with special focus on subsidy programs. Scenarios illustrate the study’s findings.

Scenario 1.) Standard Baseline: reflects policies enacted in the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act. Only predominant production practices are represented in the standard base line.

Scenario 2.) Extended Baseline: the policy assumptions remain the same, but the alternative production practices are analyzed with more conventional ones. Scenario 3.) Supercompliance: introduces a tighter conservation-compliance regulation in commodity practices.

Scenario 4.) Fixed Subsidy for Best Management Practices Scenario: assumes nationwide extension of the Agricultural Conservation Program, providing cost-shares for conservation practices.

Scenario 5.) Adjustable Subsidy for Soil and Water Quality: examines the benefit of targeting. Subsidies are based on performance, determined by the value of avoided damages to off-site water quality.

Scenario 6.) Adjustable Subsidies with Program Cuts: increases unpaid acreage (normal flex acres) from 15% to 50%. As a result of this study, a major reduction in agriculture’s impact on the environment is possible as well as economically advantageous.


World Supply and Demand Projections for Cereals, 2020.
Author: Mercedita C. Agcaoili and Mark W. Rosegrant Listing of 2020 Briefs file:///B!NUMBER02.HTM. Three scenarios of world cereal supply to 2020.

Three scenarios of world food and supply. Scenario 1.) Current Growth Rates will Continue: baseline scenario describing the developed countries producing more than they consume, but cereal deficits in developing countries continue to increase to the year 2020. Scenario 2.) 20 Percent Reduction in Yield Growth Rates: presents the likely cereal supply and demand situation if yield rates are 20 percent lower than their current levels. Scenario 3.) “Scenario 2” Plus a 20 Percent Reduction in Income Growth Rates in Developing Countries: compounds the slower yield growth (in scenario 2), with a 20 percent decline in the growth of national incomes in developing countries.


The Wealth of Notions - The Ecological Revolution and the Power of Ideas.
Author: William K. Shireman Global Futures Foundation Internet: http://www/quiknet.com/globalff/globnoti.html. Two scenarios of sustainability to early 21st century.

Study of sustainability by Global Futures Foundation. Key trends are increasing resource depletion and increasing ability to conserve energy (Negawatts and Immaterials). Three things businesses need to do: identify waste, eliminate waste, and count the money they save. Scenario 1.) Sustainable Growth: taxes on consumption, energy efficiency, reduced transportation growth, stabilizing population. Scenario 2.) Industrial Growth: taxes penalize income and investment, little energy efficiency, industrializing countries follow industrial model, education remains stagnant, population grows.


The Potential Effects of Global Climate Change on the United States.
Author: Joel B. Smith and Dennis A. Tirpak NY: Hemisphere Publishing Corp. May 1990/689p. Scenarios of global climate change from 2000 to 2100.

The Environmental Protection Agency pulled together a variety of scenarios to determine the impacts of global climate change. Impacts include: changes in water availability and quality; a one-meter rise in sea level by 2100 resulting in 25% to 80% of U.S. coastal wetlands being drowned; reduction in food crop production; significant changes in the country’s forests by the mid-21st century; a reduction of air quality in urban areas; increase in the mortality rate of the population; and increased demand for electricity.

Renewable Energy from the Ocean: A Guide to OTEC.
Author: William A. Avery and Chih Wu. NY: Oxford Press, March 1994/446p. Two U.S. energy scenarios to 2020.

Two scenarios for commercial development are proposed: Scenario 1.) Methanol Commercialization: “construction of 427 methanol plantships at about $500 million each with enough total capacity to replace the imported petroleum used in the US; if financial support is maintained, the program can be completed by 2020.” Scenario 2.) Ammonia Commercialization: “construction of 1,681 ammonia plantships at about $450 million each to supply enough fuel to replace all gasoline used in the US in 1990. The principal differences between the two scenarios are that replacing gasoline with ammonia fuel would entirely eliminate carbon emissions, but would require a larger automobile adaptation cost.”


Hyperforum Scenarios on Sustainability.
Global Scenario Group, California Institute of Technology http://www.hf.caltech.edu/hf. Six scenarios of sustainable development.

Global scenarios divided into three broad categories: Conventional Worlds, Barbarization, and Great Transitions. Conventional Worlds “have in common a vision of a world where development, governed by the growth dynamics of industrial society, is gradual and steady. Population grows and aggregate economic output expands indefinitely while consumption and production practices in developing and transitional regions converge toward those of industrialized countries, even as the latter become much richer. The world becomes progressively more integrated both economically and culturally.” Within Conventional Worlds, there are two scenarios.

Scenario 1.) Reference Scenario: economic growth is given first priority as economies open and largely unregulated markets expand internationally. While some countries, groups and firms lose the race and are excluded, many prosper. Technological development is rapid, driven by market opportunities.

Scenario 2.) Balanced Growth: growth-oriented, but assumes a comprehensive policy response to the environmental and social risks encountered in the Reference scenario. This scenario does not assume major deviations in the conventional development paradigm, values, and institutional structures, but within those constraints incorporates rapid economic growth, greater distributional equity, and vigorous attempts to protect the environment. Barbarization scenarios “explore the possibility that the coming century will be far grimmer than the conventional wisdom. Barbarization scenarios assume that the negative stresses present in Conventional Worlds scenarios overwhelm the coping capacity of markets and management institutions. The world veers toward Barbarization - worlds of sharply declining physical amenities and widespread breakdown in the social and moral underpinnings of civilization. The major driving forces initially propelling this scenario include worldwide political and economic changes, inequity and persistent poverty, growing populations, increasing environmental problems, and rapid technological innovation.” Within Barbarization, there are two scenarios.

Scenario 1.) Breakdown: the degree of conflict and rivalry between the different international actors has become so high that no long-term concerted actions are possible. Chaos rather than coherence becomes the order of the day.

Scenario 2.) Fortress World: the rich international actors comprehend the dangers of forces leading to the Breakdown scenario that confront them, and are able to muster a sufficiently organized response to protect their own interests and to create lasting alliances between them. Arising within the cynical and pessimistic social mood of Barbarization conditions, these alliances are not directed at improving the general well-being, but at protecting the privileges of the rich and powerful elites. Great Transitions: scenarios explore the possibility that global society, rather than continuing its present course (Conventional Worlds) or descending into cruelty and chaos (Barbarism), evolves to a higher stage. These scenarios may seem idealistic and improbable from today's perspective--but they are possible, and may even be necessary to achieve the goals of sustainability and equity. The scenarios are Global Governance and the New Sustainability Paradigm, which differ in their mechanisms but not in their (quantitative) endstates. One feature common to these scenarios is the emergence of three important new social actors: intergovernmental global organizations, transnational corporations, and non- governmental organizations.


Humanity Comes Into Its Own - The First Truly Human and Global Society.
Hyperforum Scenarios on Sustainability, coordinated by Bruce Murray, California Institute of Technology. http://www.hf.caltech.edu/hf.

This scenario assumes that the full economic and social effects of recent technological advances are still far from realized, and that they are likely to propel a widespread and lasting surge of economic growth--growth that will be surprisingly widespread and, in developing regions, very rapid. Further, this wave of rising prosperity will bring peace and increasing individual freedom to an unprecedented proportion of the world's people. This scenario acknowledges that many environmental problems may worsen (although some may eventually turn around) and that economic disparities may increase, but asserts that these stresses will not be sufficient to undermine progress in most regions. The result, a century hence, will be the first truly human and global society.


The Environment in Geopolitical Relations.
Authors: Ike Chang and Lloyd Dixon, RAND. Hyperforum Scenarios on Sustainability, coordinated by Bruce Murray, California Institute of Technology. http://www.hf.caltech.edu/hf.

A new paradigm of geopolitical relations emerges in which the environment acts as the basis of political, economic, and military relations between rich and poor countries. National leaders of rich countries couch their foreign policies in terms of environmental protection. Political regimes of poor countries threaten the world with environmental contamination to extract financial concessions and political support from richer countries. Eventually, military actions are justified under the rationale of "protecting the global environment."

III. TECHNOLOGICAL CAPACITY


Speculations on the Future of Science. Kevin Kelly. Long Foundation. Series on long-term thinking hosted by Stewart Brand. This scenario is based on Kevin Kelly’s “The Next 100 Years of Science: Long-Term Trends in the Scientific Method.” Kevin Kelly helped launch Wired magazine in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor until January 1999. He is now Editor-At-Large for Wired.

Kevin Kelly describes five broad trends over the next 50 years. 1) More change in science. More change in the next 50 years of science than in the last 400 years. 2) A century of biology. It is the domain with the most scientists, the most new results, the most economic value, the most ethical importance, and the most to learn. 3) Computers will keep leading to new ways of science. Information is growing by 66% per year while physical production grows by only 7% per year. The data volume is growing to such levels of "zillionics" that we can expect science to compile vast combinatorial libraries. 4) New ways of knowing will emerge. "Wikiscience" is leading to perpetually refined papers with a thousand authors. Distributed instrumentation and experiment, thanks to miniscule transaction cost, will yield smart-mob, hive-mind science operating "fast, cheap, & out of control." Negative results will have positive value (there is already a "Journal of Negative Results in Biomedicine". 5) Science will create new levels of meaning. The Internet already is made of one quintillion transistors, a trillion links, a million emails per second, 20 exabytes of memory. It is approaching the level of the human brain and is doubling every year, while the brain is not.
The Scientific Method in 2057. “Fifty years from now the world of science drives the scientific method to become a multi-faceted and counterintuitive animal, far different from anything imagined in 2007. Negative results are saved, shared, compiled and analyzed (known as compiled negative results) so negative results, once a part of the problem, reflect back in positive shadows and are run through trials with as much rigor as positive trials seeking positive results. Best negative results are mutated and bred toward better results. In the double blind experiments of the past, neither researcher nor subject were aware of the controls, but both were aware of the experiment. In 2057, triple blind experiments require participants to be blind to the controls and to the very fact of the experiment itself. In 2057, the way of science becomes dependant on cheap non-invasive sensors running continuously for years generating immense streams of data. While ordinary life continues for the subjects, a huge amount of data about their lifestyles are archived. Like, the metrics of consumer habits of a hundred thousand people would be gauged for pattern recognition over a 20 year period. Knowing something in that detail over a 20 year historic period can reap a beneficial 20 year trend forecast of a sampling much larger than an requiring of statistics. In the area of hypothesis, multiple hypothesis matrix are utilized. Instead of proposing a series of single hypothesis, in which each hypothesis is falsified and discarded until one theory finally passes and is verified, a matrix of many hypothesis scenarios are proposed and managed simultaneously. An experiment travels through the matrix of multiple hypothesis, some of which are partially right and partially wrong. Veracity is statistical; more than one thesis is permitted to stand with partial results. Just as data were assigned a margin of error, so too will hypothesis. An explanation may be stated as: 20% is explained by this theory, 35% by this theory, and 65% by this theory. A matrix also permits experiments with more variables and more complexity than before. Pattern Augmentation – Pattern-seeking software which recognizes a pattern in noisy results. In large bodies of information with many variables, algorithmic discovery of patterns will become necessary and common. These exist in specialized niches of knowledge (such particle smashing) but more general rules and general-purpose pattern engines will enable pattern-seeking tools to become part of all data treatment. Artificial intelligence will derive and check the logic of an experiment. Wiki-Science – The average number of authors per paper continues to rise. With massive collaborations, the numbers will boom. Experiments involving thousands of investigators collaborating on a "paper" become commonplace on 2057. The paper is ongoing, and never finished. It becomes a trail of edits and experiments posted in real time — an ever evolving "document." Contributions are not assigned. Tools for tracking credit and contributions will be vital. Responsibilities for errors will be hard to pin down. Wiki-science will often be the first word on a new area. Some researchers will specialize in refining ideas first proposed by wiki-science.”


Unbounding the Future: The Nanotechnology Revolution. Eric Drexler. Nanotechnology Center, Professor Kobayashi. Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).

The “what if” questions that inspire futurists won’t always appear in the newspapers. Some are too scary. The news that nanotechnology will rapidly change society has invoked many questions, but one consequence will need exploring on a social and economic level before it is unleashed: the idea that molecular manufacturing might replace modern technology in a massive way. To a workingman, this is scary. Within the next 50 years, nanotechnology will outbreak from the lab to the manufacturing sector and dramatically replace processes such as cutting, etching, grinding, spraying; replacing crude machines (like supercomputers), so that whole new manufacturing processes will involve molecular placement, strategic atom sailing, flying cellular birdies, and atomic eagles. It will eventually be an inexpensive way to control the structure of matter. Drexler shows a provocative way of looking at the future of nanotechnology: “Every tree makes leaves, and each leaf is more sophisticated than a spacecraft, more finely patterned than the latest chip from Silicon Valley. They do all this without noise, heat, toxic fumes, or human labor, and they consume pollutants as they go. Viewed this way, trees are high technology. Chips and rockets aren't. Trees give a hint of what molecular nanotechnology will be like...” Scenes from a Post-breakthrough World: Scenarios of the Future of Nanotechnology. The following are excerpts from Unbounding the Future: The Nanotechnology Revolution.

Solar Energy. “In Fairbanks, Alaska, Linda Hoover yawns and flips a switch on a dark winter morning. The light comes on, powered by stored solar electricity. The Alaska oil pipeline shut down years ago, and tanker traffic is gone for good. Nanotechnology can make solar cells efficient, as cheap as newspaper, and as tough as asphalt–tough enough to use for resurfacing roads, collecting energy without displacing any more grass and trees. Together with efficient, inexpensive storage cells, this will yield low-cost power (but no, not "too cheap to meter").”

Medicine that Cures. “Sue Miller of Lincoln, Nebraska, has been a bit hoarse for weeks, and just came down with a horrid head cold. For the past six months, she's been seeing ads for At Last!®: the Cure for the Common Cold, so she spends her five dollars and takes the nose-spray and throat-spray doses. Within three hours, 99 percent of the viruses in her nose and throat are gone, and the rest are on the run. Within six hours, the medical mechanisms have become inactive, like a pinch of inhaled but biodegradable dust, soon cleared from the body. She feels much better and won't infect her friends at dinner. The human immune system is an intricate molecular mechanism, patrolling the body for viruses and other invaders, recognizing them by their foreign molecular coats. The immune system, though, is slow to recognize something new. For her five dollars, Sue bought 10 billion molecular mechanisms primed to recognize not just the viruses she had already encountered, but each of the five hundred most common viruses that cause colds, influenza, and the like. Weeks have passed, but the hoarseness Sue had before her cold still hasn't gone away; it gets worse. She ignores it through a long vacation, but once she's back and caught up, Sue finally goes to see her doctor. He looks down her throat and says, "Hmmm." He asks her to inhale an aerosol, cough, spit in a cup, and go read a magazine. The diagnosis pops up on a screen five minutes after he pours the sample into his cell analyzer. Despite his knowledge, his training and tools, he feels chilled to read the diagnosis: a malignant cancer of the throat, the same disease that has cropped up all too often in his own mother's family. He touches the "Proceed" button. In twenty minutes, he looks at the screen to check progress. Yes, Sue's cancerous cells are all of one basic kind, displaying one of the 16,314 known molecular markers for malignancy. They can be recognized, and since they can be recognized, they can be destroyed by standard molecular machines primed to react to those markers. The doctor instructs the cell analyzer to prime some to go after her cancer cells. He tests them on cells from the sample, watches, and sees that they work as expected, so he has the analyzer prime up some more. Sue puts the magazine down and looks up. "Well, Doc, what's the word?" she asks. "I found some suspicious cells, but this should clear it up," he says. He gives her a throat spray and an injection. "I'd like you to come back in three weeks, just to be sure." "Do I have to?" she asks. "You know," he lectures her, "we need to make sure it's gone. You really shouldn't let things like this go so far before coming in." "Yes, fine, I'll make the appointment," she says. Leaving the office, Sue thinks fondly of how old-fashioned and conservative Dr. Fujima is. The molecular mechanisms of the immune system already destroy most potential cancers before they grow large enough to detect. With nanotechnology, we will build molecular mechanisms to destroy those that the immune system misses.

Cleansing the Soil. “California Scout Troop 9731 has hiked for six days, deep in the second-wilderness forests of the Pacific Northwest. "I bet we're the first people ever to walk here," says one of the youngest scouts. "Well, maybe you're right about walking," says Scoutmaster Jackson, "but look up ahead–what do you see, scouts?" Twenty paces ahead runs a strip of younger trees, stretching left and right until it vanishes among the trunks of the surrounding forest. "Hey, guys! Another old logging road!" shouts an older scout. Several scouts pull probes from their pockets and fit them to the ends of their walking sticks. Jackson smiles: It's been ten years since a California troop found anything this way, but the kids keep trying. The scouts fan out, angling their path along the scar of the old road, poking at the ground and watching the readouts on the stick handles. Suddenly, unexpectedly, comes a call: "I've got a signal! Wow–I've got PCBs!" In a moment, grinning scouts are mapping and tracing the spill. Decades ago, a truck with a leaking load of chemical waste snuck down the old logging road, leaving a thin toxic trail. That trail leads them to a deep ravine, some rusted drums, and a nice wide patch of invisible filth. The excitement is electrifying. Setting aside their maps and orienteering practice, they unseal a satellite locator to log the exact latitude and longitude of the site, then send a message that registers their cleanup claim on the ravine. The survey done, they head off again, eagerly planning a return trip to earn the now-rare Toxic Waste Cleanup Merit Badge. Today, tree farms are replacing wilderness. Tomorrow, the slow return to wilderness may begin, when nature need no longer be seen as a storehouse of natural resources to be plundered.”


The Future of BioSciences: Four Scenarios for 2020 and Their Implications for Human Healthcare. Paul J. H. Schoemaker and Michael S. Tomczyk (Eds.); Wharton School Mack Center for Technological Innovation, Philadelphia, PA; 2006; 132 pp.

This report by Decision Strategies International and the Mack Center for Technological Innovation at the Wharton School aims to help bioscience companies "prepare for the future, challenge current thinking and find ways to profit from uncertainty." With contributions from more than 50 bioscience industry leaders, it includes four scenarios that describe the commercialization potential of emerging bioscience technologies from now until 2020 and beyond: The following are excerpts from the scenarios. Scenario 1) "Where's the Beef". The world is becoming increasingly hazardous to your health. In this scenario, medical science is unable to cure many common diseases despite strong public pressure and support. Biomedicine and gene therapy in particular have not fulfilled their early promise despite decades of research. Scenario Excerpt: In 2020,public demand for biomedical solutions and “breakthroughs” is extremely high, especially for incurable forms of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, AIDS, malaria, hereditary conditions, drug-resistant infections, to name a few.” technology has been slow to deliver, causing the public to demand: “Where’s the beef?”

Scenario 2) "Science Held Hostage". Successful life science treatments and cures can not break through the obstacles posed by negative public sentiment, legal barriers and lack of funding. This scenario points out the occurrence of scientific breakthroughs, but public opposition and ever-increasing legal barriers prevent their commercialization. Moral or ethical concerns, especially in human gene manipulation, stall new products. This opposition comes from lack of education or understanding of how life science technologies work, as well as legitimate safety and ethical concerns. The greatest obstacles entail moral or ethical considerations involving the manipulation of human genes and proteins and other molecular structures. Scenario Excerpt: Significant developments and breakthroughs in new life science technologies have produced “raging success” in the field, but many of the most novel and effective of these are rejected by consumers, government agencies, advocacy groups and in some cases, entire regions of the world. Scenario 3. “Much Ado About Nothing”. The long delay in delivery of molecular science solutions has led people in all nations to settle into a “status quo” mentality, where expectations for medical miracles exist in theory, but not in real life. Advances take a long time and sick people across the globe lose hope that future therapies can save them, according to "Bio Gridlock." There's great frustration at the lack of results even after decades of increasing research funding. Patients suffering from debilitating diseases have lost hope in the power of technology to save them. Disease advocacy groups are frustrated after decades of lobbying for research funding, given the lack of results. Scenario Excerpt: In 2020, molecular science has failed to fulfill its early promise, leading to frustration among patients, practitioners, investors and politicians. Technology has not delivered the expected and hoped-for solutions, and society remains deeply conflicted. Scenario 4) "New Age of Medicine". The new age of medicine envisioned in the 1990s has finally come to pass. This scenario demonstrates the healing powers of vast database libraries that help match patients and treatments in a system of total lifelong patient care and personal monitoring. Increasingly, patients in developing nations gain access to this and sophisticated medical treatments. Medical technology has provided effective treatments or alternatives for many previously fatal diseases. Breakthroughs in regenerative medicine have extended the life expectancy of people in developed countries, exacerbating the pressures caused by aging populations. Millions of people in developing nations have benefited from novel cures for malaria and many other diseases. Scenario Excerpt: Remarkable achievements in molecular science and other areas of medicine have ushered in a “new age of medicine.” Biomedical solutions are making it possible to eradicate or control most diseases, extend longevity, and improve the quality of life.


The Future of Biotechnology for Medical Applications in 2015. Scenario Thinking & Associates. Daniel Erasmus is founder of scenario thinking.org. A fellow at the Rotterdam School of Management, he has facilitated the development of more than 50 scenario sets on the future of the information society. In these scenarios, he works with experts in the field of biotechnology.

Over the last 20 years the biotech industry has grown to a large industry with the two largest players having a market value around 100 billion. According to Erasmus, the definition of biotechnology is, "the commercial application of living organisms or their products, which involves the deliberate manipulation of their DNA molecules." Biotechnology has spawned laboratory techniques over the past 20 years that has revolutionized many industries. These overview scenarios are the result of a planning process group exploring trends in the future of the biotechnology industry over the next ten years. Scenario 1) Biotechnology Boost. “Already in 2004 Ernst&Young’s Biotechnology report “Beyond Borders” had announced that the Biotech market would grow 20 % in 2005. Investment levels of venture capitalists, successful IPO’s and R&D were in line with this growth percentage and the biotech market as a whole had become profitable in 2008. Because of the virtually endless fundamental research that became available, after the full genetic structure of human’s was decoded, R&D costs decreased substantially. Development costs for marketable drugs had come down from $800 million in 2005 to less than $150 million. More effective (genome based) R&D had made this possible. Moreover the industry started to transfer R&D activities to low wage countries like China and India. Price levels of drugs went down, however profit margins still went up grace to the fact that development costs could be reduced so dramatically. Thanks to the reduction of drug prices, the biotech industry managed to bring drugs out of the public focus as being the major drivers of healthcare costs. Instead of drug prices, exaggerated public hospital infrastructure and the sheer number of medical doctors and their wages were acclaimed to be responsible for the increases in healthcare costs. However healthcare costs will again be an issue in the future: Healthcare costs in absolute terms will go up exponentially because of the still aging population. - The field of orphan drugs, where relatively only a few can benefit, will continue to be attractive. Prices basically play no role in this field. The boundaries between biotech and traditional pharmaceutical industries got closer and closer until 2010. Competition among countries in biotech research had been intense. It still is, Countries were aggressively supporting biotech companies who were willing to move research centres and production plants onshore. This was one more reason not only for the vast amount of fundamental research in biotechnology now available but also for the increasing amount of applied research conducted, and the experience and know how gained in developing and launching successful drugs. After 2010 pharma majors desperately acquired biotech companies and transformed themselves into biotech players. Those who failed to do so have been increasingly absorbed by the biotech majors. In fact, there is hardly a difference today between biotech and traditional pharma industries. From 2005 onwards, the world got more and more aware that new diseases had been arising faster and faster. Looking back, we can conclude that bird flu, other new types of flu, HIV and but also several new types of cancer were the most important examples. Grace to biotechnology, effective drugs could be developed fast enough to cope with these diseases and many of these drugs turned out to be blockbusters. Thanks to the quick and effective reaction of the biotech industry to these challenges the industry was able to gain major support from supranationals like the European Union and the WHO. Consequently public education in biotechnology was improved and was broadly accepted as the answer to these new challenges. The ethical debate turned out to be in favor of the biotech industry in at least the area of medical applications. . There may be many factors though which might slow down the growth of biotechnology. Maybe terrorism. Maybe the oil crisis. Maybe global warming. It’s just maybe, maybe…….”

Scenario 2) Biotechnology Business Matures. “The explosion has not taken place. Major players in Biotech as well as private and public investors in medical biotech research had expected a revolution in medical applications, grace to a vastly increased knowledge and fundamental research base and thus a vast universe of opportunities for new applications with shrinking R&D cost. This has not happened. Developing successful applications upon the vast knowledge base in biotech turned out to be much more difficult and much more expensive than expected. The rate of innovation finally didn’t turn out to be higher than it was in the years and decades before with classical pharmaceutical R&D. In addition, development periods for new drugs generally even became longer, due to increased security concerns and thus stricter approval practices by both, FDA and EMEA. Starting from around 2009, biotech was no longer considered a hot topic by the venture capital community, particularly in the US. In the Industry for medical application the border between classical pharma and biotechnology began to vanish. Nowadays (2015), this border has virtually disappeared. - Cost pressure in healthcare inclusive the cost pressure for drugs and medical applications persisted. Efforts of the industry, to bring drug prices out of the public focus as being one of the major cost drivers in healthcare, failed. Healthcare costs now make around 30% of the US government spending, and in other countries there is not much difference. Governmental efforts in several countries to transfer a bigger part of the healthcare cost from the public household to private individuals met considerable resistance and could only be conducted to a small degree. These measures only had a slight impact on the development of healthcare costs. In addition, structural problems as well as adverse incentives in healthcare remained partly unsolved. As a consequence, pressure on the drug industry to reduce drug prices increased. Especially in the US, the government was no more willing, to accept that drug prices in the country exceeded those in other parts of the world by significant percentages. Parallel import had therefore been made possible. The same was the case in those European countries where drug prices exceeded those in the rest of the world. Health insurers and politicians at the same time enhanced the incentives for consumers to ask their doctors to prescribe generics wherever possible which was followed to a large degree. All this had the consequence that margins on drugs in general got smaller and cost pressure for the pharma- and biotech industries increased. Drug production and R&D activities began to get transferred to emerging markets. But still, profitability of products remained tight. - Governments decreasingly saw biotechnology as the panacea to solving all the economic problems of their country. Biotechnology in medical applications was more and more becoming an industry like any other. Profitability established itself about on the level that previously had already been reached by most pharma multinationals but remained under steady pressure. - Ethical problems remained unsolved for a long time and the debate still keeps popping up from time to time. The 2005 presidential veto in the US against stem-cell research funding with public funds persisted and inhibited the implementation of a corresponding legal framework. For some time, both, the US biotech industry as well certain leading US economists feared that they could fall back against countries like the UK or south Korea – which had a much more permissive legal framework. However this discussion calmed down pretty soon. Transformation of basic research - including basic research in stem cell cloning - into marketable medical applications had proved to be much more difficult than expected and more difficult to plan than expected. In fact, some successful applications have been developed. A successful cure for bird flu was launched in 2009 and a new MS drug (which is still not able to heal the disease but which is able to delay the symptoms for much longer) was launched shortly after. But the high hopes set into the industry were not fulfilled. Common worldwide notion today is, that the innovation pace is not higher than the one we have been observing in the pharmaceutical industry for the last 20 years. Development costs still are around € 1billion for a successful application. Additionally only one project out of eight is successful. For these reasons, the ban of publicly funded stem-cell research had gotten out of focus as a major barrier hindering economic growth in the US. In other countries, there was no major boom in successful medical applications based upon stem cell research – the revolution is still to happen. - Competition among countries in biotechnology can be considered as healthy. None of the G9 (former G7) and G13 (former G10) countries today considers biotechnology as their only key topic for economic development. The same is the case with most of the important emerging markets. In view of the fact that governmental sponsoring was producing encouraging results in basic research but that successful transformation of these into successful application and hence into jobs and economic growth did not take place at the pace that governments had hoped, they stopped pumping funds aggressively into biotech research. India and China became centres for outsourced applied R&D, they built up considerable manufacturing capacity for biotech drugs and built up an increasingly competitive local pharmaceutical industry. However, this is considered nowadays as a normal consequence of both globalisation and the trend towards outsourcing to these areas of the world. To summarize, support of biotechnology is no longer the first priority of governments in most of the important economic areas of the world. - Borders between biotech and classical pharma have vanished. Biotechnology majors have expanded into the business with pharma generics. Likewise former pharma multinationals have built up vast biotech operations. Today it is no longer an issue whether a drug is based on biotechnology or whether it is an outcome of classical pharma research. The Biotech / Pharma industry grows with about 8-10% per year which is similar to the Growth Rate of Pharma between 2000 and 2005.”

Scenario 3) Biotechnology Bubble Burst. “Maybe it was the recent memory of the dot.com rise and fall that eventually led to the dramatic and turbulent changes in the biotech industry. In any case it had many similarities. In the early years of the 21st century, the biotech industry could look back on a period of 20 years with growth rates of around 20%. The total market capitalization of the Biotech industry was more than $300 billion in 2005. 2005 was followed by difficult years for the biotech industry. Transfer of fundamental research into applications was much more complex than expected and development cost exceeded expectations by far. Also, both FDA and EMEA got much stricter in their approval practices and in monitoring drugs, after several spectacular cases where drugs had to be withdrawn from the market (the most spectacular cases were VioX and Tysabri). The negative impact on industry reputation triggered by these withdrawals was much more dramatic than in earlier years. These may have been the main reasons that explain why the industry failed to bring any new blockbuster drugs to the market. At the same time, a number of privately funded biotech companies, untouched by official regulations, announced that they were pursuing experiments with human cloning, media attention and public reactions increased dramatically. People, especially religious movements in the US, began demonstrating and received a vast amount of media attention as a result. The focus of the demonstrations were not directly related to details and potential hazards of stem cell research, but instead more focused on the potential horrors of cloning as well as on abortion issues. The situation eventually worsened, when information and pictures appeared of failed cloning experiments involving human embryos. Most of the global (and national) ethnic and regulatory bodies in the world were in uproar and demanded a complete stop of human cloning R&D, huge penalties to the companies involved and imprisonment of the responsible managers and researchers. The media also worsened the situation by “sensationalism” journalism, increasing the fear in the public and increasing the pressure on politicians to address the problems. - After the uproar that followed the unsuccessful cloning experiments, biotech regulation had clearly become a hot political topic. Most developed nations started to impose laws on biotech R&D and detailed monitoring mechanisms were adapted to prevent further “unethical” and “dangerous” development projects in the future. The imposed restrictions led to a draining of the capital that had been the foundation of the successful growth in the biotech industry up to 2010. Governments saw themselves forced to cut R&D spending on biotech projects, because of pressure from the lobbying of ethical and religious groups and from the increasing media attention. The lack of financial governmental support also caused the venture capital industry to turn their backs on the biotech industry. The fact that venture capitalists started to look elsewhere was also the result of the many new and exciting “hot” industries that started to emerge around 2010 (e.g. nanotechnology). Furthermore, the first years after 2010 saw again a downturn in the economy, which caused further drainage of funding sources. This situation forced most biotech companies to focus on a few “money generating” products, and the aggressive R&D projects which were attractive to investors were no longer feasible for most companies due to financial constraints. As a result, more and more biotech companies were forced into liquidation, and many were desperately seeking buyers (many comments were made to the analogy of the dot.com situation in the early years of the millennium). The biotech industry went through a dramatic consolidation. Eventually, in 2015, the total market cap of the biotech industry was merely 250 billion $. The few successful biotech companies that had survived the industry downturn had seen their stock prices tumble, and most were taken over by major traditional medical companies. The biotech industry was no longer what it once had been.”


The Future of Nanotechnology. Nanologue Project, a 21-month EU funded project looking at the social, ethical, and legal implications of nanotechnology. Volker Turk, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy & Hugh Knowles, Forum for the Future. September 2005.

There are choices we make now that will have consequences in the future. The scenarios developed in this workshop have helped policy makers prepare the ground to enhance the dialogue on social and ethical aspects of nanotechnology. It consists of three scenarios of how nanotechnology will have developed by 2015. These are written from the perspective of a researcher in 2015 examining the current state of nanotechnology. The scenarios point out what the key concerns are and the pathway that led to this point. Full text of the scenarios are available at www.nanologue. Scenario 1) Disaster Recovery. “A lack of regulation results in a major accident. Public concern about nanotechnology is high and technology development is slow and cautious. Public institutions have been slow to plan for the possibility of health or environmental risks related to nanotechnology and private enterprise has been reluctant to self-regulate. This lack of regulation contributed to a major accident at a manufacturing plant in Korea in 2012. Public concern about nanotechnologies escalated and a cautious approach to technology development was adopted. Although the technology is still being used and the science is still developing, the term nanotechnologies isused less, and the prefix nano has all-but disappeared. Except from the scenario: In 2014, after the accident, residues of manufactured nanoparticles were discovered in Arctic sea ice. A coherent EU regulatory framework for nanoscience and technology was finalized, based loosely on the UK guidelines. IN 2015, a consortium of European businesses published a report criticizing the EU framework and committed to developing its own, stricter guidelines.” Scenario 2) Now We’re Talking. “Strong regulation and accountability systems are in place. The technology has been shaped by societal needs and strong health and safety concerns. Regulation of new technologies has been standardized internationally and strong accountability systems are in place, enabling transparent development of nanotechnology. Public sector incentives have directed research towards products that explicitly benefit society, supported by public participation. Local stakeholder forums debate issues that arise from the use of technology (such as privacy) and make decisions for their local area. The strong regulatory regime, especially around issues of toxicity, has meant that health and safety risks are spotted early on and are well-managed. The focus on products that benefit society and reduce environmental impact has paid off: growing resource stress means demand for these products is increasing around the world. Excerpt from scenario. In 2015, BBC documentary “Whatever happened to nanotechnology?” is broadcast. The program revisits 2006, the fears of the time and looks at developments of the past ten years. The program takes viewers back to some of the more radical predictions from 2006, such as curing blindness. It becomes clear throughout the documentary that the technology has not developed as fast as was predicted by some in 2007. ON the other hand, none of the disasters predicted have materialized either. So on the whole, the documentary concludes, we are better off, the ground work has been laid and the future looks brighter.” Scenario 3) Powering Ahead. “This scenario entails scientific progress which occurs faster than expected. Nanotechnology is making a real impact, particularly in energy conversion and storage. Scientific progress has been faster than expected and nanotechnology-related products are making a real impact on society and the economy. For example, there have been dramatic improvements in the efficiency of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells, with the result that applications expected to come into the market in the 2020s are already a reality. Long-term investments in fossil fuel resources are progressively losing value and new market entrants are growing quickly. The speed of change has left regulation behind. Although there has been discussion around the risks of novel materials, as far as public debate is concerned the benefits so far outweigh the risks.”


Preparing for the Future. Reports Issued on Biotechnology Traceability and Uses. The Food Institute Report 19, May 16, 2005.

The USDA issued two reports on agricultural biotechnology that cover worldwide requirements for tracing and labeling of agricultural biotechnology products. The report shows that predicting the use of the products can be complicated. The first report considers proliferation and labeling: how different segments of the United States food and feed supply chain are addressing those requirements; and, marketplace issues. The second report provides USDA with an analysis of the factors that will shape the use of biotechnology in the future. It identifies broad trends and uncertainties. The report also provides three examples of scenarios for the future.
Each scenario is intended as a description of what the world might look like a decade from now. For a copy of the complete scenarios, contact the USDA for the report, “Preparing for the Future”. 1) Rosy Future. Excerpt from the scenario. “By 2015, life science research delivered beyond anyone’s expectations. Like those involved in the information technology revolution, even those doing the research and investment were overwhelmed by the scale and speed of change. Among the new products were crops with increased yield, resistance to key stresses like drought, plants engineered for new energy uses, including production of biodiesel, and new food products that provide valuable health benefits. In addition, plants with various combinations of traits significantly increased the utility or impact of these new crops. Agricultural biotechnology began being employed all over the world, not only in agricultural exporting countries. Research and development continued in the Western world and in those developing countries whose governments quickly recognized the opportunities and were able to provide an appropriate investment climate. European nations continued their development of new ag biotech uses for pharmaceutical, industrial, and energy products. European opposition to food uses decreased significantly as EU governments, non-governmental organizations, and consumers realized the value of increasing agricultural productivity on GDP and competitiveness. More food could be produced on less land, which was fortunate because, as Chinese and Indian incomes rose, demand for animal feed exploded. Had the new transgenic products not come on line, meeting demand would have required bringing enormous amounts of new agricultural land under cultivation. Farmers now faced a much more complex world with an even broader array of crop and seed variety options.” 2) Continental Islands. Excerpt from the scenario. “New products of biotechnology continued to be developed and introduced into the marketplace. Farmers in a number of countries in the Americas and Asia continued to adopt biotech crops, based on significant positive economic impacts. Many of these new products were plant varieties with two or more new traits in a single variety, providing additional value for growers, and some new agronomic and consumer focused products have come to the market. Development of transgenic animals continued for niche applications, including xenotransplantation, but not for food uses. Given smaller markets, little investment was made in minor crop biotechnology. The process for bringing transgenic agricultural products through the regulatory approval process to commercialization remained efficient in the U.S., Canada, and Argentina, and China, Mexico and Brazil joined their ranks. In some other countries with much slower regulatory processes, such as India, Australia, the European Union, and some African countries, additional products were only commercialized slowly. In other countries the approval processes remained non- existent or cumbersome. Despite continued efforts, no international harmonization of regulations occurred and restrictive regulations continued to serve as trade barriers. Different countries or regions had varying regulatory systems and procedures. Labeling of biotechnology products varied by country and was non-standard. The United States continued to be a major producer and distributor of biotechnology products. Other major growers and producers were Canada, Argentina, China, India, Brazil, and South Africa. One or more of these countries commercialized a major transgenic crop not commercialized in the U.S. Asia and the rest of Africa remained divided, with some countries accepting or promoting the technology, and others rejecting it (even as food aid).” Scenario 3) Biotech Goes Niche. Excerpt from the scenario. “After a splashy debut, genetically engineered crops products did not turn out to be major components of world commodity agriculture, but continued to thrive in important niche markets. The first two products of crop biotechnology--- Bt and herbicide tolerance products, widely adopted in the U.S., Canada, and South America, were not followed by other blockbuster products. Some major agricultural regions continued to reject genetically engineered crops. No transgenic varieties of wheat were ever commercialized. None of the promised new traits—drought tolerance or cold tolerance—panned out for corn, soy, cotton, or canola. The first generation of adopters remained enthusiastic about herbicide-tolerant and insect resistant (Bt) crops but was gradually forced to turn away from them because of lack of global acceptance and increased use of marker assisted technologies for development of improved germplasm in conventional seeds, but not “transgenic crops”. The public did not accept the genetic engineering of animals for food uses, and given the technical difficulties associated with many of the modifications, there was no enthusiasm for commercializing genetically engineered animals for those uses. However, applications involving genetic engineering of animals for producing pharmaceuticals or tissues for xenotransplantation came on line. The reasons for the fading away of transgenic products were complicated. First, the technology never overcame the barriers inherent in engineering useful traits involving multiple genes. Research costs remained high. The few products with claims to improved nutrition were never attractive enough to enjoy large price premiums. Without those price premiums it was hard to justify big investments in continued research and identity preservation schemes. In the regulatory arena, mandatory food safety approval and transboundary movement requirements continued to increase as did the cost and time it took to go to market. There were some efforts amongst countries to harmonize requirements. However, the majority of countries developed their own regulatory systems based on local needs and market protection preferences.”


The Future of Computing Demand. CTO Greg Papdopoulos, Sun Microsystems, presented at the Analyst Day Conference, February, 2007.

Sun Microsystems hosted its annual Analyst Day presentation series on information technology. In one of the presentations, CTO Greg Papadopoulos presented the future of computing demand. He surmised that the traditional big driver of computing demand - basic business computing - has lost its force. The growth in computing power through Moore's Law now far outstrips the growth in demand from traditional business computing. That means that businesses will need far fewer computers in the future to fulfill demand – “a fact already manifesting itself in IT departments' emphasis on server consolidation and virtualization.” The big opportunity for business is to improve capacity and realize three new drivers of computing demand that go beyond Moore’s Law: “ 1. Rich multimedia content delivered through the broadband Internet (think YouTube and VOIP); 2. High-performance supercomputing (think weather modeling and drug development); and 3. Software as a service (think Salesforce.com, Webex and Office Live).” In combination, these three sources will produce an exponential leap in demand for computing - called "Redshift". In the future, a fundamental split will open up in the market with very different sets of customers (one with stagnant demand and one with burgeoning demand) and with very different needs. The following two scenarios are described in the presentation, Future of Computing Demand by Greg Papdopoulos. Scenario 1) Sun’s Nightmare. Under this scenario, the new mega-scale computing operations follow the Google model and "disintermediate" traditional computer companies. They build their own systems from scratch. The old enterprise computer business turns into a "commodity parts market," as Papadopoulos puts it. Scenario 2) Sun’s Dream. “Under this scenario, the mega-scale computing giants continue to look to outside suppliers to provide the sophisticated computing systems they need. Google, in this scenario, is an early pioneer of the engineering of mega-scale computing but it is not a model for the future supply of such computing. (A historical analogue for Sun's dream is mega-scale electricity production a hundred years ago - the big utilities didn't all build their own generating systems; they bought them from GE and Westinghouse.) In Sun's dream, computing (like electric current) becomes a commodity but computers (like electric generators) don't. Those who dominate the computer business of the future, under this scenario, would be the engineering giants, not the assemblers. The winners would not be those who pump out generic cheap boxes but those who are able to build highly efficient mega-scale machines. In some ways, that would mean the future of the computer industry would look more like the mainframe era than the PC era.”


2020 Computing: Exceeding Human Limits. Stephen H. Muggleton. Stephen H. Muggleton is in the Department of Computing and the Centre for Integrative Systems Biology at Imperial College London SW7 2BZ, UK. Nature Issue 440 March, 2006.

More and more, scientists are relying on automated processes to deal with increasing massive volumes of data. Automation will continue to play a key role in data collection, storage of information, hypothesis formation, and experimentation. Muggleton goes on to say that in the future of science, automation will be a fundamental element of testing, experimentation, and basic hypothesis that typically takes years to undertake. During the twenty-first century, Muggleton believes that “knowledge derived from large-scale scientific data could well pave the way to new technologies, ranging from personalized medicines to methods for dealing with and avoiding climate change.” Scenario of Miniature Roboscientists. “In 2006, laboratory robots were programmed to conduct experiments on yeast through a process known as ‘active learning’ to discriminate between contending hypothesis formulated by scientists. The robot strategy that worked best outperformed humans given the same task. By 2020, science developed the first microfluidic robot scientist, “ which would combine active learning and autonomous experimentation with microfluidic technology.” Scientists were already able to build miniaturized laboratories on a chip using microfluidics controlled and directed by a computer. Such chips contained miniature reaction chambers, ducts, gates, ionic pumps and reagent stores, and allowed for chemical synthesis and testing at high speed. (By 2020) this miniturizing created robot-scientist technology and reduced the experimental cycle time from hours to milliseconds. With microfluidic technology, each chemical reaction not only required less time to complete, it also required smaller quantities of input materials, with a higher expected yield. On such timescales, it becomes easier for scientists to reproduce new experiments and refute their hypotheses. Another process for the next-generation robot scientists is what is known as simulating cellular metabolism. Here, an artificial cell based on a chemical Turing machine is used as an alternative to in vivo drug testing. The program running this machine would need to contain algorithms both for controlling the experiment and for conducting the cell simulation. It would represent a fundamental advance in the integration of computation with its environment.”


Scenarios on the Future of Biotechnology. Brian Sager. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 68 (2001) 109-129. Sager works for Life Sciences Strategy Consulting, Stanford, CA.

The time horizon of these scenarios is 2020. The convergence of biotechnology, nanotechnology, and information technology is happening and it is unprecedented. The expansion of key industries to 2020 include agricultural biotechnology that will some day enable vaccines to eliminate disease; industrial biotechnology for more sustainable manufacturing; biological computing that integrates a future that may include wearable computers. Current trends imply four plausible scenarios. According to the author, the long-term future of biotechnology will be determined by two fundamental drivers--one technological, one social. The speed and extent of technology integration among the various sectors of biotech, as well as integration of biotech with nanotech and information technology, will be crucial to determining how society uses and perceives biotechnology Public acceptance will shape both market demand and public policy. Scenario 1) Present Day. Low public acceptance and low technology integration contribute to public confusion and low market penetration. This is a world where biotech products are rare and decisively manufactured. High public skepticism. Weak educational programs underlay biotech platforms. Ubiquitous confusion relegates and limits the appropriate use of biotech. Scenario 2) Police State. Even in the presence of high integration and significant market penetration, the public rejects biotech. Biotech products and processes have low market value and are poorly understood by the public. Seamless, hidden integration of biotech in agriculture of biotech in agriculture, medical, engineering, industrial products and processes. High public distrust. Ubiquity of combination products forces the use of biotech, creating public resentment. Scenario 3) Techno-Utopia High public acceptance and high integration lead to society embracing biotech, with near-seamless integration of biotech into agricultural, medical, engineering, and industrial products and processes. The industry vigorously and transparently makes known the origins of its products and processes to facilitate further market penetration. Seamless, transparent integration of biotech in agriculture, medical, engineering, industrial products and processes. High public enthusiasm. High level of public awareness of underlying biotech platforms. Scenario 4) Grass Roots--Society embraces biotech even in the absence of significant industry integration--leading to a high value being placed on the relatively rare biotech goods and services that do reach the marketplace. The public pushes for continued expansion. Biotech products are rare, yet conspicuously marketed. High public enthusiasm. Strong educational and legislative efforts regarding the appropriate use of biotech. Public support for emerging ventures.


The Future of Transportation. Global Innovation Outlook 2.0 – IBM. Samuel J. Palmisano, Chairman and CEO, IBM Corporation.

The Global Innovation Outlook provides a platform for candid and open conversations about important issues of our day among many contributors of innovative thinking. Contributors include IBM’s top researchers, consultants, and business leaders. The Global Innovation Outlook also included a 180 outside experts. The past decade has seen a huge migration to urban areas and a vast increase in global trade. Congestion is creating logistical nightmares for emerging mega-cities, especially in booming regions of Asia and Latin America. Even modest sized communities are grappling with increasing levels of pollution, costly delays and overall frustration on the part of people and businesses constrained by lack of mobility. Scenario of Transportation in 2020. “The future of transportation portends to expand the options for access to goods and create competitive advantage. By 2020 it was learned that while one might assume that increasing road capacity would reduce vehicular congestion, statistics showed that the opposite was in fact true. Effective relief for urban congestion isn’t about building more streets; it was about getting smarter in how they are used. More and more, urban areas applied a more holistic approach to understanding and managing urban traffic flows. In the future, the steady shrinking of sensing and computing devices makes it increasingly possible to gather and analyze massive amounts of traffic and transportation data. Cities would explore ways in which they can harness all the information these networks of sensors will deliver. In the future, participants at IBM stated that a real understanding will be gained of the many ways in which people, vehicles, freight and goods actually navigate the urban landscape. Only with this understanding would optimization techniques allow cities to better automate traffic flows based on real-time data rather than generalized predictions based on historic trends. By 2020, pilot “road-charging” systems are able to adjust the cost of tolls and access based on peak congestion periods. Unfortunately this penalizes the poor and middleclass workers who can’t necessarily adapt their travel patterns but also can’t afford higher peak charges. By 2020 western nations by reject existing paradigms of transportation and embrace entirely new approaches to manage the boom in personal vehicles. Governments provide incentives to greatly increase the number of alternative-energy cars on the road while focusing on R&D efforts and ways to produce low-cost alternative energy vehicles. That approach becomes a boon for the environment, and gives nations such as China or India an economic edge by allowing them to tap their huge internal markets before expanding to global opportunities in the still-green industry of “green” cars. Emerging economies aggressively pursue innovative reduction-oriented strategies like fractional ownership, the car-sharing model that is currently gaining a degree of momentum in some European and North American cities. In this model, individuals pay a monthly subscription cost or per-use fee for access to cars at various locations throughout a city. Members get to enjoy aspects of private ownership while the overall population of cars on the road decreases. Such approaches strike a balance between individual aspirations for car ownership and the systemic need for fewer cars. Public transit systems adopt smart cards to provide a common currency across buses, trains, light-rail lines and ferries; some cards even work for taxis and parking lots. While this has certainly made it easier to move more swiftly and easily from mode to mode, there seems to be plenty of room to push such integration further through optimizing schedules and modes of transportation to meet individual passenger destination and time preferences. Information is integrated within the public transportation system’s own databases and then pushed out to riders via mobile devices or street-side Kiosks. The transit systems are linked not only within the city but alsoof an entire region or country. Travel on demand becomes interconnected.”


Last Petrol-Car Auctioned. BBC Book of the Future. www.bbc.co.uk

The BBC asked readers and citizens what would the world look like in the year 2020? As a result, the BBC received over one thousand submissions for the BBC Book of the Future. Users were able to vote on these articles and the most popular, interesting, and profound were published. Here is a scenario by Researcher Tony Digba, published on the BBC site January, 2003. Scenario: Last Petrol-Car Auctioned. “ 'Dateline: June 18, 2018 London UK. The last fossil fuel based car was auctioned by BMW for the princely sum of half a million EUROS. A successful bid was placed by Mr. John Smith of Horsham, Surrey. In a statement to the press Mr. John Smith, who made most of his fortune by investing in hydrogen-fuel cell technology companies in the late 1990's, said he will donate the BMW –Z20 SX to the car and motorcycle museum in Birmingham as a memento of an era gone past.' I smiled as I read the article in the newspaper and sipped at my coffee looking over the downcast skyline of Docklands, London from my apartment window. I reflected on events gone past and the effect on my life. The Lagos accord between the G9 and car manufacturers was 5 years ago. Five years that changed my life for the better. After major breakthroughs in hydrogen-cell technology car manufacturers had begin mass production of hydrogen-fuelled cars. The accord was made to halt all production of fossil-fuel vehicles (that's petrol cars to you and me!) by 2018. This accord was not without major repercussions for the oil-producing world. Demand for oil fell drastically and economies of oil-producing countries collapsed. Suddenly the Middle East was no longer a hot issue with the major superpowers. However, there is always a silver lining in every cloud. This was where I came in. A new element had been discovered to enhance hydrogen-cell fuel. This made all the difference to the efforts of the late 20th century. Unfortunately mining it was very difficult as it was 20km under the earths crust. A chance conversation between a geologist and myself led to a major discovery of whole strata of the stuff just 5km under the earth's surface in West Africa. The rest they say is history. Again I smiled as I looked at the article. Hydrogen-fuel and world peace in one breath. Time for a ride...”


After The Car BBC Book of the Future. www.bbc.co.uk

The British Broadcasting Company asked readers, citizens, and experts their opinion on a plausible future of the world in the year 2020. As a result, one thousand submissions were received and many were published in the BBC Book of the Future. Users were asked to vote on those articles that were most innovative. The scenario “After the Car” discusses the future of fuel-cell technology applied to motor vehicles. Major countries will have
hydrogen fueled vehicles by the year 2020. According to India’s roadmap, one million hydrogen powered vehicles are expected to run on the country's roads by 2020. With aggressive research, the hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle will significantly outperform other conventional engines. However, for the total cost of infrastructural changes, a major MIT study concluded that it might be a better idea to focus on hybrids – vehicles powered by conventional engines supplemented by electric motors. In terms of greenhouse gases, fuel-cell vehicles might not be significantly better than diesel and gasoline hybrids. See the "MIT Laboratory for Energy and Environment" Issue: January-March 2003. Scenario: After the Car. “The threats of global warming, and declining oil production, have forced a revolution in transport in 2020. There were riots in the streets, both by the environmental lobby and the road transport lobby, but public attitude is changing. Private car ownership is declining! There are still a few old petrol and diesel vehicles on the road. Their petrol is mixed with 20% bio-ethanol and their diesel is mixed with 40% vegetable oil but these fuels are too expensive. Improvements in battery technology have led to much better electric cars, but they still have to spend 15 minutes recharging for every hour of driving…There have been experiments with electric wires above or below motorways, but these are still at an early stage of development. The first hydrogen-powered, fuel cell private cars are now being sold but they are too expensive for most people. By 2020 hydrogen fuel cell buses have now been around for 10 years, and hydrogen fuel cells are also used in lorries. Minibuses now provide door-to-door transport like a taxi but carry many people at once on a route optimised and continuously updated by computer. These dial-a-ride minibuses have been instrumental in reducing congestion and removing people's need for cars…For longer journeys, most people take electric trains on land. 'Ekranoplans' have overtaken traditional planes as the most popular form of transport over sea. They fly at 1 to 5 metres above the surface of the ocean to reduce aerodynamic drag. Safety forbids them travelling faster than 200 mph in international water and 100 mph in inshore waters, so it takes them about 24 hours to cross the Atlantic. They are popular because they are affordable and comfortable, having a quarter the fuel consumption per passenger-mile of a traditional aircraft. High altitude aircraft are reserved for the super-rich and the military. The days of £10 flights are long gone. For journeys under 10 miles, many people walk or cycle. The roads are almost empty of cars, and therefore quiet and safe.”


Survival in 2020 BBC Book of the Future. www.bbc.co.uk

The British Broadcasting Company asked readers, citizens, and experts for their opinion on a plausible future of the world in the year 2020. As a result, one thousand submissions were received and the best were published in the BBC Book of the Future. Users were asked to vote on those articles that were most innovative. The scenario, Survival in 2020 was written by Researcher Sim Egn, published on the BBC site January, 2003. This scenario considers a worldwide shut down resulting from the trigger of solar flares. In late October and early November, 2003, scientists witnessed some of the largest solar flares ever recorded. During that time many of the scientific and communications satellites had to be temporarily shut down. A few suffered permanent damage. Astronauts on the International Space Station were endangered while in Sweden, 50,000 residents briefly lost power. A great article on solar flares is contained in Scientific American, “The Mysterious Origins of Solar Flares – New observations are beginning to reveal what triggers these huge explosions of the sun’ atmosphere.” April, 2006.
Scenario: Survival in 2020. “There usually comes a time when the machines that humans create to serve them eventually fail, they become obsolete because their function is no longer useful to their original purpose, or they become decrepit through their usage; either way, time is unforgiving to the machines themselves and to their masters that will grow to become dependent on them…At first nobody could determine what had happened. We were literally left in the dark: not a single light was visible, silence. We speculated at first, that it was some kind of invasion, a new weapon that disabled all our systems and power. It turned out to be a freak solar flare, which caused an electro-magnetic pulse to surge through all the major electronic networks in the world. The world economy crashed almost immediately after the EMP hit our planet. Over a period of several days, there was rioting and looting in the streets, it seemed we had reverted to a primitive state. That was just the start of it - our very own systems began to fail. A technology had been developed 10 years earlier that enabled human beings to quickly interface with computers. It allowed users to communicate their thoughts and ideas onto the net wherever they were. This meant the death of the home computer, as information could be accessed and sent remotely using the neural-interface that was easily transplanted by way of injecting a nano-seed with pre-programmed growth into the brain. The nano-seed grows gradually over a period of months, connecting to existing biological neural pathways, until the host is completely able to access the central server. The technology allowed us to think as one, to share our thoughts and dreams, we were able to achieve things that we never thought were possible like world peace. Communication had seemed to reach the pinnacle of its evolution…The solar flare shorted the central server that we had grown so used to. We were forced to re-adapt to using primitive technologies; we were like fish out of water. For many it was too much, and they preferred to die rather than suffer the harsh reality that we faced. Death came quickly to those who wanted it, without the wake-up call of the central electronic mind to stimulate our minds, it was easy to fall asleep and remain so, should we have requested not to be woken up…For those that managed to survive, life was not easy, without the computer-aided multi-tasking that we had depended on to ease daily repetitive routines, simple tasks required huge amounts of concentration to perform. The nano-implant had displaced and made redundant areas of the brain normally assigned to such mundane activities. The worst weapon that could be used against you is one that you created yourself. Such was mankind's dependence on technologies, that a single incident could sever you from the very thing that you had come to rely upon. We are learning to be human again.”


Star-Tek Exploiting the Final Frontier: Counterspace Operations in 2025. A Research Paper Presented To Air Force 2025. Lt Col Robert H. Zielinski, Lt Col Robert M. Worley II, Maj Douglas S. Black, Maj Scott A. Henderson, Maj David C. Johnson.

By the year 2025, space will be of vital importance to the US. This paper demonstrates the need for counterspace operations in space as vital to the US defense. By 2025 the US gains superiority among other countries. Space detecting and targeting capabilities will be of prime importance over the next two decades. Scenario: Space and the National Interest. “By 2025 the US and indeed the world is reliant on space systems. Space superiority will be of vital importance. The future sees the rapid development of technology and placement of weapons in space. International space law rises as a recognized profession that develops the critical nature of space systems, space vulnerabilities, and the need to support pursuing space control and force application capabilities in space. . Past treaties such as Limited Test Ban Treaty (1963), the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, and the Antiballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty (1972) did not resemble the treaties of 2025. The US takes the initiative to call for space applications worldwide. By 2025 the US will have mustered the political and social will, in recognition of the absolute criticality of assured freedom of operation in space, to get over the sanctuary hurdle and place the necessary space force structure in place. The European Community, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Japan, and China all have deployed superior assets in space. Early 21st century capabilities, demonstrated by multiple countries, were a loud warning to the US to maintain its edge in space technology. With the increase in technological efficiencies, the increase in satellite information vendors means organizations without space capability can purchase the end product from a wide variety of sources. By 2025, however, there will be multiple threats to space-based systems. Some will involve threats to the space segment, some the ground, and some the user. These threats come mostly from current conventional forces, space-based forces, or other advanced technology ground/air forces. These threats are extensions of the early 21st century technology, such as F-15 ASAT derivatives or the detonation of nuclear weapons in space. Other threats result from leaps in technology that enable realistic directed energy, kinetic energy, and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) based weapons to be directed to individual targets. For US commanders to maintain the high ground by 2025, the US was vigilant in its understanding of key technology areas, space detection, and tarketing of directed energy weapons.”


Inventing the Global Information Future by Earnest J. Wilson III. Mr. Wilson is director of the Center for International Development and Conflict Management at the University of Maryland College Park and Senior Advisor for the Global Information Infrastructure Commission.

This essay analyses four possible outcomes of the transition to tomorrow's global information society. Using scenario building methods the essay describes and analyses the pathways the transitions may take, in the hopes of guiding pro-active thinking about the most desirable information and communication strategies for developing countries. Earnest J. Wilson III

Scenario 1) CELL A: Monopoly and Fused – Low Rules, Low Competition: “This scenario provides a base scenario of low competition and low agreement on rules of the game. Almost all countries in this scenario still rely on monopoly suppliers for basic telephone services allowing limited competition in value added markets like cellular and paging. Domestically, most countries rhetorically commit to liberalization, and they seek modest regulatory and legislative reforms in their own domestic laws and institutions -- but the ownership, policy and regulatory structures too often remain fused in a single government ministry with only a few halting steps toward independent regulatory bodies. Internationally, negotiations on liberalization conclude successfully, but real operational results are much more limited. Governments are very hesitant to liberalize. There is considerable rhetorical commitment to liberalizing markets -- public and private sectors go on record committing themselves to greater openness, but they fail to implement. Both competition and agreement are relatively low in contrast to what they could be under a more favorable future. Not only are formal agreements left unenforced, but China and Russia's fast growing markets remain outside all international agreements altogether.
Driving Factors in this Scenario: This scenario shares many features with today's global situation. It is still the case that outside the United States about 96% of the $400 billion international telecommunications market comes from countries with a monopolistic supplier or a supplier with a substantially dominant market position. These conditions will not disappear overnight, and this de facto immobility drives the scenario. There remain substantial national restrictions on market access, and copyright and intellectual breaches and disagreements are rampant. There are sharp and enduring conflicts over how best to promote cultural diversity without violating trade norms. Formal WTO accords were reached, but in this scenario the apparent WTO successes prove to be hollow victories.

Scenario 2) Regulated Oligopoly, High Rules, Low Competition:
The 'Regulated Oligopoly' world is one where LDC investment and trade stagnate, and regional blocs compete in a cartelized world of low competition but high agreement on conservative global rules. Countries, international organizations and firms reach global agreements on key issues such as IPR, interconnectivity, and standards, but market competitiveness is low as companies pursue conservative market strategies, consolidating current niches and resisting aggressive technological and commercial expansion. New IT investment rates fall, including direct foreign investment (DFI), and IT sales to developing countries rise only slowly. With less investment, technological innovation drops and costs rise for the final consumer. Driving Factors in this Scenario:
These conditions result from endogenous factors within the IT sector and exogenous factors beyond. Externally, the IT sector experiences hard shocks from an overall macroeconomic slowdown, an eruption of conflict in large unstable states like China and Russia, and the re-emergence of nationalism in Japan. These political changes increase investor worries and badly depress growth rates. The U.S. retreats further from global engagements. Internally, the sector experiences discontinuities in the historical rates at which firms move products from innovation through commercialization to amortizing investments. Moore's law and other 'constants' change as new and unexpected threshold points are reached. The capacity of IT firms to easily process and master convergence and competition peaks and commercial progress slows to a crawl. Consumers react to 'information overload' and cut back their IT purchases.

Scenario 3)”Wild West”: Free Market Chaos, Low Rules, High Competition.
This 'Wild West' scenario occurs when market competition explodes with very aggressive private sector activities, accompanied by the failure of the major actors to reach agreement on the global issues. "Free market chaos" rules. IT investment flows and sales remain vigorous, but mainly to OECD countries and to the most secure and reliable markets in developing areas. Some LDCs complain of being ignored, while others complain of 'predatory' behavior unrestrained by good business norms or effective international dispute resolution mechanisms. Developed countries and their firms complain about unreliable national rules and unfair expropriation or broken contracts in LDCs. International organizations like the WTO and World Bank lose clout and legitimacy. Driving Factors in This Scenario: In a series of unanticipated defeats, in Geneva, Brussels, and Rome, in global meeting after global meeting, the world's nations fail to reach agreement on IT trade and investment, copyright, encryption and intellectual property. Agreements signed on paper are not implemented. Not only do the developing countries fail to achieve satisfaction in these forums, but there are serious splits among the governments of Japan, the EU and the United States. China, excluded from the WTO and with aggressive new leadership, retaliates by refusing to adhere to intellectual property rights and encourages their factories to produce pirated CDs. Canada and France toughen their stance by restricting cross-border movement of foreign content, leading to severe Franco-American and Franco-British conflicts that poison relations among these countries. Russia's political deterioration makes it more difficult to reach agreements. Private firms pursue vigorous competition strategies. At the same time, in the absence of formal intergovernmental agreements, private firms create de facto international standards (as did Microsoft), and through coalitions of companies that establish industry standards.

Scenario 4) CELL D: Competition and Coordination; High Rule, High Competition Summary Under these conditions countries seek ways to capture the benefits and meet the challenges of high competition and high rule agreement. The combination of substantial competition and widespread rule agreement accelerates capital investment, innovation, the creation of new Greenfield industries and the further radical restructuring of existing industries and the links and alliances among them. Customers get more choice, and better service, at lower prices. Driving Factors in This Scenario This scenario comes about through sustained, difficult and high profile negotiations in a variety of international forums, where the leading parties are able to reach agreement. Private industry associations accelerate agreement of rules governing internet standards and IT market access. The U.S. continues the leadership role staked out in the WTO talks. The G-7 governments reach common accords, and agree to reach out to the developing world in the design of the global information society. Nations in the developing world also exercise new independent leadership to advance their interests while seeking common cause with industrialized countries, and more liberal relations with private sector firms. Because there is political agreement on institutional, regulatory and legal frameworks, these private firms expand their investments.


A Space Renaissance in 2020 Robert Zimmerman, Atlantic Monthly,June, 2004.

Over the next couple of decades, we could well be moving to a world in which space activities are no longer limited to governments and big corporations. From private space launches to space tourism to the (increasingly likely) space elevator, Earth's orbit (and potentially beyond) could become as accessible as the deep ocean. Author Robert Zimmerman referred to this emerging era as a "space renaissance" -- a revolution in how people on Earth see and can use space resources. Because of changes in our culture, a stagnant and hide-bound field -- aerospace -- is ripe for transformation. Robert Zimmerman

Scenario: A World of Space Activity in 2020. “In this world, space is no longer managed by the traditional government-run agencies -- NASA, ESA, and the like. Space enthusiasts realized that just because something had been done one way for decades it is not a reason to continue in the same manner. In fact, it might very well be a reason not to, and instead to devise a new approach to the problem. Based on these patterns, the curtain was rising on a new technological renaissance, making the colonization of the solar system by 2020 not only possible, but very likely.” Microsatellites: “By 2020, microsatellites become easier to build and cheaper. Much cheaper than putting people there, so the number of private space ventures increases and turns a steady profit by bringing up small satellites for specific uses. These are no longer the massive, multi-function birds meant to stay in orbit permanently. By 2020, they are small, cheap devices with a sensor kit and radio, meant to study a particular phenomenon before eventually burning up in the atmosphere. Microsats watch watch urban growth patterns, monitor fisheries, look for early signs of drought or flooding, and even engage in open-source intelligence gathering.” Improved Climate Monitoring: “A particularly important use of satellites -- whether micro or macro -- is, by 2020, keeping a close watch on climate change. While both NASA and the ESA have climate-related satellite programs -- and China plans to have climate sats in orbit by 2012 -- private satellites provide additional datasets, including rapidly-assembled and launched sats to answer new questions. Moreover, they add to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, an international cooperative effort for monitoring the planet. This becomes a space-UN by 2020.” Humanitarian Satellites: “It never got as much attention as it deserved in 2005, but by 2020, the growing use of satellite information dramatically helps humanitarian causes. Examples include support for relief in Darfur, support for the World Conservation Union, and the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters, which coordinates the provision of satellite data to assist in rescue and relief efforts globally. Nations come together to redirect satellite resources away from their primary missions, depending upon the global need at hand. Cheap private launch vehicles make it possible for humanitarian and conservation groups to have their own dedicated satellite networks.” Other Planets: “The biggest prize and surprize by 2020 - and the greatest challenge - is sending satellites or even landers to other planets in our solar system. By 2020, an elevator was constructed to reduce the energy costs of getting to high orbit (and, potentially, serve as a launch "slingshot"), but even so, the world is on the verge of a revolution in understanding of how planets function. Even in 2020, Mars receives the most attention, given the intriguing possibility of life. Universities innovate successful ideas for moving around the red planet, and improved technologies for detecting biological activity.”


When Content Takes the Back Seat: Google Resarch Development Corporation. Research Binder #67, November, 2004.

Scenario: When Content Takes the Back Seat. “In this world, more content is produced by amateurs (which is clearly inevitable), and professional content changes as well. In its purest form, selling the platform instead of the content means advertising is removed from content, obsolescing the sort of advertiser-friendly lowest-common-denominator programming which had caused whole genres of media (say, television) to be dreck. Even in its less pure forms, platforms with advertising along the lines of Google-style targeted ads allows narrowcasted niche programs to erode the economic importance of lowest-common-denominator programming. In other words, this scenario discusses the creative destruction of the economics of media. In this world, the platform becomes the moneymaker and changes the whole nature of the game, driving the market towards enabling the user's whims rather than enabling the advertiser's whims. It will not be an Adbusters-style utopia by any means. In this scenario, advertisements become more subtle and more tightly targeted to the user's preferences--but there are far more volleys in the continuing war for the consumer's attention.” Google Research Development Staff


The New Century Sucks And It Hasn't Even Started, 2099 Chuck Nix, In the book, Toxic Memes.

Talk to most people about radical longevity and they'll almost always raise the issue of population. While it may be a common observation, it's not a bad one: many critical implications fall out from it. A growing life-extended population would force us to deal with resource consumption. It also raises employment questions, both "how do younger generations work their way into positions of more authority if the older generation never has to give up those roles?" and "what do people do with themselves when they live so much longer?" What about housing? Taxes? This scenario explores how much longer lives change the way people think. It is the journal of a young man starting to realize what he has in front of him. Chuck Nix

Scenario: The New Century Sucks and It Hasn't Even Started, 2099. "I sit in the cafe at the top of the arcology, looking out over Seattle towards Mt. Rainier. I'm a good "end of the cen" boy, blood full of nano and brain hooked into the global net. So my genome's not top of the line my parents chose the best they could, at the time. I have worlds at my fingertips and a long life ahead of me. That's the weird part. When I stop to think about it, think about just how much there is to see and how long I have to see it, I get dizzy. It's like my brain just didn't evolve to deal with the thought of a life lived in so many places and for such a long time. I get this urge to go find a hole somewhere to hide in, turn off my links, and live out a natural six-score-and-ten. I know at least one kid in my pod who did just that, about three weeks ago. But then another part of me kicks in, and I see the kinds of options I have now, the kinds of opportunities I'll have that my parents never had, and their parents couldn't even imagine. There's another kid in my pod who talks about checking out Alpha Centauri like she's already bought tickets or something, she just can't imagine that such a thing wouldn't be possible sometime in her life. Or, as she sometimes says it, she just can't imagine that her life wouldn't be long enough to see that possibility. She's probably right, too. I look around at the mass of people here in this arc, and around the world, content just to eat all day, sleep all night, and scrump with their virts when they get bored. That's not the world I want to live in. If my only choices are running away and hiding in some Isolate hole or in deep space, same difference or becoming a barely-sentient cow... well, then I need to find another choice, don't I?”


Exploring the Future of the Digital Divide through Ethnographic Futures Research Matthew M. Michell. Dr. Mitchell currently serves as the Program Development Coordinator for Washington State University's Center to Bridge the Digital Divide and as the Deputy Director for the Network for Capacity Building and Knowledge Exchange in the Telecommunications Sector of Africa. His research focus includes eLearning, social justice in information societies, ICT-enabled economic development, and community leadership.

How will the digital age impact the future of the have have-not gap? The impacts of the digital divide are explored by te Program Development Coordinator for Washington State University. The study lists groupings of scenarios to explore trends, impacts, and driving forces. Matthew M. Mitchell

Optimistic Scenarios: “While the optimistic scenarios differed from one another to varying degrees, they included the following common aspects. First, the essential role of information and the infrastructures designed to collect, process, and distribute it will be netter understood by all members of society, especially those who have the power to control access to ICT. As a result of this improved understanding, the optimistic scenarios included more effective efforts to increase access and thus close the digital divide. Optimistically, as the people of Washington State realize the significant intertwining of ICT with nearly every dimension of society, a greater awareness will develop that will lead to ICTs being appropriately and adequately applied. Without this awareness, the pessimistic scenario becomes more probable.” Pessimistic Scenarios: “The pessimistic scenarios were characterized by an assumption that ICT is not having and will not have a positive impact on Washington's sociocultural system. Poor decisions made by leaders in government, business, and the community will manifest this dearth of concern and awareness. Pessimistically, the digital divide will expand in oth its nature and its extent. The unintended consequence of the digital divide's expansion will be the intensification of social and economic injustices.” Most Probable Scenarios: “The scenarios described as being the most probable generally acknowledged the persistence of the digital divide as a social problem. Most interviewees believed that there will be some progress made in ameliorating the digital divide; however, existing social and economic injustices will continue to be exacerbated by the exclusionary tendencies of a technological society driven by greed and self-interest. The success made in bridging the digital divide will primarily be the product of concerned individuals and community groups motivated to improve social conditions. However, these community efforts to solve the digital divide will lack the necessary resources to significantly assert social and economic reflrms that will insure the provision of justice for all.”


IBM Scenarios of Networked Computing IBM Almaden site. www. almaden.ibm.com Jean Paul Jacob. IBM is a leading provider of financing and asset management services to companies selling or acquiring IT related products or services. It is at the help of research innovation on technologies that product leading-edge solutions. IBM develops, markets and delivers leading chip technologies and services.

"The idea of highly networked computing allows us some interesting scenarios of the future. These examples are becoming the present more quickly than you think." The first scenario, Massification and Personalization means business or compaies will use computers to expand for a larger number of people while customizing; the second scenario, Digital Services covers the parallels of "bits" for the "atom". In the future, digital services will be pervasive. In the third scenario, Telematics, continuous speech recognition in many different shapes and forms will be ubiquitous. Infotainment is a scenario of a fantasy machine.

Scenario One: Massification with Personalization: “Massification means that in 2020, businesses or companies will use computers to expand their customer base and provide more services and products for a larger number of people, using informatics. At the same time, informatics will permit each buyer to feel that he or she is the only user of the service or product. This is personalization. Your product or service will seem to be tailored for your individual needs. Today American Airlines flies 70 million passengers a year. This presents a tremendous scheduling problem which requires substantial computing power. Despite this large number of passengers, each passenger is able to choose his or her itinerary, seat, meal and movie/video. Federal Express delivers about 2 million parcels a day. However, each sender is able to track by telephone or by computer the whereabouts of his or her parcel.” Scenario Two: Digital Services: “With increasing digital services, we are substituting the "bit" for the "atom" and computing for the physical. Digital services will be pervasive. More books and manuals will be stored and distributed digitally. We are seeing the beginning of it now and good examples are multimedia encyclopedias on CDs and digital libraries. The delivery of magazines and news will be done digitally through network or CD-ROMs. You can electronically select the articles of interest to you or ask an intelligent agent for it. This scenario blends with massification with personalization. For example, it will be possible to have more personalized news. Some digital services include intelligent agents that form a new class of software which can assist people, and act on their behalf.” Scenario Three: Telematics: “IBM Researchers have combined a cellular "flip" phone with a small computer which projects its display on the inside of its mirrored cover.The JPC-2K is a fantasy machine, the PC of the Year 2000, designed by Dr Jean Paul Jacob. This very advanced electronic notepad/book is portable, digitally cellular, and serves as an information processor and provider, entertainment center (providing infotainment), and a training/education tool. Some features of the future: continuous speech recognition, paperlike interfaces, visual programming, digital cellular, speech synthesis, personalized news, intelligent agents, video: TV or conferencing.”


Wireless Foresight - Scenarios of the Mobile World in 2015 “ This project has been initiated by WIreless KTH, a research and educational center formed by the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in cooperation with industry. See the Wireless Foresight website for the final report.

"We are entering exciting times. After the decade of the Internet and the cell-phone changed our lives and working habits, these two technologies are about to merge. At the same time, the industry is going though one of its worst crisis ever. At this crossroads, the future can take any direction. Up or down. Success or failure. The Wireless Scenario Project deals with the state of the wireless industry in 2015 and presents four scenarios of the future. Royal Institute of Technology

These four scenarios are based on a set of fundamental trends shaping the development of the wireless world. Some of these trends include: Trend 1. Development will be more user driven: Up until today it can be argued that vendors and technology have driven the wireless development. This will probably change. The scenarios differ according to the extent the development is user driven and to what segments that are most important drivers. Trend 2. User mobility will increase: In the future we will probably travel more and longer and we will spend more time commuting. The scenarios vary according to how fast traveling will increase and by means of transportation. Trend 3. The service and application market will grow: The future market for wireless services will probably be much larger than today, consisting of both complex and basic services. The scenarios differ along a dimension ranging from an abundance of different services and service types to rather few. Trend 4. User security, integrity, and privacy will become more important: Guaranteeing security, integrity, and privacy is an important problem facing industry. The difficulty and complexity of this issue suggests that it might not be solved by 2015. The scenarios differ according to whether these issues are solved or not. Trend 5. Real or perceived health problems due to radiation will become more important: A big threat to the industry is health problems, real or perceived, due to radiation from devices etc. Research might indicate that the radiation in fact is dangerous. The scenarios are differentiated according to how big a problem these health issues are. Trend 6. Environmental issues will become more important: The trend towards increasing environmental awareness will continue. Two areas of special importance are: energy consumption and potentially detrimental substances used in e.g. terminal cases. The scenarios vary in terms of how big these problems are. Trend 7. Spectrum will become an increasingly scarce resource: Today, most of the spectrum is locked-in by legacy users, e.g. operators, the military and television broadcasters. The shortage is forcing operators to build unnecessary expen-sive infrastructure. Growing usage will aggravate this problem. The scenarios vary according to how much spectrum that is released and whether for licensed use. Trend 8. The wireless industry will grow: All scenarios are based on the assumption that the wireless communications industry will grow during the coming decade, both in size and scope. The question is how fast. Royal Institute of Technology Studies

Scenario 1:Wireless Explosion, Creative Destruction
“Wireless applications and services are a huge success in 2015, and in a rapidly transforming industry the old market leaders lost their dominant positions. The old telco world with closed, vertically integrated solutions gave way to layered, open architectures based on IP (Internet Protocol). The datacom industry won the market battle. However, in a large but maturing industry, profit margins were squeezed and the datacom winners could never really leverage their market power.

Users were very active and drove this development towards an open IP world with skyrocketing traffic and an abundance of applications. They preferred choice over convenience and didn’t accept being locked-in to corporate bundles. Governments released a lot of new unlicensed spectrum, undermining operator dominance and triggering a do-it-yourself wireless movement. The Open Source movement, down-loading of music and other copyrighted material, enforced these changes in consumer attitudes and the values of the underground culture gradually became mainstream. Feeling this value shift, governments were more and more reluctant to enforce restrictive IPR (Intellectual Property Rights), further undermining profit margins.

The wireless success changed peoples’ way of work and lifestyle. Being always connected with context sensitive information, a growing part of the knowledge work force could spend most of their time on the move, in meetings or traveling between meetings. Globalization continued and with it the growing trends of traveling and commuting.

Rapidly growing industry: The economic downturn in the early years of the century slowed industry growth for a few years. However, the rapid technological development within the communication and information technology industries continued and essentially all markets and industry segments experienced a more or less continuous growth.

Industry fragmentation – market leaders losing hegemony: The incumbent players consolidated but in a maturing industry profits were eroding as the products became low-margin commodities. Independent consumers under-mined IPR-enforcement. Open Source software and do-it-yourself wireless access further undermined corporate hegemony. The dominant market leaders did not vanish but the rapid technological development was as ruthless in turning profitable products into low-margin commodities as it earlier had been in creating these markets. Industry fragmentation and vertical disintegration accelerated when compa-nies became more and more specialized. When performance of any given technologi-cal function was good enough, design and manufacturing knowledge was no longer a critical asset and modularization set in. As a consequence, this part of the market split into several new markets.

Debt burdened operators losing market dominance: When wireless data started, traditional operators first tried to offer closed telco style services and developed in-house wireless portals. Seamless roaming (as in the voice GSM-world) was very hard to accomplish with wireless data over a number of different underlying networks. The operators failed. The major blow to operator dominance was the rise of unlicensed spectrum and WLANs. By keeping high prices for wireless data, operators opened a market for WISPs based on WLANs.

Telco equipment and terminal vendors lose to datacom attackers: Traditional telco equipment vendors failed in responding to all disruptive innovations in a rapidly changing marketplace. They were adapted to a business model built on selling extremely expensive systems to a few very demanding operators and they were dragged down together with their traditional customers. When the market fragmen-ted, attackers captured emerging sub-markets such as base-stations. Telco terminal vendors lost market power when the commoditization of the market occurred, dominated by open IP access. The critical telco knowledge embedded in the radio and CODEC (coding and decoding) software was over time commoditized by attackers from the NICs, and the datacom industry.

An explosion in services and applications: In the industrial countries as well as in the most successful NICs, cellular systems are complemented with a large number of other systems (e.g. ad hoc networks, WLAN access, satellites, high altitude platforms). Most problems concerning seamless roaming, system integration etc. have gradually been solved. Appetite for wireless applications and services is very high and once the new geographical positioning infra-structure was in place, the number of location aware applications and services grew rapidly. Wireless services are used by everyone and in all segments.

Spectrum – abundant release for unlicensed bands: During 2005-2010, governments released significant chunks of new spectrum. With much more available spectrum, traffic prices fell rapidly and the dominance of the incumbent operators were reduced. Unlicensed spectrum usage was a huge success. The unlicensed bands drove rapid innovation of cheap install-it-yourself »black-box« access points that can double as multi-band base stations.
Batteries and complexity management no show-stoppers: The lifetime of batteries for mobile terminals has increased dramatically since the turn of the century. Batteries are now used on a large scale for an enormous number of services and applications, which has lead to very large production volumes and price drop for these new energy sources.”

Scenario 2: Slow Motion
“The wireless world has developed slowly since the turn of the century. The global economic recession during the first decade in combination with real and perceived health problems due to radiation from wireless devices deeply affected the wireless industry. Even though the demand for mobile services has increased, the service explosion that many people envisaged never materialized. The wireless industry has gone through substantial change. Consolidation has increased and the number of companies in each market has been reduced. Technological development has slowed down and profit margins have decreased substantially. The industry has matured. The big NICs, for example China, India, and Russia, are catching up faster than expected.

Economic recession and 3G fiasco: The global economic downturn that started in 2001 turned into a large scale economic recession. The telecom, computer, and media industries were severely affected. It became really bad when a large European operator went bankrupt. This spread very quickly to other operators and eventually to vendors and service providers. Several large telecom actors disappeared and those that survived made massive cuts and saw drastically reduced margins. Many 3G commitments were re-negotiated. Some networks were cancelled and many were merged, resulting in only one or two net-works per country. In many rural areas there is still no 3G coverage.

Health problems from radiation: The long-term studies of how radiation affects humans, presented around 2005, still have a negative impact on industry. The results were clear and most experts agreed that wireless devices, when heavily used, would injure the brain due to radiation from the transmitter. In the beginning, the telco industry argued that the results were inconclusive, but eventually adopted a proactive strategy and managed to avoid total disaster by suggesting strict regulation of radiation levels and by redesigning their products. Usage is still affected, even though most problems are solved.

Security a problem still waiting to be solved: The problem of hacking and virus creation is still significant. Most security codes are quite easily broken and viruses are easily spread in the wireless networks. The problems increased when data services were introduced in the updated 2G systems and were further accentuated with the introduction of 3G. Many people feel that they cannot trust electronic transactions and are seldom willing to e-shop. Nor do they feel secure when contacting, for instance, the government with sensitive information.

The mobile lifestyle loses ground: In the Western world and in Japan the mobile lifestyle came to a halt during the first decade of the century. Many people, especially young families, moved from the cities to smaller communities. Telecommuting, working from home or in local offices became increasingly popular. The result is that fewer people travel long distances to work. One important driver behind this shift is the increasing environmental awareness. Environmental groups also started to campaign for decreased usage of communication devices. For some time, usage was negatively affected but eventually industry was able to handle this issue by significantly reducing the power consumption in equipment and devices.

No service explosion: Despite the hype in the beginning of the century, the mobile service market has experienced a slow growth. Most services used by consumers are still quite simple, focusing on satisfying basic communication and information needs. Many consumers are simply not prepared to pay for advanced services at the price they are offered. Their demands are quite like the ones they had around the turn of the century.

Wireless telecommunication is a mature industry: Telecom has become a mature industry that has gone through consolidation and restructuring. The technological development has slowed down considerably and profit margins in all sectors have decreased substantially. Many platforms, solutions, and components are still designed according to closed and incompatible standards protected by patents. Concentration has increased and the number of players in each market is rather few. Still their profit margins are generally very low.

The big NICs catching up after a slow start: The slow development in the Western world and in Japan in the first half of the 2000s was reinforced by problems in the big NICs (China, India, Russia, etc.). However, around 2010 the situation had improved substantially in many of these countries. Investment in infrastructure started to increase, giving the vendors a chance to recover some of their declining sales. The big NICs are now by far the most important markets for systems and terminal vendors. Moreover, there are now important global players such as operators, vendors, and service providers based in these countries.
Power consumption and complexity management as technical limitations: Despite large research efforts on new battery technology, no significant progress has been made. Many wireless applications are almost impossible to run when the terminal is on battery power and even the simple 2.5G handsets have to be recharged after downloading a new song, video-clip, or after a teleconference session. Despite the slow development, several different types of systems exist. Cellular systems of different generations coexist with other types of systems (WLANs, PANs, broad-casting etc.). The problems of managing this complexity are still not solved.”


Scenario 3. Rediscovering Harmony
“Balance in life became the dominating value in most industrialized nations where material abundance (and security) could be taken for granted. These are post materialistic times where human and environmental needs are in focus. The wireless industry is experiencing a difficult dilemma: refocus or die! There are fewer service and application providers than predicted around 2000, but the market is not completely dry. The big hurdle is to refocus and rethink business models, offerings, and brand on a market with active and demanding consumers categorized by numerous sub-cultures with individual needs. We see many local operators and service providers that have emerged as a result of the trend to move out of the crammed cities and forming smaller, local communities where people live and work. At the same time there are a few global operators providing global communication for the increasing number of people traveling longer and more often for pleasure, and for smaller but more price insensitive segments.
A sustainable society in balance with itself:The industrialized world is based on the idea of a sustainable lifestyle where friends, family, and the environment are key elements. The high-paced lifestyle that domina-ted the western world in the closing decades of the last century finally went out of control. The consumers became more and more indifferent to brands and commercial messages and no longer accepted companies ignoring ethics, environment, human needs, and product quality. As a result, we saw a number of movements that combined a more sustainable and human perspective on society with a strong individual and social focus. To consider the environment and human needs had become valuable in the marketplace.

Two market segments driving the development : The move towards the new lifestyle started in two segments: Moklofs (Mobile Kids with Lots of Friends) and Elders. The Moklofs are strongly focused on entertainment and messaging services. They participate in communities (both local and global) and are very global in their ways of thinking. This segment is open-minded towards new technologies but they don’t believe smart marketers trying to claim that they will get a new life by buying the latest gizmo. Living in a world of tribes with many lifestyles, they want to express their affiliation with clothes, looks, and stuff they use. However, after the mad era around 2000, the tribes got extremely wary of being exploited. The Elders place high demands on usability and quality of service and they are not afraid of letting their voice be heard. Communicating with the family while on the move or when living apart has turned out to be very important. Healthcare is another important segment, allowing people to check up on their health wherever they are.

Less but more travel: People are moving out of the crammed cities and into smaller and cleaner local communities in the suburbs or countryside. The lifestyle trend is that of working and living in small, local and very social communities. In the cities, the public transporta-tion systems were upgraded while the amount of cars decreased. This is due to harder environmental laws and political decisions to turn more of the city areas into car free zones. Leisure travel is the only form of travel that is increasing all over the world. The main effect of this is a demand for more environmentally friendly ways to travel, but also a need for global communication possibilities.

A few clouds in the sky: Health risks and integrity problems are widely debated, but it is the telco industry’s impact on the environment that people are most concerned with. Especially brominated flame retardants used in electronic equipment has turned out to be damaging to both environment and humans. Lower power consumption for terminals and infrastructure is another issue that consumers want to see improved. The perceived health threats (real or not) are hard to battle, forcing the telco industry and governments to find new ways of restoring public trust in wireless technology.

The industry dilemma – refocus or die: After the initial wave of excitement over the new communication possibilities with 3G, the pace of development slowed down. This left the telco industry confused. The main reason was the industry’s inability to adjust to the mass market’s new attitudes and values. The industry is currently regrouping and adjusting to the new situation. Some players realize this and are adjusting their business models and offerings to the new fragmented marketplace and are as a result highly successful. Other companies failed to understand the new environment (and that they need to change) and are thus having a hard time surviving. The big hurdle is to manage to refocus and rethink business models, offerings, and brand.
Peer-to-peer applications and services a hit. Despite the new market focus there is still a demand for wireless services but the main difference is that the mass market is selective in terms of what kind of information is being received, and when it is delivered. A new market has gradually emerged where personalized and very specific types of services are successful. Examples are: personal (peer-to-peer) communication services, multi-media messaging, personal location based services supporting social interaction, and devices and services forming »family intra-nets«. The demand for peer-to-peer technology has lead to a fierce debate on how to solve the problems with IPRs, where the content providers feel that the operators don’t take responsibility for how their networks are being used, while the operators argue that they are simply providing the infrastructure for communication.”

Scenario 4. Big Moguls and Snoopy Governments
“Through consolidation and mergers, large companies, known as moguls, have come to dominate the market. A mogul is a descendant of the early, big information technol-ogy or media companies that managed to survive the crises of the first decade of the 2000s. These (few) grew and expanded outside their original business segments, for instance from being only a systems software manufacturer a company became a big content provider and also started manufacturing devices aimed specifically at using their services. Smaller players were often bought or put out of business due to the dominant position of the big companies. The moguls, together with the world’s governments exert substantial and active control over the information flow and the communication industries. The companies and government are working against the chaotic freedom that used to characterize the early Internet, and the purpose is to protect society and individuals from various unwanted actors and behavior. Examples are: cyber crime, international terrorism, protecting content owners and others from illegal copying of software, music, movies etc. and battling other forms of information use and abuse. The moguls are supported by government since they are seen as more easily monitored. Anonymity on the Net is no longer possible. All users are automatically identified and registered when acting on the Net.

The world is however not an anti-democratic society where the moguls and govern-ments use the Net and the information to gain power and ultimately dictatorship, even though many people fear that this might be the case. Counter- and freedom movements do exist despite heavy measures against them by governments and large corporations alike.

Moguls and governments. In each market segment there are now only one or two totally dominant market leaders. Some market leaders have been able to expand their market power into other areas. Users like these big companies because they feel they can trust them and their products fulfill their needs. There are also no longer any problems with compatibility of software and hardware as there is basically only one choice. Governments like the big companies since they think they can control them. To some extent, the moguls agree to this control, as long as the governments are doing what the moguls want.

Security problems of the 2000s solved: Governments and industries took strong measures against the security problems of the early 2000’s. In 2007, the first »secured devices« where introduced by one of the major hardware and software developers. These devices relied on new, »unbreakable« encryption technologies, and required a personal certificate, together with user biometrics, for use. At the same time it contained circuitry for monitoring the traffic and sending information on possibly unapproved traffic directly to the applicable government agencies.

Moguls in control and slow development in the NICs: Network effects, economics of scale, and successful enforcing of Intellectual Property Rights created a new global economy with large players becoming even larger, resulting in a winner-take-all society. The US government abandoned the anti-trust laws of earlier centuries allowing already big players from America to grow huge on the truly global market. Even though there were quite a few positive signs in the big NICs (e.g. China, India, and Russia) in the early years of the century, their difficulties continued. Financial problems haunted Russia with frequent devaluations of the currency and the integration of China into the world economy slowed down due to political instability.

Incumbent telco players keep control of the market. With traditional mobile operators dominating over new actors, the strategic success factor proved to be brand and customer ownership. The leading European operators managed to survive the financial problems in the early 2000s through debt restructuring together with government rescue packages and a mild regulatory regime, which left them as monopoly players. Relieved of heavy debts and govern-ment demands for rapid 3G investments in rural areas, the operators could generate just enough cash-flow to continue their 3G investments but at a slower speed.

Applications and services focus on convenience for the user: Users keep all their information stored at their favorite big company portal, easily accessible from anywhere, at any time. There are numerous applications and services available, but most users prefer the comfortable convenience of one-stop-solutions. Wireless devices are used for payments, to get profiled advertisements based on geographical location, secure transactions of money between peers and so on.

No free airwaves: Governments have been very slow to release new spectrum during the last decade. Unlicensed spectrum use is heavily limited by extremely low upper limits of emitted power. As the only spectrum owners for wireless, mobile operators remain the dominant gate-keepers in the industry.

Somewhat of a complex world: Managing the growing complexity of a varied wireless world has been a problem. With many diverse types of wireless technologies in the Western world and Japan (such as GSM and iMode) there have been problems of seamless integration between standards and technologies.”


The Future of Information Management R. Todd Stephens, Ph.D. The Data Administration Newsletter (TDAN.com) Robert S. Seiner - Publisher. Copyright 1997-2004. The Data Admnistration Newsletter.

Can the future of information management be defined? Is it possible for any of us to say where information technology will be heading in the next 10 years? The obvious answer is no, however, it may be possible to paint an image of the future that is vastly different from what we presently see. This article takes a look at the future of information management by looking at the past in order to establish a foundation for the future. The article then reviews the waves of information; two of which are already upon us. Finally, there is a discussion of specific scenarios of the future and how one's job will be impacted in the next few years. R. Todd Stephens

Scenario: 2012: Death of the Generalist.

“Are you a generalist or a specialist? This scenario examines the skills that will be required in the future. According to Stephen's scenario, the death of the generalist by 2012 opens the door for a high performance worker and specialist. The workers of 2012 will have a collection of attributes that should be reviewed in detail. First, this person is a subject matter expert is some field where they are the best in the field. What does best in the field mean? In 2005, you can be the best in your department in some skill, be it presentations, writing, metadata, java, quality assurance, or just about any skill on the books. We get away with this due to the organizational walls we build to keep more experienced and knowledgeable resources at bay. This isn’t anything new; we have used the organizational walls to our benefit for 100’s of years. But, those days are numbered. By 2012, price and availability still plays a role in the new economy but they will only soften the blow. The high performance worker in 2012 is a knowledge creator, integrator, utilizes online collaboration to the fullest, uses intellect and available intellectual assets to create and/or enhance products, services, and processes, requires a high level of autonomy and flexibility; an associate, not a subordinate. These characteristics establish the foundation for the next wave or age. from 2012 - 2030. The age of knowledge was happening back in 2005 and society was not prepared. Over the centiries, we walked off the farm, we walked out of the factory, and by 2005, we will soon wave goodbye to the cubical and the hierarchal structures that it represents. By 2012, the transformation into a knowledge based business model takes place so the role of metadata plays a key role in the new environment. A whole new focus on metada literally changes the way people viewthe grand discipline. In the future, it is all about free-agency. It is a new world where skills are the market force. Globalization continues at a higher pace than we have ever seen. In the world of work, people will define themselves and his/her work as a "unique value proposition" in a global economy. That will be the only way to survive in the future.”


Science and Technology 2025 Global Scenarios Jerry Glenn and Theodore Gordon. American Council for the United Nations University-- Millennium Project. Written in 2003 based on studies conducted in 2000-03. See Cahapter 5 on this CD for more details.

The four scenarios included in this subchapter are part of the study Future S&T Management Policy Issues––2025 Global Scenarios detailed in Chapter 5 on this CD.

Scenario 1: S&T Develops a Mind of Its Own: “In this world, businesses and universities that used the early brain-computer interfaces prospered and stimulated more R&D. Good for NGOs and governments. The forces behind Moore’s law not only accelerated computer capacity, these forces also accelerated all phenomena connected to computers. As a result, many remote villages in the poorest countries have cyberspace access for tele-education, tele-work, tele-medicine, tele-commerce, and tele-nearly-anything. By 2025, nearly 70% of the world was connected via TEF and 44% wore some form of CyberNow (glasses) at least once a week. TEF-CyberNow went far beyond those crude connections of text and images of the World WIde Web by becoming a continuous virtual reality, as user-friendly as breathing. Between 2010 and 2015 the massive international S&T cooperative research program on human-computer intelligence was initiated by the largest research transinstitution in history (composed of governments, corporations, NGOs, universities, and international organizations). It was named the Brain Trans-science Service (BTS). This identified the factors and systems that ultimately enhanced human-machine collective intelligence. TEF and CyberNow provided the basis for the best educational programming the world could make. Students were able to go from a state of relative ignorance to the cutting edge of the field These educational systems diagnosed cognitive difficulties via analysis of inquiry patterns and automatically altered the curriculum. Computers had the same computational capacity as the human brain and were able to simulate much of the neural activity of an entire human brain. As intelligence increased, science and technology accelerated, which in turn further accelerated collective intelligence. In this world, other technologies developed, such as genetically modified foods which accounted for easily 50% of the world’s food because nanotechnology and bio-engineering merged—creating all kinds of organic compounds that were considered safe. By 2025, the world environment computer simulation (WECS)—from cloud tops to under the sea—was integrated with the Global Environmental Monitoring System (GEMS) and was publicly accessible so that anyone could know who was polluting. Although religious and political hierarchies still had much ceremonial control and many social maintenance responsibilities, the real growth of the human mind, technologies, and actions that were building the future seemed far too complex, self-organized, and creative to be understood by older institutions. The full scenario is presented in Chapter 5 on this CD.

Scenario 2: The World Wakes Up: “The murder of 25 million people over a three-month period in 2021 in the major population areas around the world by a self-proclaimed Agent of God (AOG) finally woke up the world to the realization that an individual acting alone could create and use a weapon of mass destruction. This phenomenon became known as SIMAD (Single Individual Massively Destructive). With the acceleration of scientific understandings and miniaturization of technology, fewer and fewer people became able to destroy more and more. The first step that led to the new S&T global control systems began with a series of meetings of eminent persons. They decided how to control science and technology and limit access to developments that could be applied to SIMAD. By 2025, the Security Council had authorized intervention to terminate lines of scientific inquiry in viral modification, nanoweapons, and potentially runaway particle physics experiments. Each time, the research lab in question decided to come into ISTO compliance prior to the need for international enforcement. Information obtained through ISTO helped societies based on complex technological systems to become less vulnerable. Consequently, the speed of S&T slowed due to the increased regulation of everything from genetically modified organisms to nanotechnology. Yet, progress was still so fast that the media were always full of amazing innovations in medicine, transportation, and education that had vastly improved general human welfare over the last 25 years. The positive trends in 2025 were global assessments of educational curricula that led to improved learning. Every jurisdiction, every state and town, every ethnic group thought that its approach to education was correct and its right to teach its version of truth inviolable. SIMAD changed that. Global guidelines brought more rigorous thinking to the design of curricula. Because nearly all information and educational systems were constantly subject to international cross-referencing and feedback, information accuracy helped reduce intolerance. With more precise information, and with less prejudicial misinformation arising from ignorance and frustrations from injustice, more room was made for the expression of altruistic ideals. The international focus on human security—freedom from fear—as the new organizing principle for world affairs helped strategic cooperation to improve living conditions.” The full scenario is presented in Chapter 5 on this CD.

Scenario 3: Please Turn Off the Spigot: “From the perspective of Time Magazine's Man of the Year: (The full scenario is presented in Chapter 5 on this CD) "When science was “hot", biotechnology was giving us one breakthrough after another. The genetic origins of behavior were being articulated, and biotech was being used to build new kinds of weapons of mass destruction. Biodiversity suffered from aggressive marketing of genetically altered, patented varieties. Cognitive sciences were moving ahead; there was much greater insight into functioning of the brain but without much improvement in decisionmaking. Computers were gaining awareness. S&T was globalizing; scientists in poor countries were conducting much of the leading-edge research since many of the frontier projects were inexpensive and could be performed in small labs. In addition, vastly improved communications made it quite practical for geographically dispersed teams to function efficiently.Applied nanotechnology was being used in products and in labs to perform quantum feats of what would have been called magic only two decades earlier. But many new scientific discoveries were being distorted from their original intent deliberately or inadvertently, and these “slip-ups” provided, in the end, new means for killing large numbers of people. Thus, the International Commission of Science was finally formed in 2019. This Commission was designed to review controversial research proposals, establish risk limits, issue permits for risky experimentation, and indict scientists who stepped over the bounds established by the commission. The Commission evolved through a corruption phase when my slogan reached around the world—on Internet sites, in public hearings, in parliaments. “Everywhere the air stinks from corruption. The management of science has failed, give us management of science.” The anti-corruption strategies eventually took hold but only after some unforgiving investigations and prosecutions on a global scale. In any event, I remain optimistic that science can achieve its promise and that with luck and planning we can all survive its unintentional mistakes.”

Jacobo Minskov
December 31, 2025

Scenario 4: Backlash: “Scientists carried signs in protest at the Jakarta World Summit on Science and Technology in 2015. The principal topic of discussion was the need to institute some sort of world control over the directions of science and technology. Those arguing for regulation of science listed physical threats such as the sorcerer’s apprentice syndrome: self-replicating nanotechnology overrunning the planet. They also argued about the missed opportunities for something like a Manhattan Project on cheap, efficient, environmentally benign, non-nuclear fission and non-fossil energy sources, or one on simple, inexpensive, effective medicines and delivery systems to treat widespread diseases, or a project on improved sources and efficiency of water use. The resolution known as the Principles of Inviolability of Science (or simply “Principles”) recognized the autonomy of science and charged the disciplines with the responsibility of determining the “line in the sand” that defined acceptable risks in their fields. In this scenario, science blossomed under the Principles. Artificial intelligence research teams produce computers that claimed to be superior to human reasoning. But about five years into this idealized world of accelerated science, it became apparent that the Principles had a dark side. The golden age of science proved to be a mixture of good, bad, and illusion. It started as isolated criticism by intellectuals and grew to a river of doubt by populations in general. Innovation was throttled because no one was sure whether they would be stepping over some fuzzy line of law or propriety with leading-edge research. When the spark of discovery dimmed, economies slowed, and innovations that saw the light of day became more proprietary than ever. Horizons shrank and goals became diminished. As the global economy wound down, poverty rose and the safety zone of reduced risk that global regulation was supposed to provide proved not to be safe at all. People asked, What’s next?” (The full text of this scenario is contained in Chapter 5 of this CD)


Machines Will Be Smarter Than We Are. Robert E. Newnham, a materials scientist at Pennsylvania State University. Robert E. Newnham is Alcoa Professor Emeritus of Solid State Science at the Pennsylvania State University. He served as Chairman of the Solid State Science program for 18 years. 1997 Buessem Award Recipient. Dr. Mark Humphrys, University of Edinburgh. New Scientist Magazine, June, 2003. Otis Port, senior writer, Business Week.

Superbrains born of silicon will change everything. Previously intractable problems in science, engineering, and medicine will be a snap. Robots will rapidly displace humans from factories and farms.

Scenario in the 21st Century in 2050: Machines Will Be Smarter Than We Are: In the era of 1960 – 2004, computers showed no signs of intelligence because they were less complex than the brain of an earthworm. Then in the year 2007, Stephen W. Hawking made a very profound statement in his speech to the Society of Artificial Intelligence in Washington, DC when he said, “ But it seems to me that if very complicated chemical molecules can operate in humans to make them intelligent, then equally complicated electronic circuits can also make computers act in an intelligent way.” In 2020, intelligent computers were inevitable as in Moore’s Law -- the 1965 dictum predicting the geometric growth of semiconductor power. Moore himself agreed in 2004: ``Silicon intelligence is going to evolve to the point where it'll get hard to tell computers from human beings.” Today in 2050, we have the MCSquare, here in Palo Alto, a computer, now in it’s infant stages that is far smarter than Albert Einstein and Hawking rolled into one. This computer is designed to go beyond superior number crunching in which Silicon has given birth to new kinds of life. The advances and advantages of silicon life…chiefly immortality and unimaginable brainpower— inspired scientists in 2050 to forge composite human-silicon life forms with a common conscienceness that transcends all living beings. The arrival of silicon life transformed civilization. All our science and art, even our concept of self, stemed ultimately from what our senses tell us about the world. But beings that can see radio waves and listen to starlight, that can feel the vast empty spaces in atoms of steel, have different perception of reality. What we have learned from them in 2050 is more wondrous than all the discoveries made with microscopes, telescopes, X-ray machines, and other high-tech tools for amplifying our senses back in the 20th-early 21st centuries. In 2020, we began to realize that the human brain only had a short time left as the smartest thing on earth. The speed and complexity of computers continued to double every 18 months through 2012. By then the density of computer circuits jumped 1,000-fold, and the raw processing power of a human brain fit into a shoe box. Beyond 2012, chips that exploit the quirky world of quantum mechanics promised far bigger leaps in complexity. Because such chips didn’t need wires, which now occupy most of the space on silicon, it won't take long to duplicate a human brain fully--not only its 100 billion neurons but also its trillions of synapses, or interconnections. This dense maze of interconnections is regarded as essential for intelligence to emerge.”


Visionary Biologist Foresaw Transhuman Future. Dead at 84, John Maynard Smith married game theory to evolutionary biology while advocating human redesign. Smith wrote Evolution and the Theory of Games. (George Dvorsky, Betterhumans Staff. May 26, 2004.)
Following his death at 84, English scientist John Maynard Smith is once again making headlines for his provocative propositions and wide-ranging legacy. Smith, emeritus professor of biology at the University of Sussex, died on April 19 at the age of 84. Born in London and known as "JMS" to his friends, Maynard Smith will be remembered for his work in biology, and most particularly for his work introducing game theory to evolutionary biology. He will also be remembered for openly advocating the reengineering of humans, particularly making alterations to the genome, and for speculating about the future of intelligent life on Earth. Scenario of the 21st Century: A Transhuman Future: “The success of an organism's actions often depends on what other organisms do.” While critical of genetic determinism, Maynard Smith retained most of his “transhumanist perspectives” throughout his life. He described the major phases in the evolution of life, from the simplest replicators to complex human societies with language and how there is increasing complexity in the way information is either stored or transmitted. He saw the marriage of DNA, programmed intelligence and silicon as hovering on the horizon, and predicted that humanity is likely headed for a major evolutionary shift. "Technically, that would be a major transition because it would be a new way of transmitting information between generations, and storing it," said JMS, "But if we come back in a hundred years' time, will the prostheses continue to be computers on our desks, will they be personalized bits of us, or will we find only silicon beings surviving? That remains to be seen." And cognizant of advances in computing and artificial intelligence, Maynard Smith once noted that, "We like to think that computers are our slaves. It does seem to be possible that the relationship might be inverted." He also believed that humans were continuing to evolve genetically, particularly in things such as disease resistance. Concerned with the accumulation of deleterious genetic traits, he argued in favor of influencing our own genome. "Eugenics is a dirty word, but I don't think it should be, I think we are going to have to think quite seriously about it," he noted. "The words 'eugenics' and 'fascism' are regarded as almost synonymous and I think that's just plain silly."


We’ll Have All the Genetic Pieces. Next, We’ll Assemble the Jigsaw Puzzle. George A. Scangos, president and CEO of Exelixis Pharmaceuticals Inc., in South San Francisco. and William A. Haseltine, chairman and CEO of Human Genome Sciences Inc.

From Llewellyn Hall at the Australian National University in Canberra as part of National Science Week 2001, three distinguished scientists give their views in a forum on the future of genes. Scenario 1) Genetic Flood: “In the first few years of the 21st century, science finishes one of the monumental tasks of all time--deciphering the blueprint of human life. Eventually, the genome projects brings a revolution in medicine and biology. By 2020, most miracles are going to come from unknown genes and unknown functions that are going to take decades and decades to understand. Researchers began the enormous task of making sense of the flood of new genetic information. Over the years, scientists at Myriad Genetics Inc. in Salt Lake City screened hundreds of thousands of proteins to see how they interact and what they do. While studying a protein capable of suppressing brain tumors, the Myriad team found that it attaches to a second, scaffold-like protein. That scaffold, in turn, binds to a third protein, which acts like a switch to turn the tumor suppressor on or off. With that discovery, the company has opened the door to a new tactic for fighting cancer by 2012. By 2010, botonists figured the functions of tens of thousands of genes that can survive droughts and vegetables containing vaccines. On the Arabidopsis project, scientists inferred the genes vital for these conditions and found 2,500 gene sequences linked with the ability to withstand salty environments – many previously unknown to science. This held the key to the 21 Century’s supercrops.” Scenario 2) Biochemistry of Drug Development: “By 2020, drug development radically changed thanks to understanding the evolution of fruit flies and the worm C., amazingly similar to human diseases. Breakthroughs occurred in 2010 as a result of creating strains of fruit-flies with, say, tumors or diabetes-like defects. Then they mutated thousands of the flies’ other genes, searching for those that change the bugs’ fate. Scientists were able to find genes that restore normalcy and genes that make the defect worse. This gave drugmakers whole new targets and approaches for tackling diseases. The mid-21st Century saw new drugs that conquered Alzheimers disease and cancer, vaccines to wipe out scourges like malaria and AIDS, and a second green revolution—with crops packing both extra nutrients and drugs. Ultimately, new knowledge brings power to do more than just fight disease. Scientists discovered an ability to manipulate life in ways only dreamed--or feared--before. By manipulating the body's biochemistry, scientists are able to repair and rejuvenate cells and organs. The fountain of youth was to be found within our own genes. Cellular replacement keeps us young and healthy forever.”


Unbounding the Future—The Future of Nanotechnology. The Foresight Institute is a non-profit, educational organization founded to help society prepare for nanotechnology. The goal of this organization is to educate and assure that nanotechnology will be developed safely and beneficially.

Scenarios of the 21st Century: Unbounding the Future. The following scenarios can't represent what will happen, because no one knows. They can, however, show how post-breakthrough capabilities could mesh with human life and Earth's environment. The results will likely seem quaintly conservative from a future perspective, however much they seem like science fiction today. Scenario 1) Solar Energy: “In Fairbanks, Alaska, Linda Hoover yawns and flips a switch on a dark winter morning. The light comes on, powered by stored solar electricity. The Alaska oil pipeline shut down years ago, and tanker traffic is gone for good. Nanotechnology can make solar cells efficient, as cheap as newspaper, and as tough as asphalt–tough enough to use for resurfacing roads, collecting energy without displacing any more grass and trees. Together with efficient, inexpensive storage cells, this will yield low-cost power (but no, not "too cheap to meter"). There are promising prospects for energy and the environment in more depth.” Scenario 2) Medicine - The Cures: “Sue Miller of Lincoln, Nebraska, has been a bit hoarse for weeks, and just came down with a horrid head cold. For the past six months, she's been seeing ads for At Last!®: the Cure for the Common Cold, so she spends her five dollars and takes the nose-spray and throat-spray doses. Within three hours, 99 percent of the viruses in her nose and throat are gone, and the rest are on the run. Within six hours, the medical mechanisms have become inactive, like a pinch of inhaled but biodegradable dust, soon cleared from the body. She feels much better and won't infect her friends at dinner. The human immune system is an intricate molecular mechanism, patrolling the body for viruses and other invaders, recognizing them by their foreign molecular coats. The immune system, though, is slow to recognize something new. For her five dollars, Sue bought 10 billion molecular mechanisms primed to recognize not just the viruses she had already encountered, but each of the five hundred most common viruses that cause colds, influenza, and the like. Weeks have passed, but the hoarseness Sue had before her cold still hasn't gone away; it gets worse. She ignores it through a long vacation, but once she's back and caught up, Sue finally goes to see her doctor. He looks down her throat and says, "Hmmm." He asks her to inhale an aerosol, cough, spit in a cup, and go read a magazine. The diagnosis pops up on a screen five minutes after he pours the sample into his cell analyzer. Despite his knowledge, his training and tools, he feels chilled to read the diagnosis: a malignant cancer of the throat, the same disease that has cropped up all too often in his own mother's family. He touches the "Proceed" button. In twenty minutes, he looks at the screen to check progress. Yes, Sue's cancerous cells are all of one basic kind, displaying one of the 16,314 known molecular markers for malignancy. They can be recognized, and since they can be recognized, they can be destroyed by standard molecular machines primed to react to those markers. The doctor instructs the cell analyzer to prime some "immune machines" to go after her cancer cells. He tests them on cells from the sample, watches, and sees that they work as expected, so he has the analyzer prime up some more. Sue puts the magazine down and looks up. "Well, Doc, what's the word?" she asks. "I found some suspicious cells, but this should clear it up," he says. He gives her a throat spray and an injection. "I'd like you to come back in three weeks, just to be sure." "Do I have to?" she asks. "You know," he lectures her, "we need to make sure it's gone. You really shouldn't let things like this go so far before coming in." "Yes, fine, I'll make the appointment," she says. Leaving the office, Sue thinks fondly of how old-fashioned and conservative Dr. Fujima is. The molecular mechanisms of the immune system already destroy most potential cancers before they grow large enough to detect. With nanotechnology, we will build molecular mechanisms to destroy those that the immune system misses.” Scenario 3) Cleansing the Soil: “California Scout Troop 9731 has hiked for six days, deep in the second-wilderness forests of the Pacific Northwest. "I bet we're the first people ever to walk here," says one of the youngest scouts. "Well, maybe you're right about walking," says Scoutmaster Jackson, "but look up ahead–what do you see, scouts?" Twenty paces ahead runs a strip of younger trees, stretching left and right until it vanishes among the trunks of the surrounding forest. "Hey, guys! Another old logging road!" shouts an older scout. Several scouts pull probes from their pockets and fit them to the ends of their walking sticks. Jackson smiles: It's been ten years since a California troop found anything this way, but the kids keep trying. The scouts fan out, angling their path along the scar of the old road, poking at the ground and watching the readouts on the stick handles. Suddenly, unexpectedly, comes a call: "I've got a signal! Wow–I've got PCBs!" In a moment, grinning scouts are mapping and tracing the spill. Decades ago, a truck with a leaking load of chemical waste snuck down the old logging road, leaving a thin toxic trail. That trail leads them to a deep ravine, some rusted drums, and a nice wide patch of invisible filth. The excitement is electrifying. Setting aside their maps and orienteering practice, they unseal a satellite locator to log the exact latitude and longitude of the site, then send a message that registers their cleanup claim on the ravine. The survey done, they head off again, eagerly planning a return trip to earn the now-rare Toxic Waste Cleanup Merit Badge. Today, tree farms are replacing wilderness. Tomorrow, the slow return to wilderness may begin, when nature need no longer be seen as a storehouse of natural resources to be plundered.” Scenario 4) Pocket Supercomputers: “At the University of Michigan, Joel Gregory grabs a molecular rod with both hands and twists. It feels a bit weak, and a ripple of red reveals too much stress in a strained molecular bond halfway down its length. He adds two atoms and twists the rod again: all greens and blues, much better. Joel plugs the rod into the mechanical arm he's designing, turns up the temperature, and sets the whole thing in motion. A million atoms dance in thermal vibration, gears spin, and the arm swings to and fro in programmed motion. It looks good. A few parts are still mock-ups, but doing a thesis takes time, and he'll work out the rest of the molecular details later. Joel strips off the computer display goggles and gloves and blinks at the real world. It's time for a sandwich and a cup of coffee. He grabs the computer itself, stuffs it into his pocket, and heads for the student center. Researchers already use computers to build models of molecules, and "virtual reality systems" have begun to appear, enabling a user to walk around the image of a molecule and "touch" it, using computer-controlled gloves and goggles. We can't build a supercomputer able to model a million-atom machine yet–much less build a pocket supercomputer–but computers keep shrinking in size and cost. With nanotechnology to make molecular parts, a computer like Joel's will become easy to build. Today's supercomputers will seem like hand-cranked adding machines by comparison.” Scenario 5) Global Wealth: “Behind a village school in the forest a stone's throw from the Congo River, a desktop computer with a thousand times the power of an early 1990s supercomputer lies half-buried in a recycling bin. Indoors, Joseph Adoula and his friends have finished their day's studies; now they are playing together in a vivid game universe using personal computers each a million times more powerful than the clunker in the trash. They stay late in air-conditioned comfort. Trees use air, soil, and sunlight to make wood, and wood is cheap enough to burn. Nanotechnology can do likewise, making products as cheap as wood–even products like supercomputers, air conditioners, and solar cells to power them. The resulting economics may even keep tropical forests from being burned.” Scenario 6) Cleansing the Air: “In Earth's atmosphere, the twentieth-century rise in carbon-dioxide levels has halted and reversed. Fossil fuels are obsolete, so pollution rates have lessened. Efficient agriculture has freed fertile land for reforestation, so growing trees are cleansing the atmosphere. Surplus solar power from the world's repaved roads is being used to break down excess carbon dioxide at a rate of 5 billion tons per year. Climates are returning to normal, the seas are receding to their historical shores, and ecosystems are beginning the slow process of recovery. In another twenty years, the atmosphere will be back to the pre-industrial composition it had in the year 1800.” Scenario 7) Transportation Outward: “Jim Salin's afternoon flight from Dulles International is on the ground, late for departure. Impatiently, Jim checks the time: any later, and he'll miss his connecting flight. At last, the glassy-surfaced craft rolls down the runway. With gliderlike wings, it lifts its fat body and climbs steeply toward the east. A few pages into his novel, Jim is interrupted by a second recitation of safety instructions and the captain's announcement that they'll try to make up for lost time. Jim settles back in his seat as the main engines kick in, the wings retract, the acceleration builds, and the sky darkens to black. Like the highest-performance rockets of the 1980s, Jim's liner produces an exhaust of pure water vapor. Spaceflight has become clean, safe, and routine. And every year, more people go up than come down. The cost of spaceflight is mostly the cost of high-performance, reliable hardware. Molecular manufacturing will make aerospace structures from nearly flawless, superstrong materials at low cost. Add inexpensive fuel, and space will become more accessible than the other side of the ocean is today.” Scenario 8) Restoring Species: “Restoration Day Ceremonies are always moving events. For some reason, the old people always cry, even though they say they're happy. Crying, Tracy Stiegler thinks, doesn't make any sense. She looks again through the camouflage screen over the sandy Triangle Keys beach, gazing across the Caribbean toward the Yucatán Peninsula. Soon this will be theirs again, and that's all to the good. Tracy and the other scientists from BioArchive have positions of honor in today's Restoration Day Ceremony. Since the mid-twentieth century there had been no living Caribbean monk seals, only grisly relics of the years of their slaughter: seal furs and dry museum specimens. Tracy's team struggled for years, gathering these relics and studying them with molecular instruments. It had been known for decades—since the 1980s—that genes are tough enough to survive in dried skin, bone, horn, and eggshell. Tracy's team had collected genes and rebuilt cells. They worked for years, and gave thanks to the strict protection—late, but good enough—that saved one related species. At last, a Hawaiian monk seal had given birth to a genetically-pure Caribbean monk seal, twin to a seal long dead. And now there were five hundred, some young, some middle-aged, with decent genetic diversity and five years' experience living in the confines of a coastal ecological station. Today, with raucous voices, they are moving out into the world to reclaim their ecological niche. As Tracy watches, she thinks of the voices that will never be heard again: of the species, known and unknown, that left not a even a bloody scrap to be cherished and restored. Thousands (millions?) of species had simply been brushed into extinction as habitats were destroyed by farming and logging. People knew–for years they had known–that freezing or drying would save genes. And they knew of the ecological destruction, and they knew they weren't stopping it. And the ignorant bastards didn't even keep samples. Tracy discovers that she, too, cries at Restoration Day Ceremonies. People will surely push biomedical applications of nanotechnology far and fast for human health-care. With a bit more pushing, this technology base will be good enough to restore some species now thought lost forever, to repair some of the damage human beings have done to the web of life. It would be better to preserve ecosystems and species intact, but restoration, even of a few species, will be far better than nothing. Some samples from endangered species are being kept today, but not enough, and mostly for the wrong reasons.” Scenario 9) An Unstable Arms Race: “Disputes over technology development and trade had soured relationships between Singapore and the Japan-United States alliance. Diplomatic inquiries regarding peculiar seismic and sonar readings in the South China Sea had just begun when they suddenly became irrelevant: an estimated one billion tons of unfamiliar, highly-automated military hardware appeared in coastal waters around the world. Accusations began to fly between Congress and PeaceWatch personnel: "If you'd done your jobs—" "If you'd let us do our jobs—" And so, in late February, Singapore emerged as a military superpower.
Low cost, high quality, high-speed production can be applied to many purposes, not all attractive. Nanotechnology has enormous potential for abuse.”


Molcular Machines Aren’t Fantasy. Just Ask the Pentagon. James C. Ellenbogen, Mitre Corp., a Pentagon-funded research center in McLean, Va.

Nanotechnology has grabbed Washington's attention. Seven months ago, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency launched a Molecular Electronics Program. And Congress seems eager to spend a lot more on nanotech research. One plan would double the current budget of $232 million over the next three years. The White House may go along, because it has already tagged nanotech as one of 11 critical research areas.
Scenario in the 21st Century: Molecular Machines Aren’t Fantasy: “In the 2020s, you may be able to buy a ``recipe'' for a PC over the net, insert plastic and conductive molecules into your ``nanobox,'' and have it spit out a computer. Matter will become software. That's not a misprint: Matter will become software. As a result, we'll be able to use the Internet to download not just software but hardware, too. Nanotechnology is the craft of constructing things smaller than a few hundred nanometers, or billionths of a meter. That's the span of a few scores of atoms strung together. Move automated assembly down to such scales, and the implications for manufacturing are pretty clear: Whole sectors of production could get clobbered. It could start with semiconductors in the 2010s, then spread to other small products, like cellular phones. Researchers are already busy developing techniques to make pinhead-size computers, ``and the bits and pieces of these nanocomputers are far smaller than the physical structures we now manipulate to hold information on disk drives,'' Ellenbogen says. ``So someday soon, we could download hardware from the Net just like we download software today.''
New disk drives will be needed to physically reproduce some hardware downloads. One concept is to make a read/write head from a cluster of ultrasharp points to nudge atoms and molecules this way or that. ``Once we have the technology to build computers no bigger than grains of salt,'' Ellenbogen says, ``we're in a fundamentally new ball game.'' Computers that tiny will be dirt cheap, so they'll be everywhere. A computer in lingerie will tell the washing machine what the water temperature should be. Ballpoint pens will blink a warning when their ink gets low. Your shoes will let your car know you're approaching, so it can adjust the seat and mirrors and unlock the door. By 2020, the grand slam of software hits the market: the nanobox. This is a sort of futuristic copy machine that combines nanotech fabrication with today's so-called desktop-manufacturing methods, used mainly to knock out quick prototypes of new products. If you want a new cell phone, you'll purchase a recipe on the Net. It will tell you to insert a sheet of plastic and squirt electrically conductive molecules into the ``toner'' cartridge. The nanobox will pass the plastic back and forth, laying down patterns of molecules, then electrically direct them to assemble themselves into circuits and an antenna. Next, using different ``toners,'' the nanobox will add a keypad, speaker, and microphone and finally build up a housing. Building computers atom by atom remains a distant dream, though, and Ellenbogen wants quick results. ``So I'm betting on molecular electronics for the near term,'' he says. That looks like a good nanogamble.”


Four Scenarios of the Future of Wireless Technologies. Wiley Publishers since 1807. Wireless Firesight, Inc. nominated the study of scenarios of a wireless future. The project was initiated by Wireless@KTH, a research and educational center formed by the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in cooperation with industry.

We are entering exciting times. After the decade when the Internet and the cell-phone changed our lives and working habits, these two technologies are about to merge. At the same time, the indistry is going through one of its worst crisis ever. At this crossroads, the future can take any direction. Up or down. Success or failure. From the following scenarios, important areas for technological research are identified. A number of critical challenges facing industry are identified: the high cost for infrastructure, the slow spectrum release, the stampeding system complexity, radiation, battery capacity, and the threat of a disruptive market change facing the telco industry. Scenario 1) Wireless Explosion, Creative Destruction. “Wireless applications and services are a huge success in 2015, and in a rapidly transforming industry the old market leaders lost their dominant positions. The old telco world with closed, vertically integrated solutions gave way to layered, open architectures based on IP (Internet Protocol). The datacom industry won the market battle. However, in a large but maturing industry, profit margins were squeezed and the datacom winners could never really leverage their market power. Users were very active and drove this development towards an open IP world with skyrocketing traffic and an abundance of applications. They preferred choice over convenience and didn’t accept being locked-in to corporate bundles. Governments released a lot of new unlicensed spectrum, undermining operator dominance and triggering a do-it-yourself wireless movement. The Open Source movement, down-loading of music and other copyrighted material, enforced these changes in consumer attitudes and the values of the underground culture gradually became mainstream. Feeling this value shift, governments were more and more reluctant to enforce restrictive IPR (Intellectual Property Rights), further undermining profit margins. The wireless success changed peoples’ way of work and lifestyle. Being always connected with context sensitive information, a growing part of the knowledge work force could spend most of their time on the move, in meetings or traveling between meetings. Globalization continued and with it the growing trends of traveling and commuting.” Scenario 2) Slow Motion: “The wireless world has developed slowly since the turn of the century. The global economic recession during the first decade in combination with real and perceived health problems due to radiation from wireless devices deeply affected the wireless industry. Even though the demand for mobile services has increased, the service explosion that many people envisaged never materialized. The wireless industry has gone through substantial change. Consolidation has increased and the number of companies in each market has been reduced. Technological development has slowed down and profit margins have decreased substantially. The industry has matured. The big NICs, for example China, India, and Russia, are catching up faster than expected.” Scenario 3) Rediscovering Harmony: “Balance in life became the dominating value in most industrialized nations where material abundance (and security) could be taken for granted. These are post materialistic times where human and environmental needs are in focus. The wireless industry is experiencing a difficult dilemma: refocus or die! There are fewer service and application providers than predicted around 2000, but the market is not completely dry. The big hurdle is to refocus and rethink business models, offerings, and brand on a market with active and demanding consumers categorized by numerous sub-cultures with individual needs. We see many local operators and service providers that have emerged as a result of the trend to move out of the crammed cities and forming smaller, local communities where people live and work. At the same time there are a few global operators providing global communication for the increasing number of people traveling longer and more often for pleasure, and for smaller but more price insensitive segments.” Scenario 4) Big Moguls and Snoopy Governments: “Through consolidation and mergers, large companies, known as moguls, have come to dominate the market. A mogul is a descendant of the early, big information technology or media companies that managed to survive the crises of the first decade of the 2000s. These (few) grew and expanded outside their original business segments, for instance from being only a systems software manufacturer a company became a big content provider and also started manufacturing devices aimed specifically at using their services. Smaller players were often bought or put out of business due to the dominant position of the big companies. The moguls, together with the world’s governments exert substantial and active control over the information flow and the communication industries. The companies and government are working against the chaotic freedom that used to characterize the early Internet, and the purpose is to protect society and individuals from various unwanted actors and behavior. Examples are: cyber crime, international terrorism, protecting content owners and others from illegal copying of software, music, movies etc. and battling other forms of information use and abuse. The moguls are supported by government since they are seen as more easily monitored. Anonymity on the Net is no longer possible. All users are automatically identified and registered when acting on the Net. The world is however not an anti-democratic society where the moguls and govern-ments use the Net and the information to gain power and ultimately dictatorship, even though many people fear that this might be the case. Counter- and freedom movements do exist despite heavy measures against them by governments and large corporations alike.”


The Toughest Problems Will be Solved with a Role of the Dice. Isaac Chuang's lab at IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose.

Physicists hope to use subatomic particles' imprecise nature to answer questions beyond the reach of today's computers. Today's computers still solve problems the same way their ancestor, the Eniac, did back in 1945. They follow instructions, step by step. Their obedience has freed humans from tedious mathematical calculations, bringing changes in communication, entertainment, and scientific research that the Eniac's inventors never dreamed of. Physicists and computer scientists are finding that they can harness subatomic particles to crack problems that were long thought unsolvable. The resulting quantum computers--which may be available in some 15 to 20 years--will speed drug discovery, let forecasters nail the weather with precision, and help chipmakers design circuits that are now impossibly complex. Scenario of the 21st Century: The Future of Quantum Computers: “By 2020-2050, quantum computers will have inputs – a billion or more names, each represented with equal probability. The computer's program nudges and shapes this ``cloud'' of probabilities, checking all the listings against the desired name at once. The quantum programmer's job is to manipulate the odds, loading the dice in a way that leads quickly to the correct answer. Nabil Amer, manager of IBM's quantum computing effort, predicts that this kind of subatomic gambling will have huge payoffs for complex simulations. Engineers and drug designers will be able to ``just shut down the lab and do it on the computer,'' he says. Picture a database containing all the known rules for how chemicals interact. A quantum computer could sift through in an instant to find a molecule to fit any wish list of drug properties. The most successful design of proto-type quantum computers is taking place in Isaac Chuang's lab at IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose. A pencil-size glass tube filled with a yellow liquid containing millions of alanine molecules rests inside an NMR machine, a small version of the imaging machines found in hospitals. Each molecule is a tiny quantum computer, with its three carbon atoms serving as its working memory. To do a calculation, Chuang uses a series of NMR pulses to flip and jiggle the atoms' probabilities. A tenth of a second later, a final pulse forces the atoms to make up their minds and cough up an answer. Whether quantum computers are wanted or not in the future, we may find that we need them. As ordinary computer circuits continue to shrink, eventually they'll reach quantum mechanical size, and their behavior will change radically. Many in the computer industry see this size limit--expected sometime around 2012--as a roadblock, but Chuang calls it the quantum mechanical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. ``We're starting at the end,'' he muses, ``and walking backwards toward civilization.'' You can't get more quantum than that. Quantum computers will emerge as the superior computational devices at the very least, and perhaps one day make today's modern computer obsolete. Quantum computation has its origins in highly specialized fields of theoretical physics, but its future undoubtedly lies in the profound effect it will have on the lives of all mankind.”


The Mind Is Immortal. Otis Port, Senior Writer of Business Week, August, 1999.

Soon, technology may have the power to track every waking moment of your life-and preserve it in a form that will allow your great-great-great grandchildren to quiz a virtual you. Scenario in the 21st Century: So You’d Like to Forever? “By the year 2050, you might actually get your wish--providing you are willing to evacuate your biological body and take up residence in silicon circuits. But long before then, perhaps as early as 2005, less radical measures will begin offering a semblance of immortality. Researchers are confident that technology will soon be able to track every waking moment of your life. Whatever you see and hear, plus all that you say and write, can be recorded, analyzed and automatically indexed, and added to your personal chronicles. By the 2030s, it may be possible to capture your nervous system's electrical activity, which would also preserve your thoughts and emotions. Researchers at the BT Laboratories of British Telecommunications PLC have dubbed this concept the Soul Catcher. In a preview of what the near term holds, Carnegie Mellon University two years ago unveiled a system called Synthetic Interviews, with Albert Einstein as its first subject. To learn about the theory of relativity or the physicist's private life, you engage in what almost seems to be a live videoconference with an ersatz Einstein. The system quickly parses each question and selects the best-match response from a bank of 500 video recordings. So it's easy to forget what's going on under the hood--speech recognition to digitize your words, natural-language processing to understand the question, and a rating scheme similar to that used by Lycos Inc. to rank the results of Web searches. The hardware for early versions of virtual immortality exists now. You could document your daily life using tiny video cameras embedded in eyeglass frames. They could be linked to IBM's latest hard disk--it's the size of a quarter and could be housed in a pendant. It stores 300 megabytes of data, enough to hold 30 days of your life. But by 2005, says David A. Thompson, a fellow at IBM Almaden Research Center, a full year should easily fit on such Lilliputian disks.”


The Earth Will Don an Electronic Skin. Neil Gross, Business Week, Horst L. Stormer, a Nobel prize-winning physicist employed by Lucent Technologies Inc.'s Bell Laboratories and Columbia University.

Today, silicon networks look nothing like the brain, but nodes of the internet have begun to function as neurons. Hundreds of thousands of PCs working in concert have already tackled complex computing problems. In the not-so-distant future, some scientists expect spontaneous computer networks to emerge, forming a ``huge digital creature'' Scenario in the 21st Century: The Earth Will Don an Electronic Skin: The skin is an uncanny piece of engineering. It processes immense amounts of data on temperature, pressure, humidity, and texture. It registers movement in the air, gauges the size of objects by the distance between points of contact, alerts us to danger, and prepares us for pleasure. But the skin does more than register superficial events--it's a controller. It sends signals to regulate blood flow, activate sweat glands, alert immune cells to marauding invaders, and block ultraviolet light. Even when skin dies, it is utilitarian: Dead cells accumulate in layers to prevent unwanted penetration. In 2025, planet earth will don an electronic skin. It will use the Internet as a scaffold to support and transmit its sensations. This skin is already being stitched together. It consists of millions of embedded electronic measuring devices: thermostats, pressure gauges, pollution detectors, cameras, microphones, glucose sensors, EKGs, electroencephalographs. These will probe and monitor cities and endangered species, the atmosphere, our ships, highways and fleets of trucks, our conversations, our bodies--even our dreams. By 2012, there will be trillions of such telemetric systems, each with a microprocessor brain and a radio. Consultant Ernst & Young predicts that by 2010, there will be 10,000 telemetric devices for every human being on the planet. They'll be in constant contact with one another. But the communication won't be at our plodding verbal pace. ``Fifty kilobits per second is slow,'' huffs Horst L. Stormer, a Nobel prize-winning physicist employed by Lucent Technologies Inc.'s Bell Laboratories and Columbia University. Machines will prefer to talk at gigabit speeds and higher--so fast that humans will catch only scattered snippets of the discussion. What will the earth's new skin permit us to feel? How will we use its surges of sensation? For several years--maybe for a decade--there will be no central nervous system to manage this vast signaling network. Certainly there will be no central intelligence. But many scientists believe that some qualities of self-awareness will emerge once the Net is sensually enhanced and emulates the complexity of the human brain. Sensuality is only one force pushing the Net toward intelligence. An eerie symbiosis of human and machine effort is also starting to evolve. The Internet creates a channel for thousands of programmers around the world to collaborate on software development and debugging. That has produced an evolutionary leap in software: The ``open source'' movement that spawned the Linux operating system. The Linux world behaves as an ecosystem--``a self-correcting spontaneous order,'' as open-source pioneer Eric Raymond describes it in his Net manifesto, The Cathedral and the Bazaar. Through collaboration, this community can push past the technical barriers to machine intelligence.”


The Invisible Future: The Seamless Integration of Technology Into Everyday Life
Peter Denning, Editor, 2002, McGraw-Hill
Chapter: An Ambient Intelligent Home Scenario
Authors: Emile Aarts, Rick Harwig, and Martin Schuurmans

(Emile is department head of the Media Interaction Group of the Philips Research Laboratories Eindhoven. Rich Harwig is managing director, Philips Research Eindhoven. Martin Schuurmans is executive Vice President of the Philips Centre for Industrial Technology).

In this scenario, the authors describe life at home in the future. The home is “intelligent,” filled with technological gadgets that keep its occupants in touch with each other and themselves.
Ellen, the fictional main character returns home from work. The intelligent security system recognizes her and automatically unlocks the door. As she enters the home, the “house map” indicates the locations of both her spouse (who is in Paris) and child (who is in the playroom). In the kitchen, the “family memo board” indicates there are messages to which Ellen must attend: one is from the refrigerator, requesting confirmation on the grocery list before it is sent to the supermarket; another is relaying information she requested regarding holiday cottages in Spain. Ellen connects via video screen to speak with her daughter in the playroom and to her husband in Paris for a viewing of the art he intends to buy. Thinking of dinner, she views the display of menus that are based upon the food currently in the refrigerator and pantry.
Later that evening, Ellen works out to her own personalized routine and watches as the virtual presenter relays the information that has collected on the home server during the day. In the bathroom, the mirror does a quick check up for weight gain and protein levels. After scanning the next day’s agenda, the intelligent wake up system asks Ellen for her desired wake up time and wake up experience.


The Invisible Future: The Seamless Integration of Technology Into Everyday Life.
Peter Denning, Editor, 2002, McGraw-Hill. Chapter: Engineering the Ocean
Author: Marcia K. McNutt (President & CEO, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, President of American Geophysical Union)

In this chapter, author Marcia McNutt describes a future of oceanography the will have a “fundamentally different strategy”: the use of autonomous observatories, drifters, and rovers to explore the oceans and return important data. She supposes that within the next few decades, because of the information these systems can return that we will “understand, or at least think we understand, how the climate system works, what limits ocean productivity, the complete ecology of commercial fish species, and the other mysteries of the ocean.” This understanding could lead to predictions of the “weather” of the oceans.
By 2025, Ms McNutt indicates low-cost drifters will have been riding the ocean’s currents for decades, each relaying its position and the water’s ambient temperature and salinity via satellite to a central data processing facility. “The data from these drifters are combined with meteorological data and immediately integrated in a massive global ocean model that predicts the "weather" of the ocean: temperatures, currents, locations and velocities of fronts, and so on. The models are run forward into the future to provide forecasts for shipping companies, naval operations, and the growing number of multinational companies that have commercial operations in the ocean.” The data, combined with improved models, will provide fairly reliable forecasts for periods of a week or more; and when run further into the future, will be helpful in “predicting overall heating and cooling of the ocean, major changes in poleward heat transports and variations in the intensity of the boundary currents. This information is vital to farmers in deciding what crops to plant based on projections of temperature and rainfall from the ocean climate model. Much of the guesswork in the global commodities market (will have) disappeared once the global ocean climate forecasts became generally available.”
In Ms McNutt’s scenario during 2025, the computer model also indicates the probability of a massive El Nino, one that may be most extreme event of its kind ever recorded. “Even more worrisome, a forward projection of the climate models predicts that the El Nino will lead to an unusually warm winter and summer in the northeastern Atlantic, causing further melting of the Greenland ice sheet, already destabilized by global warming.” The warming triggered by the El Nino could take the planet into another ice age.
Fearful citizens will be demanding action from their governments. Governments consider “dumping a tanker of oil in the western Indian Ocean to decouple the ocean from the anomalous wind stress, thereby averting or at least lessening the impact of the El Nino” or constructing dams “across the streams that drain the Greenland ice sheet to prevent the water from reaching the ocean.”


Street Trends: How Today’s Alternative Youth Cultures are Creating Tomorrow’s Mainstream Markets.
Author: Janine Lopiano-Misdom and Joanne De Luca, 1997, HarperCollins Pub.

“The distant future – it’s kind of scary, but I imagine the future as a scene out of The Terminators, where there’s people versus people. I think the street people are going to continue to grow, and I think the more sophisticated people are going to stay indoors. I think there is going to be a major separation between the two.” Attusa, 24, student, LA

“In the future, everything will be back like it used to be with the earth like a garden, just because that’s where real happiness is and peace – in nature…” Jade, 22, student, LA

“Oh, the future is all about computers and new media, but I think the real new media is probably person to person or better communication. That more valuable than the Internet will ever be…” Myles, 22, student, San Diego

“2010? 2020? I think it’s just gonna be faster communication – faster than it is now. Still don’t see governments changing that much to do great causes. This whole capitalistic greed will still be around – people will be killing each other for money, wherever it is. The US might not be the US anymore – might not have as much power as we do now. 2020 … it’s hard to say because I think other countries are definitely coming up with economic power – the Asian block, the European block – it’s gonna be interesting who’s gonna be making global influences then.” Lee, 22, web site designer, Austin TX


Chronicle of the Future (website).
www.chronicle-future.co.uk

Chronicle of the Future offers a virtual “World’s Fair” of futures – complete with frankenfoods Bill Gates’ clone and “personcopters” (single-seat hybrid helicopter/planes). Dubbed “Tomorrow’s News Today” the website offers a stunning array of scenario vignettes from 2000 – 2050, each structured as a news article of the future and organized by 20 topic areas (such as business, crime, ecology, media, personalities, sport, technology and war). The following is an excerpt from a scenario in the year 2026 titled “Magic touch, son”: “Remember 'land football'? FIFA, the game's world governing body, has finally acknowledged virtual reality football as a sport in its own right. The decision follows the latest release of Top Score, the VR game from software company K. Broadcast rights to the game have been snapped up by WorldWeb, which plans to screen a monthly big match from the world VR football league. It expects a global audience of at least 2 billion. WW monitors the current rankings of VR teams and their
players and then selects the games featuring the most exciting sides for broadcast. K's holograph technology allows the players to maintain a speed and style of game impossible to match on a real pitch - and without any risk of injury, so there will be no opportunity for star players to linger on the treatment table. Although WW is starting out on a monthly basis - provided the players can stay awake - the number of games that can be played in a season is practically limitless. And likewise, the earnings potential of the top players is almost infinite.”


Spacecast 2020, vol.1
Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, June 1994
Authors: Prepared by the students and faculty of Air University.

In May 1993, the chief of staff of the United States Air Force directed Air University to undertake a study to identify capabilities for the period of 2020 and beyond and the technologies to enable them which will best support preserving the security of the United States. The scenarios are based on three “dimensions” of the future world: the number of actors playing a role in space; the will of the actors to use space; and the technological proliferation and growth and economic vitality of the actors, or their technomic capability.

Scenario 1) Spacefaring World: “The Spacefaring world is characterized by many actors with a strong desire to be involved in space. This world also has high technomic vitality representing the capability to be involved in space. The Spacefaring world is characterized by many actors with strong desires to engage in space-related activity enabled by vast economic growth and proliferation and ebullient technological vitality. Specifically, the government is one of many actors in the Spacefaring world where individuals, transnationals, and supranationals are all highly active and competitive within a stable interdependent environment. Free trade and a global industrial policy stimulate technomic vigor. Space investment is an economic reality with wide economic opportunity available to many. In this world, space activity is proliferated, global, and expanding and the military is involved across the board, even though the militarization of space is limited.

Scenario 2) Rogue World: Rogue world. This is a world in which there are few actors with a desire to be in space and limited technological and economic capability, but the will of some actors to be involved in space will be very high. . The features of this world are characterized by a few space actors, low technomic vitality, and a strong will for involvement by some. The interesting actors are principally states and political actors. There will be few space entrepreneurs in this world, and the international political system will be characterized by shifting alliances. The low technomic vitality will be evidenced by tiered shifting economies, protectionism, and embargoes against the rogues. These rogues will be willing to sacrifice domestic needs to preserve national security and to receive the prestige associated with space activity. [Technologically], few breakthroughs are evident [in this world]. As a result of the lack of cooperation associated with the spread of scientific knowledge, this world has limited or little advanced propulsion. The use of space in the Rogue world is limited, but leaders of such a state perceive it to be critical. The military's role in space is on the rise. Counterforce potential is very high and increasing, particularly with the development of highly capable anti-satellite weapons (ASAT). The military's logistical role in space is moderate and characterized by limited activity and infrastructure. On the other hand, the military's role in monitoring and reporting is high. The relationship between civilian and government space activity is weak and the amount of activity has been essentially low. There is almost no human activity in space.”

Scenario 3) Mad Max Incorporated: Mad Max Incorporated world is characterized by many actors with a strong desire to be in space, but actors who are limited by very low technomic vitality. The dominant space actors are corporate rather than political entities. This world is very competitive and potentially conflictual. Space actors in the Mad Max Incorporated world are predominantly corporations. Governments in this world have become welfare states or welfare guardians. The low technomic vitality is characterized by the continuous shifting of internal corporate resource allocations as companies move money from state to state to meet their needs. Trade is moderate, and corporations are pursuing profits while states are focused on domestic needs. Technology development and its proliferation are irregular. Wide-scale political and social space vision has been lost. Political leaders have abandoned space to corporations seeking a niche in space. Political leaders explain away this lack of policy by claiming that the cost of space is too high and the taxpayers are not willing to foot the bill. Instead, political leadership is increasingly consumed by reactions to crises relating to welfare, health, and protection of the environment.


The Future of M-Commerce DTN Network. Credit for this work is acknowledged to the following students of ENPC MBA program, Paris, France; class of 2000: Fenella Davis, Sebastian Wossagk, Giancarlo Giangola, Ripu Daman Singh, Misako Oki, and Magnus Sande.

These four scenarios represent a range of driving forces on the future of mobile-commerce (m-commerce). These forces were placed within a scenario matrix spectrum with the vertical axis displaying the extremes of global acceptance of mobile-commerce to global resistance of mobile-commerce; the horizontal axis displaying the extreme of fragmentation of m-commerce in the marketplace and the globalization of m-commerce in the marketplace on the other extreme.

Scenario One: Global Mobile (acceptance and globalization). January 31, 2005 7:30 Wake Up “My wife called me on my mobile from downstairs to wake me up. She used her own mobile hanging on the wall and said that breakfast was ready. We smiled at each other on the screens of our mobiles. I took a quick shower and went to the dining room. I wear the multi-functional "wrist-mobile" for 24 hours a day since my life, both business and social, is completely controlled by it. Our children also came into the room and started playing with the game on their mobiles. I was reading the "e-newspapers" and ëe-mailsí, and called my business partners to confirm today's meeting. In actual fact I don't have to go to the office and see people face-to-face since "tele-working" and "tele-conferencing" are the current trends of working style. So my company employees basically work at their homes and communicate with each other through the big screen sets. My children have also their own mobiles and take them to the school. On the way to my office, I was stuck in a traffic jam, but as the built-in music player on my mobile was playing I did not get irritated.”

9:00 Arrive at Office “I needed to double-check my business diary for today's schedule on my mobile. I prepared for today's work carefully, and still I had 40 minutes to spare before my first meeting so I checked my account balance and financial market through my mobile. My "e-wallets" told me that I could afford to buy additional shares. I quickly switched the mode to the internet on my mobile, confirmed the market trend and decided to execute the trade. "Mobile banking" is very popular and its security system of data transfer is fully guaranteed. The mobile phone is now in wide-spread use driven by demand from not only personal users but also business users looking for increased flexibility and productivity. Now is the year 2005, the mobile phone is combined with everything, not only computers, internet and business but also television & radio and even music ! In addition to that, we can do business and regular checkups. Still it is getting cheaper, smaller and lighter with high functionality so people can choose from many kinds of mobile phones.”

10:00 Meeting “I went to the meeting room and had a "tele-conference". We have so many issues that we have to deal with. We analyzed our competitors within the same industry and the discussion was getting heated after 1 hour. One of my business partners suggested that we should take account of the government's policy. Surely it really has a big affect on the business community and the government is highly aware of the internet and "e-commerce" as they are likely to change the economic system as a whole. I put particular emphasis on the mobile phone because I believe that this is the most useful and convenient technology. Global standardization ñ a world-wide information infrastructure - is set in almost all countries now. We are heading into the digital world more and more. The driving force of technology has brought about business restructuring and a communication revolution. We wrapped up our meeting and were all exhausted although we had had a fruitful discussion. I was very hungry but I had lots of work to do before catching a flight in 2 hours time.”

12:00 Lunch “I opened the lunch box and called my wife to ask what she was doing now. The screen of our mobiles was divided into two because she was talking with one of her friends in another country. The three of us said "hello" and "how are you ?" to each other. I realized that time was running out fast, so I said goodbye and hung up. I packed up my briefcase immediately and left my office around 12:30.”

14:00 Catch Flight “ I was getting a little nervous but I was sure that I could still catch the flight. All I needed was a shortcut so I checked the "e-navigator" for the traffic and followed the guide. I had already arranged my flight on my mobile, and everything was done smoothly. Again my mobile was the main player for the flight arrangement including the check-in and customs. Everyone 'carries' "e-drivers license", "e-passport" or "e-social welfare number" as their ID. It was only a 2 hour flight and the plane was about to go across the border soon after take-off. I called my children at this time and asked them whether everything at school was all right. Talking with my family is my most enjoyable time especially when I am under heavy pressure on my job. They looked fine on the screen of my mobile.”

16:00 Flight Arrival at Destination “The flight arrived on time as scheduled but I did not have time to take a rest before the business dinner. I was in a hurry to find the restaurant where I was meeting with my clients. I called them from my mobile and said that I would do my best to get there on time. They kindly answered "take your time, we will wait for you. Thank you for calling!". I took a taxi at the airport and decided to do some work in the taxi. I sent some "e-mail" to various clients and other people. For the last couple of years dramatic changes have occured in technological industry and the digital economy was accelerated rapidly. Everyone has access to the sights and sounds of a mobile multimedia world. Everyone and anyone can afford to participate. We have the ability to communicate with the world from anywhere. Major telecoms and computer vendors aiming to dominate in this market are forming alliances. Computer manufacturers are also the producers of communication appliances. There are many varieties of these appliances sold at the cheap price.”

18:00 Business Dinner “I actually managed to be on time at the restaurant and we tried to finalize our contract. We enjoyed the business dinner since everything went as well as both sides expected. Usually, we conduct our business through "tele-conferencing" but this time we had decided to meet in person. However, I could not help thinking that we could have done this by using our electronic tools as usual. We have already established very reliable relationships. If we look at this meeting from our side it was expensive ! We paid for flight ticket and spent a lot of time. I agreed with our clients on the following procedures as a next step for the deals should be done at each office. Ultimately, we are living in the "e-world" now ! The world is becoming a common marketplace in which people desire the same product and lifestyles. By uniting the world market global standards of mobile phone ensured the compatibility between systems from different manufacturers and in different countries. Not only technological, economical, social and political aspects but also environmental aspect should not been ignored. This new economy created by "e-business" is generating enormous environmental benefits by reducing the amount of energy and materials consumed by businesses and increasing overall productivity. Paperless is of course highly acceptable and "e-business" is very eco-friendly.”

22:00 Local Entertainment “After dinner I went to a hotel where I was supposed to stay overnight. In a small single room I called my wife and children to say "good night". I was so tired and thinking hard about what happened today. It was definitely a long day ! I decided to go to bed early in order to save my own energy. I don't have to set the alarm because the morning call from my wife will wake me up.”

Scenario Two: “Noble Mobile” (globalization and resistance) January 31, 2005 7:30 Wake up “The alarm on my clock went off at 7:30 this morning and I leapt out of bed, tapping it gently off as I headed for the shower. Once dressed, I sat down to breakfast, opening my laptop to check the news and my stocks as I ate quickly. On the home page, there is a photo of a teenaged girl, and the article read that she had a brain tumor due to the radiation that is emitted from the mobile phone. The same story was also on the live news on CNN's website. I closed it in frustration as my company produced new generation mobile internet phones and recently we invested 10 billion dollars for its promotion world wide, giving it away almost for free. I started the car and the digital map on my dashboard showed me the best possible route to the office.”
9:00: Arrive at Office “Outside the gates of the office, the security guard had a difficult time clearing away the protestors in front of the company headquarters carrying placards referring to the company as "the wireless killer machine".

10:00 Meeting “Just at 10:00, my mobile rang in my pocket to let me know that the marketing director was ready for our meeting. During the meeting, the marketing director briefed us on the current situation about the wide spread protest in the bloc of developing countries due to the dumping of mobile phones. They were being the greatest environmental threat, larger than even plastics. So I decided to go there, for a first hand eyewitness. I got my tickets booked through my laptop, which gave me hundreds of options for the trip. I chose one according to my preference, which was already entered into the computer. Compared to the booking opportunity on my new internet mobile prototype, my PC had unlimited information from various agents and my ticket was booked in moments.”

12:00 Lunch My lunch was waiting in my office when I got back with just in time to eat before returning to my car to head for the airport. Again, the traffic service guided me to the closest empty parking space for my flight departure. The automatic parking system recognised my credit card as I drove in and debited my account with the fees.”

14:00 Catch Flight “I checked in using the e-ticketing information at the automatic booth ñ the system identified me and then issued my boarding pass. I had to switch the mobile off as I boarded the plane because the system interfered with the aviation systems. This had recently lead to the worst crash in aviation history.”

16:00 Flight Arrival at Destination “When I arrived at my destination, I switched the mobile on and realised that I had 30 missed calls. I tried to call the marketing manager through my mobile but I kept getting the message that his mobile is switched off. Then I realised that due to excessive ringing, many people are now opting to leave their phones turned off. I attempted to send a wireless email using my WAP phone, but soon found that the system was very complicated, the manual was back in the office, and I was in a rush to get to my meeting. Therefore, I sent him an SMS confirming my arrival. I turned to my laptop, browsed through the net and easily located the best and nearest place of hiring a car. I rented a car and proceeded to the business dinner.”

18:00 Business Dinner “The dinner went very well and we agreed that I would stay overnight instead of heading home immediately as planned. This would give us the opportunity to meet with the Environment Minister to discuss the unrest. First, I attempted to change my flight plans on the mobile internet, however, I struggled with the strange system, eventually giving up. M-commerce gave very little local information and took a long time to find what I needed. Therefore, I used my credit card in a pay phone to ring the airline and then asked a passer-by for a nearby hotel. I called home to explain that I would be a day late. However, my wife also had her mobile switched off. Back in the hotel an hour later, I used the simpler and cheaper option of contacting her though video conferencing on my laptop. At first she was disappointed in my changed itinerary, but I finally assuaged her through my facial expressions.”

22:00 Local Entertainment “After the video call, I found I was still wide-awake. I gave the mobile one last try - surely I could find some local information on nearby entertainment - it could not be that hard, could it? However, I just could not get the system to tell me anything! It was pouring with rain by this time so I just went and had a drink in the hotel bar before organising with reception to give me a wake up call in the morning. I dozed off to sleep while a DVD movie played on my laptop screen.”

Scenario Three: Futile Mobile” (fragmentation and resistance) January 31, 2005 7:30 Wake Up “I didn't actually wake up until 7:50, and then just by chance. There was a power outage during the night, so when I glanced at the alarm clock it flashed 12:00. Fortunately I was only 20 minutes late and not more. One week ago I was selected by France Telecom to receive a free Nokia internet mobile phone, along with wireless internet service for one year, as part of a promotion designed to encourage mobile internet phone use in Europe. I heard that one of the features was a wake up alarm, however I have no idea how it works. The phone is somewhat complicated and not many of my friends or colleagues have a mobile internet phone. I need to look into that over the weekend. Normally I would check my stock quotes in the paper and listen to the news on television during breakfast, but I now had no time for either. I rushed into the shower, dressed quickly, and raced out the door. My schedule was such that I had to drive into work today. As I rolled onto the A223 there was a delay from the moment I entered the on ramp. I had come too far for an alternate route and after 30 minutes of traffic jams, found that an accident had occurred. I had only traveled five kilometers and still had 30 to go. If only I had known!”

9:00 Arrival at Office “I finally located a parking spot at the far end of the lot. Due to the traffic and the alarm clock, I was 30 minutes late to work this morning - not a good start on an extremely busy day in which I was due out of town. I entered the building, flashed my ID card to security and took the elevator up to 15. There was no coffee left in the machine at this hour, but who has time for coffee with only half an hour until a meeting I planned on preparing for at 9:00? No time to spare.”

10:00 Meeting at Office “At 9:55 an important client called and I soon became engrossed in conversation. At 10:10 my secretary buzzed me that the marketing director was wondering where I was. I hung up with the client and scurried off to my meeting. The meeting was only scheduled until 11:00, however, several new items were added to the agenda. My stomach started grumbling at noon. Realising we were soon to be done, I made the excuse that I had to use the restroom and left the conference room in order to find some lunch - if I ordered now, it would be here by the time the meeting finished and I would have time to eat before leaving for the airport. However, now that I was outside the conference room, I realised I could not walk to my office to use the phone, as there was a window overlooking the corridor from the conference rooms and the restrooms were in the opposite direction. My mobile phone! I thought I would use my phone to place the order from outside the conference room, but as soon as I reached into my pocket, grabbed the device, and started to dial the number, I found that I did not have any reception in the inner corridor of the building. I guess I was not going to have any lunch today.”

12:00 Lunch “Rather than worry further about eating, I decided to call the airline to confirm my departure time. Twenty minutes after being on hold and fighting my way through the elaborate menu of choices, I finally got through to an airline operator. As my flight was on time, I was now rushing out of the office. On the way to the airport, I remembered having heard a news report a month ago which stated that New Zealand businessmen were using their mobile phones to access information from the Internet, specifically with respect to travel and airlines. What a great service that is, however, in Europe this technology is not widely accepted and used so far. If it were, it certainly would have made my life easier today, as I am now under great stress attempting to catch my flight.”

14:00 Catch Flight “As I arrived at the terminal, there was a huge queue of travellers waiting to check in. Fortunately, it was announced that the flight was now delayed due to de-icing of the plane. If it weren't for the new delay, I would have certainly missed the flight. I took this brief moment to call my stockbroker, as there was a trade I wanted to make after hearing a news report in the car on the way to the airport. I went to the stock quote option on my internet mobile and thought, "What a great gadget this is - I never would have been able to place this trade otherwise." No sooner did I think this, but I soon found that the my phone's network would not support this transaction. No stock trading today afterall. "This phone is more frustration than help," I now contemplated. “

16:00 Flight Arrival at Destination “We arrive on time due to a strong tail wind. I found my way through customs quite easily, as I am accustomed to the routine with the passport and papers and keep them handy in my breast pocket. I next reached the car rental counter. I was issued keys for the car and asked the attendant to map out directions to my destination. I get off to a good start, but soon become confused, as I am in a new area. I consult the map, but almost get into an accident when I take my eyes off the road. I decided to pull over for a moment. I asked a passer-by for directions and carried on to the restaurant where I was meeting my clients.”

18:00 Business Dinner ”The dinner went very well and we agreed that I would stay overnight instead of heading home immediately as planned. This would give us the opportunity to get the contract signed and completed the following day. I was feeling good as we wrapped up for the evening and reached for my mobile phone to call the airline and reschedule my travel plans. As I switched on the power, the screen flashed in big block letters: "NO SERVICE." "Why doesn't the phone work outside of my countryÖIím only two hours away?" I thought. I excused myself from the table and went to find a pay phone. Unfortunately, the pay phones in this country take only phone cards and not change. I had to go out to the store across the street, buy a phone card, return to the restaurant, place the call, and finally return to the dinner 25 minutes later. My wife! I returned to the public phone, dialled home, and was connected to my daughter. My wife came on a moment later, just as the phone card expired. At least my daughter will be able to tell my wife that I will not be home this evening. Through the window, I spotted a flower shop across the street, braved the snow once again, and sent flowers home. I returned to the table for the second time, having been gone at this point for one hour. Fortunately, we were done for the night and so we arranged to meet in the morning. I then set out for the car. The waiter had drawn me a map of how to get to the hotel I spotted on the way to the restaurant and I drove there - only had to stop once to ask for directions from a passer-by.”

22:00 Local Entertainment. ”Once I had checked in at the hotel, I found I was still wide-awake. I thought I would attempt to find some local entertainment information. I consulted the phone book and found a movie theatre in the neighbourhood. I wanted to call the theatre to learn the schedule, but the hotel phone system was not working due to the snow storm - the phone lines were down outside the hotel. Of course the mobile phone isn't working here - maybe I should simply give the phone back to France Telecom. It hasn't helped me at all today - the day I have needed it most thus far. I decided to call it a night and went to the hotel desk to request a knock on the door in the event that the phones are still not working in the morning for a wake-up. I'm certainly not relying on the digital alarm clock in the hotel room.”

Scenario Four: “Local Mobile”. (acceptance and fragmentation) 7:30 Wake Up “The alarm on my mobile went off at 7:30 this morning and I leapt out of bed, tapping it gently off as I headed for the shower. Once dressed, I sat down to breakfast, rolling out the bigger screen on the mobile to check the news and my stocks as I ate quickly. I also took the opportunity to do a quick scan of the local traffic conditions as I had to drive into work today ñ the traffic service on the mobile recommended a different route than normal as there had been a major accident on the A223. As I drove into work I kept the big screen exposed and followed the directions from the service.”

9:00 Arrive at Office “The mobile beeped gently once as it identified me for the automatic security in the parking building and the screen flashed up with the closest empty parking space. I checked my schedule on the smaller screen as I waited for the lift up to the 15th floor and my office. The coffee was piping hot as I grabbed a cup just outside the lift ñ my mobile had notified the coffee machine as we entered the building.”

10:00 Meeting “Just on 10:00 my mobile vibrated gently in my pocket to let me know that the marketing director was ready for our meeting. During the meeting I suddenly realised I had forgotten to organise some lunch so I used the small screen to discreetly place my order. I also checked that my flights were all on schedule for the afternoon ñ no problems there. This was all so simple as my mobile system knew all my preferences and anticipated what I would be wanting.”

12:00 Lunch “My lunch was waiting in my office when I got back with just time to eat before returning to my car to head for the airport. Once again, the traffic service guided me and directed me to the closest empty parking for my flight departure. The automatic parking system recognised my mobile as I drove in and debited my account with the fees.”

14:00 Catch Flight “I checked in using the e-ticketing information on my mobile at the automatic booth ñ the system also identified me so it issued my boarding pass. Unfortunately, I had to switch the mobile off as I boarded the plane; the system was not supported once I was out of the country.”

16:00 Flight Arrival at Destination “When I arrived at my destination I had to dig around in my briefcase to find my physical passport. I knew it was there somewhere but it had been a while since I had needed it. At the rental car counter I absentmindedly held out my mobile but the man behind the counter shook his head, their system would not recognise it. So that meant another search for a credit card and my driverís licence! The rental car company provided a local mobile with the car and I fiddled with it as I waited for the paperwork to be completed. I tried to find the traffic information but couldnít get the system to recognise any of my commands. The rental car assistant pointed out that I needed to hold the control key down to get into the menu I needed. I shook my head in frustration, why are all these systems so different? As I climbed into the car I managed to push the wrong button on the mobile and cancelled all the directions I needed and there was no way I could get back into it again. Eventually I stopped and asked someone for directions to the restaurant where I was meeting my clients.”

18:00 Business Dinner “The dinner went very well and we agreed that I would stay overnight instead of heading home immediately as planned. This would give us the opportunity to get the contract signed and completed the following day. I was feeling good as we wrapped up for the evening and I reached for my mobile to reorganise my travel. Unfortunately that feeling didnít last long as I struggled with the strange system, eventually giving up and using my credit card in a pay phone to ring the hotel recommended by the waiter. It took several minutes to change my flights on the phone as well ñ I had got so used to my mobile taking care of identification and other such details. Then I had to call home to explain that I would be a day later than planned. My wife wasnít too happy about the change in plans so I thought I would send her some flowers ñ an easy task on my mobile at home, but not here! The waiter drew me a map of how to get to the hotel and I drove there ñ only had to stop once to ask for directions from a passer-by.”


Beyond The Internet.
Author: Charles W. Schmidt, freelance science writer living in Portland, Maine. Special thanks goes to Neil Gershenfeld of the MIT Media Laboratory for providing invaluable background and insight in technology futures. Thanks also goes to Charlie Plot (California Institute of Technology), David Tennenhouse ( Intel Corporation), John Seely Brown (Xerox Corporation), Kris Pister (University of California, Berkeley), Mark Grey and Jim Closs (NASA), John Ledyard (California Institute of Technology), and Cherry Murray (Bell Laboratories/Lucent Technologies).

Mr. Schmidt explores the second wave of connectivity, where "intelligence" is embedded in the objects and materials of our daily lives, creating huge and ubiquitous networks. Scientific understanding will continue to grow. Environmental gains are possible.

Scenario One: Beyond the Internet. (Phrased within the context of a scenario.) “In 2002, we are surrounded by computers. Computers in 2010 disappear altogether. According to the pioneers of information technology (IT) that's exactly what happened. Not that this world is a world of written ledgers and the abacus -- far from it. What it means is by 2010 computers are literally absorbed by their surroundings and embedded in walls, carpets, toasters, neckties, and even our own bodies. As computing dissolves into the environment it becomes as pervasive as the electricity flowing through society. Some scientists suggested the earth will be wrapped in a "digital skin," transmitting signals over the Internet almost as a living creature relays impulses through its nervous system. Millions of sensors probe and monitor highways, cities, factories, forests, oceans, and the atmosphere. Some are linked to orbiting satellites -- extending the reach of this digital infrastructure into outer space. Scientists refer to this scenario as ubiquitous or pervasive computing. Either way, the bottom line is the same: an unprecedented level of connectivity. The international consulting firm Ernst & Young predicted that by 2010 there will be nearly 10,000 telemetric devices (meaning devices that transmit or receive data) for every person on earth. Because in 2010, managing connectivity on a scale like that is too difficult for humans to do on their own, network management will be partially delegated to software programs called agents that learn about their users and act autonomously on their behalf. The way humans interact with computers changes profoundly. Instead of typing commands into a passive box, humans use speech and physical gestures to communicate with computers much as they do with anyone else. Computer networks are adaptive, intelligent, and self-organizing.”

Scenario Two: The Networked Physical World. (Phrased within the context of a scenario.) “Down in the trenches of MIT's famous Media Laboratory, Associate Professor Neil Gershenfeld reflects on the bits and the atoms. "The bits are the good stuff," he muses, referring to these units of digital information. "They consume no resources, they travel at the speed of light, we can copy them, they can disappear, we can send them around the globe and construct billion dollar companies." Contrasting them with physical objects, he says, "The atoms are the bad stuff. They consume resources, you have to throw them away, they're old-fashioned." In 2010, a continuing challenge for the 21st Century is to find ways to "bring the bits into the physical world." In this world, computers are brought into the stuff of everyday life by embedding them into ordinary objects and machines. Inexpensive servers bring Internet access to household appliances and office equipment. People take for granted that microwave ovens download cooking instructions from the Web or that alarm clocks reset themselves after a power outage. The cheapest gateways to the Internet comprises sensors and radiofrequency (RF) tags linked to networked microprocessors. An RF tag is actually a silicon chip that emits an electronic signal in the presence of the energy field created by a device called a reader. Tags already have some familiar uses in 2002 -- for instance driving through an automatic toll booth causes an RF tag to boot up and identify your car. In 2010, tags and readers are linked to the Internet, opening up new worlds of opportunities. “Smart" fridges monitor tagged products, learn food preferences and shopping schedule, and eventually buy all a household’s groceries. Washing machines monitor colors -- toss a tagged red sock into a pile of white laundry, and the machine will shut down. Tagged pill bottles in a medicine cabinet allow doctors to monitor patient compliance with prescriptions, remotely. Companies will be able to determine the whereabouts of all their products, all the time. This capability provides some important environmental benefits: real-time product tracking enables manufacturers to save millions in cash and energy resources by shifting to a process that matches production to consumption, item for item. Tagged products become self-managing; able to convey their identity and composition to networked trash containers and recycling centers.”

Scenario Three: Here Come the Jetsons. (Phrased within the context of a scenario.) “In 2010, scientists devised ways to ship bits rather than atoms to manufacture products remotely. Printers called "personal fabricators" are used to make things like toy jeeps and wine glasses in the household. In 2002, scientists at the Media Lab were already involved in printing semiconductors, transistors, and other electronic devices as if they were made out of paper. Simple three-dimensional objects have already been printed as well, with more complicated structures just around the corner. In 2002 – 2010, scientists contemplat the environmental upsides and downsides of personal fabrication. On the one hand, the technology could save energy by reducing energy expenditures involved in transporting a product to its point of use. On the other, three-dimensional printing could inundate society with objects, in the same way the "paperless office" is in reality saturated with more paper than ever. Scientists eventually find a way to make the personal fabricator environmentally feasible through equipping it with a "defabricator" that breaks objects down to their constituent materials.”

Scenario Four: The Future of Remote Sensing. (Phrased within the context of a scenario.) “In 2010, if one looks into the digital world, the digital world is looking right back at you. Advances in remote sensing give computer networks the eyes and ears they need to observe their physical surroundings. Sensors detect physical changes in pressure, temperature, light, sound, or chemical concentrations and then send a signal to a computer that does something in response. Billions of these devices form rich sensory networks linked to digital backbones that put the environment itself online. Dense arrays of networked sensors extract as much "information per unit volume," about the environment as possible. In the area of smart dust, much of the research driving small, inexpensive sensors is found in the area of MEMS, short for microelectromechanical systems. Scientists working with MEMS create tiny electronic features from silicon, some of them smaller than a red blood cell. MEMS extends to sensor design as well. “Smart dust" is designed to be so small it literally floats in the air. These minute devices are self-powered and contain tiny on-board sensors and a computer on a scale of just five square millimeters -- roughly the size of an aspirin tablet. In 2001 it becomes possible to reduce their size to a single millimeter and to airborne dust-like dimensions by 2005. The idea is to use them by the thousands as interconnected networks that communicate with each other. Smart dust "motes" sprinkled out of airplanes monitoring the atmosphere or hovering in the dark recesses of factory stacks monitoring pollution, or used in farms to measure soil chemistry and pesticide levels. In 2002, it is possible to pack the motes with the computing power of the first Intel computer chip -- just 200 microns long (one micron = one millionth of a meter) -- for about 10 cents. In 2010, continuing advances in MEMS push the price down below a penny.”


Blueprint to the Digital Economy: Creating Wealth in the Era of E-Business.
Author: Don Tapscott, Alex Lowry, and David Ticoll 1998 McGraw-Hill. (Scenario written by Millennium Project staff.)

This book took the combined labors of three editors and various expert authors drawn from academia, research and corporate leadership. The 20 essays focus on industrial transformation, new rules for competing in the e-age, the computer- based network model and changes in government structure and policy in a networked world . Major trends in digital computing: 1) more changes coming as computers combine with information technology; the “N-Gen” – those who ranged from two to 22 years old in 1999 will play an increasingly critical role in e-commerce; 2) new rules for competition are emerging – increasingly, companies are becoming learning rather than knowing organizations; more focus on corporate creation of new markets and industries instead of simply improving operations; 3) industries are transforming, such as, for example Boeing moving beyond the aircraft industry to the software industry and plblishing is increasingly moving operations into online servers; 4) business is increasingly depending upon information technology; inter-networks with customers, suppliers, distributers, channel partners and workers in remote areas is growing; 5) e-business is transforming the relationship between business and government—increasingly, transactions occur in intangible cyberspace rather than in geographic or national space.

Scenario of the E-Business Community (EBC): In 2010, networks and e-networks define the rules of competition. New “value propositions” are drawn and on a continual basis as networks inter-connect small and large players. Information becomes more transparent; considered by 2010 a civil virtue, but the transparency of information foils attempts at traditional competitive intelligence (CI) to discern a competetor’s next conceptual “value proposition” or approaches to the market. In this world, new “value propostions” quickly transpose concept-to- word-of-mouth and finally, to implementation at an accellerated rate. Traditional CI cannot keep up the knowledge of the “corporate “Jonses” within an industry. The world of E-business has become similar to the wonder of moth-like activity, where CEOs are no longer able to conduct traditional environmental scanning techniques to “see” what their competitors are doing; rather, like moths, they can only “sense” competitors’s next moves, not knowing fully if the current competitor is really an ally or foe? In the world of the EBC, there is endless restructuring – and in some cases, “creative destruction”-to-consruction- re-construction of industries. Mass-customization is no longer as effective a decade before. Firms must also provide value-added services on a much more individualized basis, more rapidly. Early market entry is fragile: the key to survival is good management in the near-term, and if managed correctly, the medium term. If an e-business is really lucky, it will survive in the long term. Supply chains break down rapidly so that the birdsong of “disintermediation” or “re-intermediation” continues to empower the end-user and consumer. The new digital world creates an addendum to a plethora of new types of value propositions – more specialized units become better at responding to specific customer needs (in 2002, some called it “disaggregation and specialization”). EBC unfolds to birth a typology of four cluster-types of e-business by 2010 (today, we are seeing these emerge): open markets, aggregation markets, value chains, and alliances. In this uncertain world, a new company survives because long-range planning is drawn and re-drawn in excruciating detail even before the first page of a business plan “hits the draftboard”. Companies typically plan scenarios on matrices of possibilities and factors so as to envision alternative futures and prepare a multiplicity of planning so that successful trajectories within the changing business environment can be more readily perceived. This is the world of “organizational plasticity” where survival means innovation, mastering relationships, and business design. It is a world of knowledge in which knowledge mediates the law of increasing rather than diminishing returns. The future of a company begins with self-identity. Unlike a human being growing into a self-identy by puberty, a company by 2010 will have to define exactly what that identiy is, why, and what it will become. In addition, companies will have to plan exit strategies before the first day the doors open for businesss. The old “multi-divisional firm (M-Form organization) gives way to the E-form (ecosystem) form – totally focused on value proposition, markets, and potential markets within ecosystems. The term, “discontinuous change” in 2002, was at that time, only familiar in MBA programs. By 2010, it becomes the new catch-phrase at the office water cooler. Instead of discussing matters of gossip, employees discuss matters of strategy and “discontiuous change” on a daily basis’; and this also includes the janitor.


The Future of Libraries to 2020.
Digital Thinking Network (DTN); headed by Daniel Erasmus and Niall Murphy. The DTN is dedicated to the networking of individuals and organizations considering the depth and magnitude of the changes that Information Technology brings to the world.

The story: Here she was, walking down the street: blonde and beautiful. And, since they had met last Saturday on the beach, Fronso also knew that she was quite bright. He had taken a day off from his MBA studies in Rotterdam, occupied a small square on a crowded beach outside The Hague, and become involved in a conversation with his new “neighbors” – a Dutch guy and this blond beauty. Soon the conversation focused on one of the woman’s prime interests: the cultural habits of native Dutch Rose-gardening in sandy dunes. The Dutch guy could keep up in the conversation, but Fronso hastily excused himself, so as not to show his ignorance. What a disaster! He knew he would only get one more chance to talk to her, but this time he had to be prepared- no matter what it took. Cultural habits of native Dutch Rose-gardening in sand dunes! How in the world could he develop insights in such a subject within a reasonable time? While walking back to his room, Fronso thought about his options…

Scenario One: Revenues From Bricks and Clicks. Key Issues: people pay membership fee to get free access to copyrighted material; highly trained employees help members to locate and retrieve the desired content; direct physical interaction among users and between users and employees is important; publishers allow the use of their copyrighted material in these facilities. “The internet research didn’t yield much. Yes, he used the most advanced search engines, and even sent out search agents to look for the desired content. No results, except the “South-Holland Rose Club” with a home-page in Dutch. Amazon.com didn’t yield any hits, and neither did the online search of the US or the Dutch National Library. Seven years ago the US National Library completed digitizing all its books and provided full online access. The National Libraries of most European Countries announced unlimited online access in the following two years. In the same year (2015) the last Dutch public library in downtown Amersfoort was closed. If the Mayor’s wife hadn’t worked there it would have been closed years sooner. The public libraries with short opening hours and old employees did not serve the needs of a quickly changing world anymore. Research was undertaken faster online from home, all magazines had their online-versions and many of them were even distributed online. People would print individual pages on high-quality double-page printers or view them on portable e-screens. Furthermore, copyrighted material could not be printed but viewed for five days before it deleted itself.

In general, however, copyrights were not an issue anymore. Yes, the best-selling authors were still publishing hard-copy books with copyrights, though because of their sheer quantities, production of these books was cheap. This served the mass market. At the low volume end of the market, a high-end publishing had emerged with exclusive limited-edition books that were considered art-pieces for their beauty and craftsmanship. Most other authors published directly online and distributed their content freely or for a marginal download fee. In the past their salaries had been so meager that they couldn’t even pay their rent, and a book’s revenue was eaten up by the high charges for low-volume publishing and the overheads of the publishing houses. Now many authors were sponsored directly by companies or wealthy individuals, either for cultural reasons or to be associated with their success. The same picture had transpired in the academic publishing scene: few bestsellers were published as hardcopies, the rest was published online and for free or a marginal fee. Small editions had made them prohibitively expensive and by the time a book was published, its content was often outdated. Why bother with a hard-copy publication? The fame from on-line publishing made many publications more beneficial, especially for the high feedback they received and which could be worked into the next edition.

Back to the Cultural habits of native Dutch Rose-gardening in sand dunes. Nothing in the English-speaking world. The Dutch National Library didn’t contain anything, and besides, Fronso didn’t speak Dutch. That meant there was only one more place he could turn to: Ogogo’s. This international chain had opened its first Dutch location in Amsterdam three years ago and due to its huge success shortly thereafter in Rotterdam. Membership at Ogogo’s had quite a price, but people were happy to pay it. Ogogo’s were places to meet in a quiet atmosphere with other members, enjoy the exclusive book collection in comfortable chaise lounges or discuss the latest publications. And of course: they were places to research. Over the years the Internet had automated everything that could be automated. By doing so the profession of the librarian who catalogued books and searched databases had become obsolete.

At the same time the profession of the “Accessors” arose: highly trained and highly paid people who located content where search-engines failed. They knew which databases existed, how to program search agents, or how to find documents in foreign languages and translate them. Ogogo’s in Rotterdam employed three Accessors per shift, who helped people with their research. It is not surprising that more than half of Ogogo’s revenue came from corporations who paid a membership both as an added benefit for their employees, as well as to give them access to Ogogo’s knowledge network (databases & Accessors). In addition members could log on from the Internet to Ogogo’s global proprietary knowledge network, which offered unlimited access to proprietary content providers. The typical Ogogo’s member had money, was well educated, but had no time to waste.

Ogogo’s parent company had developed an additional revenue stream by establishing OrgLib, which was running the libraries of universities. Just as caterers ran a university’s canteen, libraries were run by OrgLib or its competitors. But these libraries were usually understaffed and often limited to the academic universe. Fronso didn’t have time to stand in line, so he signed up for a one-day trial membership at Ogogo’s in downtown Rotterdam. Five minutes after he approached an Accessor with his question the man had located a Dutch book, which contained a chapter on the issue. Within seconds the translation engine transferred it into English. While Fronso waited eagerly for the printout the Accessor stopped a young for woman who walked by. “Hey aren’t you studying sociology? This young man has a very particular interest…” The next thing Fronso knew was that he was sitting with her and a cup of tea as she discussed the habits of the population in the southern Netherlands. Half an hour later he had forgotten about Cultural habits of native Dutch Rose-gardening in sand dunes and his blond passion. He was going out for dinner with the sociologist (and became an Ogogo’s member).”

Scenario Two: Money In the Cyber World – Profitable OnLine Libraries Key issues: technologies track usage of copyright material; no physical libraries anymore; everything that can be, has been automated; librarians replaced by intelligent agents/discussion forums; the majority of authors continue to publish for direct remuneration. “His first thought was: where could I find a book on such a specific subject? Local libraries had closed their doors about 5 years ago, because content was abundant, they were not agile enough to keep the pace with the increasing amount of available information, and they couldn’t handle the increased competition of professional online libraries. These libraries offered the latest content in a highly user friendly manner. Initially trying to build their own internal networks and to keep the control over the materials available, traditional libraries had undergone a phase of enormous transformations. These were due to the profusion of new possibilities of document-delivery, non-uniformity of interfaces, ever-changing search engines and the sheer range of technical skills required in the work place. Libraries and information service staff had encountered a lot of difficulties in keeping up with the pace of change. Not so online content providers, which provided (for a small monthly fee) highly efficient access to all kinds of content: books, magazines, music, videos, proprietary on-line databases, search agents. And as these services were available around the clock, people were happy to pay for them. The final push came when most governments stopped subsidizing existing libraries. Instead, Governments invested to make their national libraries available online. By now, only very old books could be found in traditional libraries, and regardless, these were already digitalized and also available on-line. Ironically, Fronso’s uncle was the last Executive Director of the Guttenberg Project. The beginning of Project Gutenberg was 50 years ago, when Michael Hart was given an operator's account containing $100,000,000 of computer time by the operators of the Xerox Sigma V mainframe at the Materials Research Lab at the University of Illinois. By that time more computer time was available than people able to use computers. He realized that the greatest value created by computers would not be computing, but would be the storage, retrieval, and searching of what was stored in the libraries. The Beginning of the Gutenberg Philosophy, the premise on which Michael Hart based Project Gutenberg was that anything that can be entered into a computer can be reproduced indefinitely. The concept of Replicator Technology was simple: once a book or any other item (including pictures, sounds, and even 3-D items can be stored in a computer), then any number of copies can and will be available. Everyone in the world, or even not in this world (given satellite transmission) can have a copy of a book that has been entered into a computer. The physical libraries now only preserve the history and thoughts of mankind throughout the centuries; one cannot borrow a book anymore. People still collect books, and the selection of books was easy through electronic online catalogues. On-line bookstores delivered books within one day, and all libraries on-line were also offering this service as an added value. Selected chapters could be read on screen, or on PDA, or one could order an e-book. Did Fronso ever hear somebody talking about his research topic? Not that he remembered! So the only solution left: the Internet! The school offered all students a subscription to the WWLibrary.com. That was very useful and also very common among business schools. Based on credits per individual, institutions could enrich their customers’ experience, or their employees’ performance by offering them this kind of support. Very handy, but his credit offered by the school is almost zero, and he hasn’t finalized the research for other class assignments. He could start searching for free information available, but whatever was for free was not organized and the research was very difficult. Since technologies have been developed which allowed the authors to track and limit usage to their copyrighted material, everything was made available on-line, although everybody had to pay for it. Low costs, high speed and availability of electronic publishing technologies were the factors that encouraged authors to publish directly on-line, and, as such, digital libraries were created automatically. Many authors, although not the majority, continued to publish for direct remuneration. Technology allowed them to choose the web-libraries they wanted to be present in, and also to get the money transferred directly to their accounts. Payments were made on-line safely, and people had become used to this method. Everything that could be automated has been automated. Schools, businesses, social and educational communities, were paying subscription and usage rights for different digital libraries. There was a burst in the development of digital libraries when software agents were perfected, representing a piece of software having both the ability to perform a search and to exercise preferences over how this search is performed. Thus, agents now have the ability to reason about how they use their resources. In other words, an agent doesn’t have to fulfill every request for service, only those consistent with its preferences. A traditional computer program did not have this reasoning ability. Moreover, since the agents were autonomous, they can and must negotiate with other agents to gain access to other resources or capabilities. The process of negotiation often consists of a "conversation sequence", where multiple messages are exchanged according to some prescribed protocol, which itself can be negotiated. Therefore intelligent agents, in some cases discussion forums, and online book communities, which ensure access and awareness, have replaced librarians. “Programming of Intelligent Agents” was Fronso’s favorite topic in the university. He knew how easy his life would be if he just had some more creditsbut he couldn’t wait until the credits for the next month were charged to his account. He entered Concordia, the Internet Café next door, and while waiting for his hot chocolate, typed in: “Desperate help needed: Cultural habits of Dutch Rose-Gardening in Sand Dunes - Anybody there?….” Luckily, somebody replied quickly… Danae. The conversation continued over the course of four more hot chocolates. After three hours of discussions Fronso discovered that Danae was living in Amsterdam, and they decided to continue the conversation over dinner. Meeting point: DTN Building. Recognition sign: Danae’s red cap. Time: one hour later. Fronso arrives, and, surprise! There was only one person wearing a red cap in front of the DTN building, and the cap was covering beautiful, long, brown hair that flowed in the evening’s wind…”

Scenario Three: Downloads. Key Issues: physical location fills an important function for meeting, socialising, discussing; physical books are still important; new search engines; universal access; functional fragmentation. “His first thought was to go online to search and download a book from Boogle, the worldwide library he had used few years ago during his undergraduate studies. But the Boogle website displayed a message that the company was under investigation by the European Community’s Justice Minister. Fronso remembered the story he had read in the Financial Times a few weeks agoexplaing the turbulent history of e-libraries around the globe. In 2004 a consortium of private venture capitalists had launched the first e-library which had allowed the downloading of entire books. The concept was based on enabling the download of thousands of old books for free and the download of new books for a small fee. Within a couple of months the idea became a global success and other private and public libraries went on-line. Search engines and translation tools were highly developed and the daily number of downloads surpassed 1 million. But after the initial success, the magic formula started to falter. Criminal elements had launched viruses that changed not only the content of books but also cracked the code that guaranteed the payment of a single copy of recently launched books. Suddenly thousands of authors demanded the exclusion of their publication from e-libraries. E-libraries tried to resist but after a group of novel authors went to court demanding millions in non-paid copyrights all e-libraries were immediately closed until a legal agreement could be reached. Fronso’s second option waited at the square in front of his building, a medium-sized library that he had used when he had arrived in town and wanted to learn Dutch. When he entered the library he saw dozens of people drinking coffee and discussing stories in cafeterias inside the library. There were three different cafeterias (and two under construction): one with Italian style coffee, another with Indonesian desserts and a third with Diet juices. Ten years ago, after years of declining public interest, libraries started to incorporate small shops and cafes to provide a enjoyable atmosphere for social contacts. Studies had predicted that with this “social entertainment atmosphere” the frequentation of libraries could be increased by 400%, compared with traditional ones. Fronso also remembered the first time he visited that place. It was his second month in Rotterdam and he had decided to try to read a book in Dutch. Looking for the section of books for kids, he had asked a nice old woman who was there with her 9-year-old grandson for some help. As all Dutch, she spoke some English and recommended him a 45-page book: “New Adventures of Peter Pan”, which she said she had already read to her two sons and five grandchildren. He had also used one of the recent developments of Dutch libraries: interest related groups that met weekly in the library to chat about specific issues, and get to know people with same interests. He had Italian friends who used to frequent one of these groups in Venice and he could increasngly see how people were falling in love through this medium and getting married. This time Fronso’s task was more complicated. He really needed to find a good book or article or video about Dutch gardening in dunes because his “pretend-to-be-girlfriend” had said that she loved the subject. From the school he tried to find the book on the Internet. He found the book, but just for sale, and because his objective with the girl had an horizon of no more than 6 weeks (his average time with each girlfriend!) he did not want to invest to much money on it. Prices of book were rising, not only due to the expenses of producing small runs of exclusive editions but also because the cost of paper was increasing due to environmental concerns in developing countries. At the entrance of the library sat the Internet terminals. He stopped and typed “dunes+flowers+gardening”. The computer posed some questions to refine the search. Fronso answered speaking and the voice-recognition terminal had a 30 seconds chat with Fronso. Finally he asked for the option “books in this library”. Immediately the Internet terminal connected to the central database Dutch Library System, where the government already spent millions to catalog all books in the Netherlands in just one database. From this, it found not only books in this library, but also presented links to libraries in Rotterdam that had the book.

As there were five different recommendations from the software, he printed the recommendation and went for help with the librarian. The librarian was a nice Dutch-Spanish girl who had just finished her studies in Latin Literature. She was working part-time in the library and part time cataloguing Latin books in the search engine of the Dutch Library System. They got into a conversation because she mentioned that her brother loved gardening and as a tech-nerd he bought a ScreenBook and paid for a subscription of all flower/gardening books available online. Every week he used to downloaded one or two books and articles in his ScreenBook. When he offered it to his sister, she did not like it, because after fifteen minutes her eyes started to be irritated and she realized that nothing could match a traditional print paper version. She had also heard that last week the company web site was shut down because of rumors concerning legal problems. After a 30-minute conversation with the young librarian Fronso totally forgot about flowers, gardening, and dunes. He was going out for dinner with the librarian….”

Scenario Four: Cyberization of the Traditional Model. Key Issues: no physical libraries – only online databases; everyone has free access to internet; copyrighted information universally available on-line; search and translation technologies plus flexible software architectures people can download, but not print or copy. “Twenty years ago, in 2001, he could have asked that nice old man who used to work as a librarian, and knew every book on the shelves of the library at the corner of his street. Today, the library is no more. All his experience has been translated into links to other information sources and all the books have been transformed in digital files. Libraries of the world have been converted into one huge database, and every citizen has free Internet access. True, the search technologies allowed everybody to have instant on-line access at books, publications and magazines, and they can translate anything that is available in cyberspace, but how long would it take for him to find this particular book? One option would be to try the Dutch National Library site, the only place where, for no cost, he could type the precious key words in the search engine, though would he find the right book in time? As Government services had not improved much in the last decades, and although all countries now subsidized their own National Online Library, it was for education purposes only. Sometimes you may find thousands of files with the same name, since flexible software had been created to support the organization of on-line content added daily by millions of people. Nowadays the majority of authors accept the concept of making their work available online without receiving direct payment. They believe that free viewing both increases awareness and encourages people to buy the book or copy the file and pay for it. Unlike their predecessors, they do not charge the copyright to the Government, and, in addition, it is an honor to have their names listed in the Library Catalogue. This system continues to work, since a person can download the file from the library but cannot print or copy it, as there is technology available that ensures protection against digital copying.

Another option for him would be to spend a fortune by asking the CIA (Certified Intelligent Agent) to track the right material in less than one second. To achieve a good result, Fronso must indicate to the CIA his area of interest. This is easy, since the Agent can find even the unexpressed user’s needs by association between the movement of the person’s eyes on the computer screen and the display of different content. Fronso is still thinking. After all, he is a poor student and cannot afford the expensive luxury of searching for knowledge. On the other hand, Fronso is under extreme time pressure, and Government services are not trustworthy enough. So, he decides to use the competent CIA instead of the free service, and starts browsing images of dunes covered with roses across the globe. After several seconds, Fronso stops and asks the CIA to do the search, hoping that his deposit payment will be enough for the agent to do the job. It does worry him though that these CIA’s can refuse a search request at any time they decide to do so, which seems to make the moniker of “intelligent” a little ironical! Fronso also hopes his deposit will give him adequate negotiation powers against other agents performing similar requests. “Search result found” is the message displayed on Fronso’s flexible screen. “Incredible”, thinks Fronso, “this agent is worth it, he found my book”! Fronso opens the message, and the book is there, called “Conspiracy of Perfumes in the Dutch Sands”, together with a message from the author. The author is also a Dutch women who says…she wants to meet him this evening? Fronso does not know what to do. He must read the book by tomorrow but also he could go to the meeting and ask this old lady a couple of questions about roses. Yes, let’s do that, it will help him prepare better for the conversation with the blonde and beautiful woman from the beach. After half an hour, Fronso arrives at the Concorde Club, and waits for the old lady to appear. He gets a message saying that his digital photo has already been delivered to the author, so she will easily recognize him. “Hello, nice to meet you!” Fronso turns his head and…the blonde and beautiful woman is here, she is the author of the book! After all, it seems that the CIA is indeed an intelligent agent….”

New Drivers and Diverging Trends: Petroleum Products Markets to 2020.
Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) – an independent firm providing insight into the energy future. Daniel Yergin, CERA Chairman, Joseph Stanslaw, CERA president and CEO. Multiclient study. For more information please contact Kathleen Doherty at +1-617-498-9194.

Long term challenges and significant events may lead to opportunities and threats in the power and gas industry to 2020. Key drivers include: environmental pressures, new end-user technologies, and changing demographics. These key drivers and forces were assessed through a series of workshops that led to a set of four scenarios to 2010. The next series of workshops over the next several months will extend the scenarios to 2020. Each scenario is based on geopolitical and industry building blocks and were described in terms of the international economy, environmental issues, an assessment of energy and oil demand, regional refined product supply and demand, crude oil supply, crude oil price outlook. A step-by-step entrain of events were described for each preliminary scenario to 2010. Future CERO workshops will flesh-out the scenarios to 2020 in full narrative form by mid-year 2002. This annotation will include the full scenarios in the State of the Future, 2003 edition. Scenario One: Kudzu Competition. 1995: Case-by-case wheeling; 1997: FCRC success rule; 2000: regional experiment; 2002 – 2010: Court order, corporate seperation, utility initiated write-offs, functioning pooled markets, investment minimized, focus on cheap upgrades, horozontal consolidation, second anti-trust breakup, rise of service firms. Scenario Two: Caught in the Muddle: 1995: Special Discounts, 1997: FCRC success rule, 2000: Regional experiment, 2002- 2010: crisis, sales of best assets, multiple write offs, barrier to exit, major consolidations, utility renaissance, IP PS on the bubble. Scenario Three: Virtual Competition: 1995: Wholesale competition, 1997: slow depreciation, 2000: erosion of customer base, 2002-2010: growing unit costs, public sentiment shifts, utility role preserved, declining price ceilings imposed, outsourcing, IP P renaissance. Scenario Four: Green Briar Path. 1995: wholesale competition 1997: rules delayed by CIS, 2000: Ozone Episodes, Fine particulate rules, 2002-2010: C02 concerns, presidential campaign issue, energy-environment set, tougher caps, energy issues, energy taxes, energy efficiency, coal retreat, investment boom, outsource bid tests.


The Age of Miracle and Wonder.
Author: Robert E Sawyer Part of the “Canadian Authors on 2000” series commissioned for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Web site.

In 1961, Arthur C. Clarke, the author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, coined the term, “Clarke’s Law,” which says: “Any sufficiently advanced technololgy is indistiguishable from magic.” Clarke’s writing had reflected thousands of years into the future, yet, today’s technology and current breakthroughs in innovation and technology are increasing exponentially, almost “magically”. 90% of all scientific advances were made in the 20th century alone; 10% since the beginning of written history. Mr. Sawyer writes three scenarios that discuss the future of nanotechnology to the year 2020; the future of artificial intelligence to the year 3000; and lastly, a scenario about the future of articifical intelligence and food production.
Scenario of Nanotechnology: “The world of A.D. 2020 will be as incomprehensible to us as our world of today would have been to Queen Victoria during the last year of her reign. Consider nanotechnology, which is probably just around the corner. It will allow us to build things up atom by atom. You want a five-course dinner? A brick of platinum? A new kidney? Claudia Schiffer? No problem. We can build it for you. At the most advanced levels, nanotechnology will tear down and build up atoms from constituent parts: the differences between a pile of old newspapers and gold-and-diamond jewelry are only in how the protons, neutrons, and electrons are arranged. Sophisticated nanotech gives you the alchemist's dream of transmutation; it gives everyone the Midas touch — and it means there is no longer any such thing as a scarce resource. Food, fuel, drinking water, clean air — whatever you want, in whatever quantity you want it, all free for the asking. More: since nanotechnological machines will be able to make anything — including unlimited copies of themselves — the devices that perform this magic become essentially free of cost. Material needs disappear. But having all your material needs taken care of does you no good if you're dead. No problem: if you manage to hold on until A.D. 2020 — another twenty years — it's likely that you will never die. We already know what causes cells to age and cease to function; reversing the process will be one of the countless benefits of the Human Genome Project, currently nearing completion. Almost everyone born on this planet after 1950 will live to see not just the twenty-first century, but the twenty-second, and perhaps the twenty-third as well. We also will be quite different from what we were; we will have entered the trans-human era.”

Scenario: Artificial Intelligence by the Year 3000: “Within a century, it will be possible to scan a human mind and reproduce it inside a machine. Regardless of whether our minds are just very sophisticated analog computers, or whether they have a quantum-mechanical element (as Roger Penrose proposes), we will nonetheless be able to duplicate them artificially. Already, at the close of the second millennium, a transhumanist movement has begun; Christopher Dewdney is the principal Canadian spokesperson for it. This movement holds that uploading our consciousness into machines is desirable, since that will free us from biological aging and death. On the other hand (a decidedly biological metaphor), there is more to being human than just the networks of synapses in our brains; clearly, much of what we are is tied in intimately with our bodies. We may find that uploaded humans are not happy — indeed, are incapable of happiness or any emotion. Still, by the year 3000, there will doubtless be millions of uploaded people, including perhaps versions of some who are alive today. Indeed, religions might evolve around worshiping thousand-year-old computer-based avatars; with the acquired wisdom of a Methuselah, these entities might provide profound insights. Just as laws today are moving toward recognizing a woman's right to control her body and any separate sentience that may be contained within it, so too will the laws of the future recognize the right of humans to upload their consciousness and then dispose of the original biological versions of themselves; such eliminations will not be seen as suicides or murders, but rather as a natural, perfectly legal step, eliminating a no-longer-needed biological container and preserving the uniqueness of the individual. But there will also be other thinking machines, with a separate genesis: we will doubtless develop artificial intelligence within a century. A key question humanity will have to consider as it does so is what, if any, constraints will we build into AI? It may, in fact, be dangerous to build conscious machines that are more intelligent than we are; just as intelligence may be an emergent property of sufficiently complex systems, so too may ambition and desire be emergent properties of sufficiently intelligent systems. One possible scenario is that by the dawn of the fourth millennium, there will be no biological humans (or even any uploaded echoes of them) left; Homo sapiens may have been entirely supplanted by its AI creations.”
Artificial Intelligence and a Food Production Scenario: “A more appealing (at least to us) scenario would see humankind carefully crafting AIs (including many embodied as robots) who will take care of all the necessary work of food production, manufacturing, recycling, and so on, leaving us to pursue other things. Although we used to consider the mastery of chess to be the pinnacle of human intellectual achievement, we've had to concede that it is simply a mathematical problem, and even today's primitive computers can do it better than the most skilled human. But there are other realms — including art, philosophy, and scientific theorizing — that, because of their intuitive, nonlinear nature, we may always be better at than any machine. Our AI servants may free humanity at the dawn of the fourth millennium to concentrate on these areas.”


Will That Be Cash or Cell Phone?; Wireless Payment Systems Might Mean Dialing In Your Own Wallet.
Author: Katie Hafner (NYT) Late Edition – Final, Section G, Page 1, Column 1.

Cellular telephones are seen playing an increasingly important role in the future of e-commerce, or, m-commerce (mobile commerce). Users in the marketplace will typically be able to dial-in purchase information and confirmation. For example, a type of prototypical mobile payment system, PayPal.com, works like this: after opening an account on company's Web site, people can send money to one another via e-mail; once the money is sent, the amount is charged to credit card or bank account. Various scenarios like this, present the case for using process in making retail purchases. Richard Siber, analyst at Andersen Consulting, Boston, says while it will be years before m-commerce takes hold, but when it does, it will be bigger than e-commerce.

Scenario: M- Commerce a Cell Becomes a Powerful Tool. In 2010, M-commerce becomes widespread. It is bigger than e-commerce. In this world, it becomes common to stand in front of vending machines that respond to the dial of a phone number posted on the machine. The vending machine is equipped to transmit with the radio portion of a cell phone so that it can receive the call, or, with a transceiver that works with Bluetooth, a wireless connection that allows high-speed communication among devices within a short distance of one another. The machine then offers a menu. You choose a soda for $1.10 cents and enter a PIN – out comes the softdrink. Many other types of vending machines contain thumbprint recognition technology. In Finland, a complicated system for point-of-sale purchases with cell phones was being developed in 2002, and came to fruition a decade later. The financial services industry also increases ubiquitous systems in which cell phones connect with the various banking systems. Online financial services companies work with cell phones in the following way: “after opening an account on the company's Web site, people send money to one another via e-mail. The PayPal.com method calls for just an e-mail address (or eventually a phone number) to send, beam or dial-in a payment. Once the money is sent, the amount is charged to a credit card or bank account. The recipient retrieves the money by filling out a form attached to the payment, which in turn registers the recipient for the service. PayPal.com then credits a credit card, deposits money to a bank account or sends out a check. PayPal.com is especially popular for paying for merchandise on eBay and other online auction sites because it eliminates the need to send checks through the mail.” In 2002, the service had some 350,000 users and more than 10,000 new users sign up each day. This indicator is important, when considering the many uses and possibilities that cell phones will have in the future.


The Future of Television – Internet Business, Organizations, and Networks.
Digital Thinking Network (DTN), founded and funded by Niall Murphy and Daniel Erasmus. The DTN website explores issues from the future of organization, the future of health, ideas, logistics, entertainment, etc.

The following four scenarios are based on multiple driving forces on a scenario matrix. For the future of television, the vertical axis shows the extremes of one device to many devices. The horozontal axis shows the extremes of few providers to many dividers.

Scenario One: Couch Potato (one device and few providers) “By 2020, newspaper headlines include: advertising driven the mass market; incremental innovation in TV sets; low rate of innovation, long product life cycle; Social/group activity; separation b/w TV and computer; pop-corn viewers. The winners in this world are big media conglomerates: i.e. CNN and vertical integration. The loosers are traditional TV manufacturers and small content providers. “Consumer in 2010: It is the end of a long working day, I'm laying on the couch, watching a TV show and it's time for a short break. Suddenly Cindy appears introducing the new make-up

collection of a famous brand ,you switch to another channel and here is Cindy one more time but now for a shampoo ad for the same brand. Mass advertisement is everywhere. I am a passive viewer just looking at my screen, having my bowl of pop-corn and thinking how the world behind the screen is just esthetically perfect.

TV manufacturer in 2010: TV is mainly present but it should follow the multiple international standards so to satisfy consumers worldwide. It should also increase efficient devices .TV is still a long product life cycle and manufacturer are taking advantages out of it.

Broadcaster in 2010: There is a big media conglomerates which determine the content of the TV, the consumer is just passive and is a follower.”

Scenario Two: Trapped in Paradise (many devices and few providers) “By 2020, newpaper headlines include: new product launched on the market: smell generator to enhance broadcast experience; Philips Electronics invests in hologram market; Cinema has hard time due to new in-house entertainment. The winners in this world are: big media conglomerates; software development companies; and display technology firms. The Loosers are: independent content providers; traditional TV manufacturers; movie theaters; the consumer

Consumer in 2010 It is Saturday 2 pm and dad decides to have some quality time with his children, after having worked the whole morning with his virtual company. Rather than going to the cinema, he switches on the house multi-mediasystem, and right in front of him he sees the 3D-hologram of Ted O'Gram, the famous showmaster of CMM, the multi-billion dollar media conglomerate. The children like this show, because they are able to answer online questions to the quizzes and, if they answer all the questions correctly, they will appear in the show for thousands of viewers. However, the show just finished and dad swaps by voice activation to another channel, also of CMM. This is a holiday magazine. Suddenly, a 3-D image of a tropical beach appears on the big screen on the wall and we hear the sound of the waves through the surround-sound system. Two palms are projected as holograms in the middle of the living room, to enhance the vacation experience. On a separate screen a computer image is projected with the prices and booking information on the holiday. A scrolling text appears on the big screen, which says that all hotels are equipped with CMM's entertainment.

TV manufacturer in 2010 TV manufacturers have had a difficult time to abandon the idea that the TV is a single device in the living room and compete now with a wide variety of new high tech companies in several nices of the display and entertainment market. To strengthen their position, traditional TV manufacturers formed alliances with the big media conglomerates in order to develop entertainment devices adapted to their needs. Rather than supplying TV screens, the traditional TV manufacturers are now in a wide variety of display technologies, such as projection screens, 3-D images and holograms. They have developed new standards of control and have invested a lot of money in software for control of devices and user-interfaces. The media conglomerates use the new technology to bombard the consumers with standard entertainment shows and lots of advertisement.

Broadcaster in 2010 The broadcasters have grown into multi-billion dollar conglomerates that have in house everything related to entertainment. The broadcasters have profitted from the availability of new technologies to enhance their shows, like big in-house screens, simultaneous projections, surround sound and video communication links. The broadcasters formed alliances with internet companies to have access to the web as well. The conglomerates try to attract as many consumers as possible, because they are paid from advertisements and on-line shopping.”

Scenario Three: Gadget (one device and many providers) “In this world, the concept of TV is unchanged. It is a stand-alone (unlinked), immobile, social gadget, used only to present audio-visual programming. It competes with other devices (internet, radio) to be the entertainment and information center of the home. Technical innovation has been incremental - there are more features, but there have been no great conceptual leaps. TV sets have advanced to the point where you can see several channels at the same time, perhaps by viewing from different angles (with audio distributed independently). Sources of information are extremely numerous - all connections into the home are exploited by various standards to reach the consumer, so you can get incoming signals through the cable, telephone, electricity, plumbing, and satellite providers. The competition is intense between info sources - most media advertising is used to direct the consumer toward a provider, where he can choose a subscription to accept any level of consumer advertising and content - based on price. Advertisers pay high fees, since they can reach highly targeted audiences. Headlines: AOL Buys Philips, making Time-Warner channels always appear first, whenever the set is turned on. You can reset this feature as easily as you used to program the VCR, by manipulating the small levers on the back underside of the TV set. However, VCR's are today very easy to program - you just talk to them; most popular TV software, third year in a row: Microsoft's Tuner Helper, to try to make the most of your 75000 possible channels; Merde Inc. IPOs on Wall Street, promising delivery of digital signal through septic lines. The winners are: TV manufacturers that can design (ex. flat panel, low energy, creative shapes, more potential locations), since tech know-how is widespread and well understood. Value-added comes from creativity and marketing; sources that can establish a strong brand name among middle-aged people, as the population is aging. They can then rely on subscriber revenue, rather than advertising; search engines, to make sense of the vast streams of information available; engineering firms that manufacture equipment to receive signals on; different standards. The loosers are: companies that spent a lot of money to acquire distribution capacity must spend still further amounts to attract viewers, who have unlimited choice; those who invested a lot in the combination technology of computer/TV, since people have decided that the computer is a separate device for information, not entertainment; the big media conglomerates, who finally gave up the battle to squash competition when the electric companies perfected their signal transmission technology.

Consumer: bombarded with adverts by sources of info: channels, distributors, and packagers; attracted by alternative sources of info, e.g. internet, WAP, and radio; family watches (different programs) together; all are familiar with using technology. The family gathers around the TV set in the den after dinner. Since the size of the family has gradually been growing smaller, it now includes only the parents and their single daughter. Dad chose to subscribe to the electric company's TV menu. Even though the total number of available channels does not match ABC's, there is a good variety of family programs. Moreover, it comes with a discount on the monthly electric bill, which has been growing ever more expensive. The last oil shock, in 2005, resulted in sustained higher prices. With all the other electronic equipment and the charger for the electric car, electricity is now the family's second-biggest monthly bill. The daughter is not too upset though, since she can tune into the latest sites on the internet from her room, and her friends don't watch much TV anyway. How can anyone watch the same program for 30 minutes?

TV Manufacturer: outsources all manufacturing; concentration on style, design, features, sorting capabilities, comfort, screen characteristics; interests are not in line with those of the broadcast industry. The manufacturer just got back from a trip to Jakarta, having taken a trip to try to spot the emerging trends in TV designs favored by the youth there. Indonesia has become one of the best places to prospect for new styles, as its popularity as a manufacturing site led nearly all the world's production to locate there in the early 2000's. The country's economic recovery has allowed the city culture to blossom, and the abundance of electronic parts has been used by artists to make up fanciful devices. The manufacturer is hoping to find a way to attract American kids, who have largely abandoned TV. He is looking for a complement to his TV lines for middle-aged Americans, which is a mature, commodity market. The only way to make money these days is to catch a fad, and profit for a short time before the style is copied. His last big product was the Tub-a -Telly, designed to run in the shower and catch the signals that came through the water lines. Sadly, the fad died when the free channels were swamped with advertising.

Broadcaster: has to spend heavily to advertise his channel, since it is very easy to send out a signal these days. The competition covers the spectrum from the traditional media conglomerates to the independents and individuals; with the improvements in digital technology, it is now possible for a relatively small operator to transmit nearly any program ever made, at any time of day or night; the best advantage is that you now have a very good idea of who watches your channel, and can target ads very specifically. Those who choose to buy subscription TV generally do not like to see many ads, but it is possible to include subtle ones. Advertisers pay top dollar; with advertisers desperate for eyeballs, they now have less room to complain about programming choices. Broadcasters have room to compete against the freewheeling content of the independents.

The broadcast executive has to get an early start this morning, because the auction of 2007's top rated show will be held on the net at 6 AM in Hawaii, where he lives. So much of his job can be done digitally now; there was just no reason to stay in NY or LA. He can set up all the required programming from home, just call up the digital files onto his transmitter. The advances in encryption have eliminated the piracy problems from the Chinese broadcasters - lucky for him, since it is so hard to determine the location of a broadcast source today. Even with the political freedoms that swept China when the information barriers become completely useless, it is still hard to get access to the court system there, and China is still inward-looking. The executive hopes that his deal with the Chinese government to provide premium subscription service to the big cities will finally close - just think, another 2 billion eyeballs.”

Scenario Four: Magic Kingdom. Key Elements: The end of TV as we know it. No longer in the tube, TV has disappeared in the sea of appliances; everything revolves around the individual/consumer who gets what he wants on whatever devices he wants; all transactions are electronic and bot controlled (VISA is the biggest financial institution on the planet) : everything is digital including houses, clothing, cars, road signs…You can connect everything with everything; content is king - it is also everywhere… they are over a million channels from which to chose from if you include the Web and cable; nation-states exist more and more formally. Networks of all kind strive. And , for those who dream the future, they see the birth of Corporate-Nations, each with their own compound, population, architecture, benefits, style and so forth; hackers have migrated into the "Walled City". No one knows where they are; people still eat pizza.

Scenario: “At 7:30 p.m. Bill leaves his office and heads home. Although his car is wired to the web and could find the best way to get home according to the current traffic situation, Bill has turned the device off. As a matter of fact, he has also turned the sensory-videos of his auto-run off. Tonight, he just wants to drive home and hear classical music. He tells his car what he wants to listen to (a Bach Fugue) and seconds afterwards it downloads a tune onto the hard drive of his top-of-the-line surround sound system. Bill works for Pegasus, an independent interactive content production house based in San Martha California. He is 32 and does not fear death. Soon, he enters his (short) driveway. He had wanted to be alone but has forgotten to turn his garage off, so as he comes in front of its doors he sees a summary of what is on for him tonight (pasta al Pesto, Charles Schwab's latest advice on his portfolio, and about 10 shows that his bot - Rufus - has selected for him). His wife opens the front door and smiles. For a second, he dreams that his eye implant allows him to zoom in on her mouth, which he adores. His kids are there too, although Myriam is in her room downloading some new backgrounds for her up-coming web meeting. Kids just love to change backgrounds and excel at building weird and uncanny places. Bill is proud of Myriam. She is lovely and very good with imaging, which leads him to believe that she will one day work with him.

As he walks into his living room, he sees the whole wall lit up with what seems to be a video game. It is in Japanese but he can always switch the programme back to English. All his house appliances have an IP address and can keep him informed about almost anything (temperature, government foreign policy, the latest mud fest). He is proud of his home server : the latest model of Terra Nova Linux microsystems. It simply never runs out of gas nor does it ever fail him. In fact, software firms's revenues (like his) depend on the number of simultaneous downloads from regional WAN. Jinny has won over Windows and so has open source code. Fiber optics run like river capillaries everywhere.

The Great Digital Amazon River. Bill sits down. His phone rings. He looks into its small LCD and sees the world. …. To be continued… perhaps… Headlines: RealNetworks buys Philips for 30 billion dollars. Software companies dominate the market and use their immense market cap to buy out manufacturers (2002); "The Mufta", a Pegasus Interactive Production, becomes first production to top 1 billion dollars in revenues. Broadband allows broadcast quality audio and video. Downlaoded on 5 continents on more than 20 000 mirror sites, "The Mufta" became the world best seller involving more than 20 million viewers/players. (2005). Winners: software development companies; cable, fibre optics, satellite operators; independent content producers; the consumer. Losers: traditional media conglomerate; traditional ad agencies.

Consumer 2010 The king of the zoo. The consumer is tracked, monitored, scanned, beamed, and, everybody-- everybody --competes for his attention. The consumer is submerged with brands, products, movies, sounds, widgets, snippets, gadgets, and more consumables. Like Aladdin, he merely has to wish to see it in front of him. But he has co-evolved with the system and benefits from the help of all kinds of bots, robots, e-bots, and nanobots (they clean beaches and arteries with the same remarkable resilience). Like an emperor whose empire extends into infinity, he relies on informers and chance to make his plays. Time reverts to a kind of medieval immanence where all happens synchronously, the spirit dwelling in interstices, artificial, unknowing and unknowable. Media is reduced to bits and pixels and constantly reshapes itself around an ever- growing number of devices at his whim. Even the act of paying is removed from his consciousness as his bots makes thousands of micro-payments per day on his behalf. In time, he forgets the sea of data, products, advertising, information, virtual worlds and avatars that surround him and out of the strange deafness that ensues, he hears the laughter of his child, or the rolling bellow of the sea. Connected to neural networks, his psyche learns to switch on and off faster and faster, getting relief from ever-diminishing time spans. And, in the middle of all the glare, to the great and utter dismay of senior management across the world, he starts to tune out.

TV manufacturer 2010 They are no longer. First bought out by large electrical companies, they have evolved into industrial design firms competing for every single piece of appliance possible. The screen market now incorporates architecture, textile, and all home appliances. Large zeibatzus are forming that include ex-broadcast companies, telco and software (ex: the Sony-Bandai-NTT conglomerate appropriately renamed ZIRCON (for its artificial scintillation).

Broadcaster 2010 and beyond… They are on the brink of extinction. After years of compulsive and desperate buy-outs, they cannot compete with the all-out content providers. Until 2005, they tried all kinds of strategies : advertising, pay per view, pay by subscription, free viewing but, by 2009, most of them have merged with either software or wire companies. In 2006, AOL/Turner sells half of all their media to Nortel. In 2050, what is left of ABC-Disney, Sony-CBS and NBC-Microsoft are but small shops in gigantic conclaves of the likes of Odu-Michiko-Palmer (weapons-genetic engineering-fiber optics) or Mazda-Betincourt (leisure industry). In fact, Mazda-Betincourt has spawned ABC museums both virtual and real to attract a dwindling population of nostalgics. Disney has sold to Huntington-Larsen-Lu, a Chinese-Norwegian conglomerate specialising in aerospace, hoping to sell its Mouse to aliens.”


The Rosetta Stone.
Author: Chrisian Turner, Ph.D., currently attending Stanford Law School. The following individuals also contributed to these scenarios: Barbara J. Culliton (Executive Editor of the Genome News Network, Celera Genomics); Cynthia Afshari, Ph.D., (Director of the Microarray Center at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences); Finley Austin (Asst. Director of Public Policy, Roche) and Anne Bowdidge (Director of Investor Relations, Affymetrix).

DNA. The chemical that carries the information necessary to produce all life on Earth. Many scientists believe that breakthought in understanding the genome have not begun to converge; understanding the genetic code is only one step in the beginning of a vast and incredible horizen of the genomics era. Dr. Turner offers up two possible future scenarios and explores some of the issues that may naturally arise from environmental policy. Major trends in genomic technologies forseen over the next 20 years to the year 2020, include: 1) the frontiers of environmental projects will occur inside the human body; 2) a vast increase in options for diagnosis, early intervention, and prevention; 3) increase in the involvement of doctors, insurance companies, diagnostic equipment manufacturers, drug companies, and others in the realm of environmental protection; 4) redefinition of the roles of regulatory agencies at both domestic and international levels; possibly shift grater responsibility for environmental health toward individuals; and 5) raise a host of new issues involving access, equity, and discrimination. Dr. Turner provides two scenarios.

The first scenario, Plaintiffs in the Post-Genome Era looks at social change and tort jurisprudence. In this world, a plaintiff’s claim is seldom subject to scientific investigation – science is clearly is an affirmed legitimacy to proponderance of the evidence. Key uncertainties: Will the increasing availability of individualized information regarding risk, exposure to toxic chemicals, and disease proceses cause a dramatic intensification of toxic tory litigation? To what degree might an expanding clas of successful plaintiff’s displace larger, social judgements about risk? In the second scenario, Grocery Store Genetics the ubiquity of genetic technologies is explored in the near-term future. It is a world that explores the plausibility of individualized “gene cards” wherein people have complete control over their genetic information. Thus, by carry these cards, people can be alerted to environmental exposure. Key uncertainties: Is individual empowerment really utopia? Is it possible genetic discrimination or genetic castes could appear even in a world of absolute genetic privacy? Will putting the ability to mitigate risks in the hands of the consumers reduce incentives to eliminate the sources of those risks when they also prove deleterious to wildlife and overall environmental quality? This paper also explores the developing countries and future exposure to growing toxicity. In conclusion, Dr. Turner discusses the simultaneous potential for genetic technologies to enhance and to threaten common humanity. Key question: What social structures exist or are needed to deal with these challenges in the future?

Scenario One: Plaintiffs in the Post-Genome Era – Proof by Genetic Assay in 2007. “The plaintiff sat nervously as the jury filed backed into the courtroom. This jury was about to announce an award that would have been inconceivable only five years earlier. There were over 8,000 others who had been exposed to the same contaminant as they had. Like the plaintiff, four of these others were afflicted with bladder cancer. Unlike the plaintiff they lacked a key piece of evidence connecting their cancer with the actions of the defendant. They lacked the genetic variant that rendered this successful plaintiff, Mike Harlan, highly susceptible to cancer following exposure to the arsenic that had appeared in the local drinking water. This case began two years ago, in 2005, when Mike was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Like many people who are suddenly faced with a life-threatening illness, Mike wondered why this was happening to him. So he asked his doctor. Thanks to genetic technology, an answer could be found. From a urine sample, cells from the lining of Mike's bladder were isolated. From these cells, the mRNA, the portions of Mike's genetic code which were then actively making proteins in the bladder, was isolated. Using new diagnostic equipment, the doctor was able to determine cheaply and quickly which genes were active in Mike's bladder cells and which variants of those genes Mike possessed. A computer analyzed the data and reported that the pattern of active genes was consistent with arsenic exposure. Another urine sample was used to test for arsenic directly, and it also indicated that Mike had been and was currently being exposed to arsenic at moderate but elevated levels. It did not take long to track down the likely source of the contamination. A nearby manufacturer of wood preservatives had shut down about five years earlier after a history of environmental violations and financial mismanagement. A site investigation revealed rusty storage tanks, some leaks, and high levels of arsenic in groundwater adjacent to the site. Mike's genetic testing had revealed a variant of a certain gene that rendered him many times more likely than the general population to develop bladder cancer following arsenic exposure at the exposure levels. Given the background incidence of bladder cancer, this meant that there was an 80 percent chance that Mike's bladder cancer was due to arsenic exposure. In the minds of the jurors, this figure, even allowing for scientific uncertainty and other potential sources of arsenic exposure, was enough to convince them that it was more likely than not that Mike's cancer was caused by the company's arsenic releases. After learning of Mike's situation, the rest of the small community near the abandoned plant also became concerned. Nearly all took their own genetic tests. Luckily, the level of arsenic in the water supply was simply too low to create any significant risk of bladder cancer in the average person. Indeed the arsenic levels were not much above a level that had been considered safe thirty years ago. Even those in the community who had the susceptibility gene but did not have bladder cancer faced only a small risk of developing bladder cancer. To win damages for the increased risk of developing cancer that the company had caused, they would need to show that they would probably develop bladder cancer, a standard that they were, happily for all involved, unable to meet.

The four people in the community besides Mike who already had bladder cancer were negative for the susceptibility gene. Statistically there was only a slight chance that their cancers were caused by the contamination -- not enough to win a lawsuit.” (Just after the scenario, Dr. Turner explores the promises and perils of genetic proof.)

Scenario Two: Grocery Store Genetics: Gene Cards, Discrimination, and Environmental Values – Post-Genome Shopper. “The market is filled with people buying groceries for the coming week. After reaching for a frozen dinner, a man stops to retrieve the card buzzing in his pocket. The display on this card reports that the dinner he has chosen contains a preservative which poses a small but not insignificant risk for his genotype. A combination of several genes results in his being at ten thousand times the risk of the general population for developing cancer from this preservative if it appears regularly in his diet. (The general population is at a one in ten million lifetime risk meaning a one in a thousand lifetime risk for our intrepid consumer.) The display lists alternatives that conform to his tastes and sends a request to the market's computers to carry some of the alternatives not in stock. The display next lists the latest information on therapeutic solutions to the sensitivity and other common items that present significant risk because of the sensitivity. Of course the card also serves as a personal organizer, a credit card, and the key to his house. Perhaps this is the year 2020, although similar technologies may begin to arrive sooner or later. Cards or some other genetic information device will likely emerge first as a way to prevent adverse effects of medication. Many pharmaceuticals have adverse effects on some users. Sometimes these effects can be severe and those affected cannot be identified in advance. In such cases, even if a drug is enormously beneficial for the great majority of users it may not be brought to market. Genetic information may identify those who cannot take a particular drug. Technology like the card could open the door to bringing much more effective drugs to market with fewer worries about adverse drug reactions -- users would be alerted to any conflicts through their card or pharmacist. Suppose that in the society in which our grocery shopper lives, genetic privacy is given the utmost protection. No one may have access to the information on the card without the express consent of the cardholder. Genetic information may only be used for the purposes for which it was disclosed and may not be transferred. This may seem an ideal scenario. Citizens are empowered by having the information they need when they need it to manage their own risk. No one else can obtain their genetic information to use against them. Some may argue that there will be no need for government to involve itself in regulating risk at all -- other than to see that it is accurately reported to individuals. It is not at all clear, however, that this would actually lead to a future that any of us would choose. (Dr. Turner continues with an analysis of the consequences of reduced uncertainty.)

Scenarios of the Evolution of the Cosmos.
Scenarios from the book, “The Whispering Pond – A Personal Guide to the Emerging Vision of Science.” Author: Ervin Laszlo, published in 1996 by Element Books Limited, Brisbane, Australia.

This recently published book by the author who wrote, "Vision 2020" (1994), is an amazingly easy read for the layperson wanting to understand in Cosmos, the new physics, scientific discoveries of manifestation of mind and quantum mechanics, but is too impatient to sit through more complex terminology. In "Whispering Pond", the author produces a new view of the cosmos: an interconnected, all-embracing cosmos of which we are all part. “By integrating the established vision of scientists with the paradoxes for which they cannot offer any explanation, his vision is a combination of agreed scientific wisdom and the exciting world of "new science". In Chapter 1, "The Evolution of the Cosmos", the author describes several scenarios of the very distant future of the cosmos.

He calls them, The Cosmic Scenarios: "...As far as we know, we are aware of how the universe is today. But how will it be tomorrow... and in the more distant future? To this question various answers are possible> The universe may be open (infinitely expanding in cosmic space); it may be closed (reversing back on itself in a final Big Crunch); or it could be in a steady state, balanced on the razor's edge between expansion and contraction. It is flat, it will reach a steady state where the outward-pulling internal force of the initial explosion is precisely balanced by the inward-pulling force of gravitation, and it will remain in space (it has a spatial boundary beyond which it will not expand), is infinite in time. However, on the scenario that the universe is open, the force of expansion carries galactic matter further and further apart in space: the open universe is infinite in space as well as time. But, if the force of gravitation exceeds the force of expansion (perhaps around 1,000 billion years after the Big Bang), and thereafter begin to contract at ever higher velocities. It will collapse back onto itself in the Big Crunch scenario at a time horizon estimated at around 2,000 billion years. In consequence, the closed universe is finite both in space and in time. We do not know at this time whether the universe is open, closed, or flat. This depends on the exact amount of matter in cosmic space. If matter exceeds the critical threshold of 5 x 10 - 27 kg/cm3, we are living in a closed universe. IF it is just at that threshold, the universe is flat if it is below it, the cosmos is open. ... But as far as the ultimate fate of matter and life is concerned, the alternatives make little difference. In any case, the constructive phase in the evolution of the universe cannot continue indefinitely; cosmic evolution must sooner or later reverse into devolution. The reversal will come at different times in different places, but when it comes, it will be irreversible. Ultimately, all matter in the cosmos will degrade and disappear. . The macrostructures of the universe -- stars, stellar systems, galaxies, and galactic clusters -- will decay as well. . The author then describes in detail, the cosmic downhill scenario.


Scenarios of the Future of Life on Mars – Mars a Search for Life.
A scenario from the book, “The Search for Life on Mars” Author: Malcolm Walter, published in 1999 by Allen & Unwin, Australia.

In this book, the author focuses on the similarities between Mars and early Earth. He discusses scientific evidence of microbial life, similar to boiling hot springs in Earch. In this annotation, the author outlines a blueprint that is a summation of many proposals by leading scientists, authors, and the space agency, NASA, then summarizes a detailed scenario of the plausibility of manned-missions to Mars.

Proposals from NASA - a summary includes: Mission - Launch Date – Objectives

Mission: Mars Climate Orbiter Date: 1999. Objectives: Analysis of water, volatiles and climate
Mission: Geochamical Mapper Date 2001. Objective Analysis of elemental composition and global mineralogy
Mission: Mars Express (ESA/ASI) Date: 2003. Objective: Travel to Mars
Mission: Sample Return (NASA) Date: 2003 Objective: Return from Mars
Mission: Sample Return Orbiter (CNES) Date: 2005. Retrieval and return to Earth of '03 and '05 samples.
Mission: Sample Return Orbiter (CNES) Date: 2009. Retrieval and return to Earth of '07 and '09 samples
Mission: Sample Return Orbiter 9CNES) Date: 2013. Retrieval and return to Earth of '11 and '13 samples.


Beyond 2005. Inevitably someday there will be crewed (manned) missions to Mars. It is a challenge that is irresistible. It is frequently stated that such missions will not happen until well into the next century because we should first work through systematic program of observation and mapping from orbiters, unmanned rovers and other instruments. There are said to be recalcitrant technical problems to overcome, particularly health problems caused by zero gravity and cosmic radiation while in transit. But there is a growing band of articulate and informed specialists and enthusiasts advocating an early move to this phase of exploration. IT is said that the American people would not have supported prolonged robotic exploration of the Moon: the excitement generated by human missions was needed to keep the money flowing. Presumably the same will be true for Mars. ... Speculation by science fiction writers has played a significant role in keeping fresh and alive the possibility of people going to Mars... In an extraordinary book, "The Case for Mars", Robert Zurbrin and Richard Wagner set out a rationale for colonizing Mars. They attempt to demonstrate that it is technically feasible and economically achievable right now. The scenarios they envision are the lack of necessity of establishing bases on Mars. They envision mission trajectories involving he "conjunction option" – launch when the planets are on the opposite sides of the Sun - with six months travel each way and a stay of 550 days on the surface of Mars. This length of spaceflight has already been achieved by Russian cosmonauts aboard space station Mir, with apparently few ill effects. Former astronaut Michael Collins in his book “Mission to Mars” sees Mars as the next challenge for human exploration. This is a challenge that we will inevitable accept, as we have accepted all other geographic challenges. "

EBook scenarios Online.
Author: Mick O’Leary. Wilton Jan/Feb 2001. Vol. 25, Issue 1.

Many people are uncomfortable contemplating ebooks, among them many librarians, whose professions will be greatly altered, by ebooks. Nevertheless, the time for ebooks is coming quickly. The progress of ebooks will vary greatly with the type of print books they replace. Ebooks will be adopted in stages, which will depend on 2 primary factors: the degree to which the book is a tool and the degree to which the audience is ready to adopt ebooks. A scenario for the evolution is presented.

Textbooks : “My daughter started college this past fall, accompanied by several hundred dollars' worth of heavy print textbooks. I told her that by the time she graduates, ebooks and readers will have largely replaced these. There is no area where the logic of ebooks makes more sense, or where there is a better match-up between the book as a tool and a technologically hip customer group. Instead of heavy, stretched-out, dorky-looking book bags, students will carry light, sleek ebook readers that contain a semester's worth of textbooks. Besides reading, students can search and annotate the text (highlighter manufacturers, beware!). Between semesters, the old texts are deleted and new ones loaded, presumably at a fraction of the cost of the print text (more on this later). Look for textbooks to be the vanguard of the ebook revolution.”

Technical Manuals and Professional Books “Technical manuals have a lot in common with textbooks: they are tools; they are large and heavy; they become obsolete quickly; and there is relatively little emotional investment in them. Thus, a similar pattern will occur with technical manuals, guides, and handbooks in every subject. (Tomorrow's readers will have improved viewing capabilities for graphics and illustrations.) The users of these types of books will also be receptive to the changeover. So, the next time you buy a manual for the latest version of Windows, it may be a digital file in an ebook, instead of a 700-page paperback.”

Reference Books : “Reference books already have a long history of electronic usage. In fact, one of the earliest applications of computers was for automated literature searching, replacing cumbersome print indexes. Since then, thousands of reference books, from general encyclopedias and dictionaries to specialized sources, have been digitized and are commonly used online or as a CD-ROM. The adoption of reference ebooks will vary with type and size. It will be a long time, if ever, that you'll use the complete MEDLINE or Chemical Abstracts as an ebook. On the other hand, smaller and more frequently used reference sources, such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, and almanacs, will commonly reside in your ebook. (Or, if you have a wireless, Internet-connected device like a PDA or a cell phone, you may simply use the reference book from the Web, rather than downloading it to your reader-isn't technology amazing!)

General Fiction and Non-Fiction “ These present a different scenario, since they are generally smaller, cheaper, and much more long-lived than texts, manuals, or professional books. They are purchased by a much broader demographic profile, which will generally be more resistant to ebooks. There will be a much wider continuum of print/ebook patterns. Popular fiction, self-help books, and light non-fiction may flourish in both formats indefinitely. Coffee table books have little or no appeal as ebooks.”

EBooks in Libraries “ If the authors, publishers, and readers are moving toward ebooks, what about the intermediaries: booksellers and libraries? Booksellers will face an immediate commercial challenge as readers start buying ebooks directly from the Web. Libraries have a different, and in several ways, larger challenge. Even a small college library or medium-size public library has many more books than the largest Borders or Barnes and Noble bricks-and-mortar bookstore. Libraries also have additional responsibilities for selection, cataloging, reference support, and collection maintenance. Ebooks change the basic definition of a library collection, creating a very different perspective on the print book collection. The classic library collection is a set of books acquired for their presumed interest to the library's clientele. However, some of the key circulation statistics that come out of this model can be disturbing: percentage of books in circulation at any one time; average number of times a book is circulated per year; number of books that are circulated only a few times or not at all; and cost per book circulation. In an age that values "just in time" inventories rather than "just in case" ones, these statistics can expect to receive close scrutiny, especially by e-generation bosses, managers, and board.


Broad Band: Pipe Dream or Reality?
Author: Peter Schwartz Red Herring, May 2000.

There are many challenges to broadband, particularly extending DSL capabilities to the home. The day of simple installation of DSL - plug-and-play - appears to continue to be in the distant in the future. In the present, trying to hookup broadband into the home can be extremely frustrating. The author describes three medium term scenarios on the future of broadband:

Scenario 1) Least Likelihood: “The least likely is the rapid rollout scenario, which depends on the fast development of a competent installation-and-support industry. In such a future, broadband access could reach 40 million subscribers by 2005. Probably the best candidate to lead the charge would be one of the large home-security companies. ADP, for example, already has a foothold in many homes and a fairly large base of reasonably sophisticated installation workers. But unless they or someone like them moves soon, this scenario won't happen.”

Scenario 2: Slow Rollout: “The second scenario is the slow rollout. This relies on companies like the local phone companies, cable companies, and independent contractors gradually developing the necessary skills and hiring the employees to meet demand. In this case, we wouldn't reach 40 million users until late in this decade.”

Scenario 3: Like the Early Days: “The final scenario is a version of the pushback scenario I defined in the first installment of this column. The deployment of broadband and the accompanying home networks might begin to resemble a combination of the early days of the cable and aluminum-siding industries. Questionable, even illegal, practices combined with shoddy workmanship in a complex and fragile technology lead to rejection in the marketplace. The demand for broadband is here now, and the technologies are about ready, but if the support services don't measure up, people may turn to another technology or reject broadband altogether. The promise of true digital convergence could be delayed for another decade. The bottom line is that there is a huge emerging opportunity to help America build out not only the broadband networks connecting us to the world, but also the networks that link the technologies within our homes. I suspect that companies will eventually get rich meeting that demand. Let's hope that they are both honest and competent, or the emerging potential of broadband may recede over the horizon and a great opportunity will be lost.”


Boom Town: `Grumpy' Won't Say What's Next for Yahoo! But Scenarios Abound.
Author: Kara Swisher Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2001.

What is the future of Yahoo? It may seem an unusual question to ask in the context of the Millennium Project, but. Yahoo is significant because it represents an extraordinary success story in the new economy. All over Silicon Valley, people ask, Will Yahoo buy a big media company like Walt Disney Co.? Or, perhaps a piece of a telecommunications or cable player? What about a tasty bite of a satellite concern, such as one owned by News Corp.? That rumor swept the online world recently, although any such deal is more likely to be a simple distribution arrangement, since Yahoo is one of the Internet's pickiest and cheapest shoppers. The following four scenarios illustrate some possibilities:

Scenario 1) Featurettes: “The most obvious acquisitions for Yahoo would be among the scads of tiny dot-com companies that seem to be created daily with the sole purpose of being bought. Some possible candidates, for example, include party-invitation sites, such as Mambo.com, or specialized buying sites, such as DealTime.com, which allows comparison shopping. Specializing on a single feature or tool, these kinds of "concept" businesses will have a harder time standing alone. In fact, many of their creators hope for a big payoff by becoming a nice end table in the Yahoo mansion. Yahoo has already made many such investments. Examples range from its $10 million purchase of Log-Me-On, a browser-tool maker, to its $7 million investment in E-Loan Inc. And Yahoo will probably keep grabbing others to fill in gaps in its service. But it's also likely that the company will wait until some of these "futurists" are running out of venture funding and can be bought more cheaply.

Scenario 2) Yabay: “Some think Yahoo is most likely to link with another online power – Excite At Home, for example -- to gain more reach and heft. But don't bet on it. While Yahoo lost its bid for Excite to At Home last year, today it doesn't badly need to add to its now-dominant audience. The same goes for Lycos Inc. and other lower-tier portals that Yahoo considered buying a year ago. Yahoo might be more interested in solidifying its fast-growing role as an "enabler" of commerce or services by, say, scooping up a big niche player like eBay Inc. While eBay's market capitalization is about 25% of Yahoo's, making such a deal pricey, the auction house's giant audience of daily traders offers a spate of cross-marketing possibilities. A potential stumbling block: eBay has a multiyear marketing and distribution deal with AOL. Another possible choice: InfoSpace.com Inc. ($24.7 billion valuation), which provides a range of content and services such as phone directories, horoscopes and stock quotes to hundreds of Web sites and now to wireless devices that could help take Yahoo everywhere.”

Scenario 3) Yahoo Everywhere: Yahoo also could strike a series of deals to become the interactive service of record for a range of companies that need it. For example, why not link it more strongly with Finnish cellular telephone giant Nokia Corp. to form a Nokia.com super-site that could serve information and services to mobile customers worldwide? Or make a deal with Ford Motor Co. or others to allow Yahoo to be the "dashboard" of interactive screens soon likely to be springing up in cars. The possibilities are endless: Yahoo on refrigerator-door screens; Yahoo on shopping kiosks; Yahoo at Starbucks. What's the Frequency, Yahoo? Last year, a top Yahoo executive jokingly asked: "Do you think I could be Dan Rather's boss?" It wasn't an idle query, as it turned out, because both Yahoo and AOL held preliminary talks with CBS Corp. before Viaco. Inc. snapped it up late last year. People close to the situation report that CBS's Chief Executive Officer Mel Karmazin was burning up the phone lines after the AOL-Time Warner deal looking for more online clout. (CBS declined to comment.) While a deal that would merge Yahoo and Viacom-CBS is unlikely, more probable would be cross-marketing and distribution arrangements of content and services between them. Yahoo could do this with many traditional media companies, giving them access to Yahoo's vast online platform. Yahoo's recent plans -- as yet unannounced -- to build a small broadcast studio near its headquarters, provide a clue to the company's plans. Noting a marketing deal with Kmart Corp, one Yahoo executive spun this scenario: Homestyle empress Martha Stewart (also allied with Kmart) broadcasting tips on Yahoo's high-speed service, with hyperlinks to commerce and other information.

Scenario 4) Bigger Is Better “Or, Yahoo could simply get bought. While its long-time executives would probably make such a move only if they felt they had taken the company as far as they could, there are some who think that it's not such a bad idea in the end. And such a notion could become more pressing if the market ever whacks Yahoo's huge stock valuation.
Microsoft Corp. is the most likely contender. Yahoo would give the software giant a weapon to combat its most potent foe, AOL. Among other possible suitors would be Japan's Sony Corp. (Yahoo as the front screen and service provider on new Internet appliances, with Sony content woven throughout the Yahoo service) and AT&T Corp. (Yahoo as the first screen on its cable systems and as the connection point for consumers wanting telephone service over the Web.)”


Virtual Reality Interface Way of the Future.
Author: Wells Amanda. The Dominion, 04/17/2000.

In 2025, instead of sending e-mails, mankind will be sending "experiences". Victoria University doctoral student Minako O'Hagan created three such scenarios of future technology to paint potential futures of language translation. Her prediction is based on the theory of Hyper Reality, which says the Internet will move away from a text-based form to one based on experience.

Virtual Polyglot Space: One scenario envisages the Internet in 2025 and the development of a technological environment called Virtual Polyglot Space. In this world, anyone can step virtually into this space and communicate in any language, without having to consciously consider language issues. “As well as translating the spoken word, this VPS would translate non-verbal cues.” Though this scenario may seem far-fetched, the author asserts that 20 years ago, no one could have envisaged the shape of the Internet today. Ms O'Hagan says distributed interpretation involves a totally different mindset. "You shift the meeting into cyberspace." Because video and voice technologies have not reached the required standard, the translating through this medium is still experimental. “But language translation services have always picked up new technology,” according to O’Hagan.


LIVING IN SPACE / Child of the Stars / A very young astronaut has more frontiers to Explore.
Author: Sylvia Rubin, The San Francisco Chronicle, 11/16/99.

A scenario of living in space in the year 2020. Living in Space: “The bidding was fierce. Brad Garcia, 35, who made his fortune in biotechnology, hung in there until he outbid every other multibillionaire on Earth for the decommissioned International Space Station. The deal closed May 31, 2020. He renamed it the G-One. He had big plans. Garcia and his wife, Ivy, a former astronaut, have a 7-year-old daughter, Molly. She became the focus of an international uproar when Garcia announced plans to expose her to lengthy periods of weightlessness while she was still in diapers. Using the latest in genetically modified food and microgravity survival techniques, Molly is being groomed to be the solar system's first explorer of deep space.
"There is nowhere my little girl can't go," Garcia says. NASA doctors fear Molly may suffer hidden cellular changes, possibly even brain damage. But Garcia's own team of astrobiologists have yet to confirm the evidence. Starting with short trips into low Earth orbit, Garcia and his wife have taken Molly on annual space holidays, accompanied by a team of specialists. Molly has so far shown no signs of distress and even enjoys the trips.

Now, he plans to have Molly start fourth grade on G-One next year in an elaborately equipped "Countdown Campus" wing of the space station, complete with rotating crews of tutors, doctors and counselors recruited from top universities around the world. Molly, who has been nourished with smart drugs and life-extending antioxidants, wants to be just like her mom -- a stellar astronaut. Garcia has endowed a research institute at the University of California at San Francisco to study her physiology and developmental progress. She's precocious; her IQ is off the scale. Garcia is offering million-dollar stipends to families willing to allow their children to visit Molly for weeklong space play dates on G-One.

The Garcias have had regular arguments about whether to continue the experiment. But as conditions have worsened on Earth, the arguments have become less frequent. Life on Earth has not inspired confidence: The seas have risen and flooded most coastal cities, Africa has yet to recover from the AIDS epidemic. Ancient signs of microbial life have been detected on Mars and at least two Jovian moons, suggesting that it may be ubiquitous in the galaxy. Space exploration has become popular worldwide. Results from the Europa Orbiter, launched in 2003, confirmed that the Jovian moon has a vast liquid ocean. Subsequent missions pinpointed several landing sites on the moon's thick outer crust. A 2018 submarine exploration found evidence of microbial life at the bottom of the sea -- strong evidence to suggest human colonies might be possible.

In 2020, after Mollygate finally blew over, the little girl became a symbol of hope for extending humankind's reach. Great Beyond Enterprises, Garcia's space subsidiary, is completing a two-person craft to carry Molly and a pilot to Europa. Heartsick about being separated from her daughter, Ivy wants to be onboard. Over breakfast of shuttle-grown wheat grass and reconstituted banana smoothies in the G-One's master suite, the couple agreed to send Molly on the unprecedented mission -- accompanied by her 49- year-old mother.
The 10-year mission will include enough protein and oxygen generators to allow the two crewmembers to survive for 20 years. But the plan is to have mother and daughter back in time for Molly's 18th birthday. On the launch date, Garcia throws the world's most expensive goodbye party, setting up tents with free food and drink in every city, town and village on Earth.”


Using Scenarios in Planning a Digital Information Service.
Author: Marthie G. de Kock, South African Journal of Library & Information Science, Jun98, Vol 66 Issue 2, p47, 10p, 1 chart, 1 diagram.

In the development of a virtual or digital information service, planning is always essential. This article details the methodology of scenarios, which are often relied upon by forecasters. A transformation or “paradigm shift” is currently taking place in information services. This is caused by the abundance of electronic information available via the Internet and by means of various electronic information technologies. Efforts are being made to plan an environment or electronic information technology infrastructure in which to deploy all the electronic information. Managers are challenged to determine their own roles while envisioning either an electronic text centre, a digital information service or a virtual information service depending on the choice of a term.

What are scenarios? “Scenarios are hypothetical, because the future is unpredictable. In creating scenarios, the planner has to make certain key assumptions about the future. Scenarios outline the boundaries of possible change and cannot be seen as complete pictures of the future. Scenarios are multidimensional and holistic, because comprehensive and broad images of the future are drawn. Change is never simplistic; therefore scenarios are complex, interwoven and interdisciplinary sketches of the future… Scenarios first emerged following World War II as a method applied for military planning. The United States Air Force tried to imagine what their opponents might do, and then proactively prepared alternative strategies. In the 1960s, Herman Kahn, who had been part of the Air Force effort, refined scenarios as a tool for business prognostication. Scenarios reached a new dimension in the 1970s, with the work of Pierre Wack and other planners at Royal Dutch/Shell, the international oil enterprise. By creating scenarios during those years they anticipated the oil price crisis, when apparently nobody else had. Scenarios provide a tool for forecasting long-range, complex and highly uncertain business environments. However, scenarios should be re-evaluated and revised on a regular basis including the external forces that influence the success or failure of decisions made… Scenarios are successful if they help managers to acquire more insight into the risks, vitality and flexibility of various decisions and supply management with a strong position from which to operate.”


Transportation Scenarios – Two Transport Visions.
Author: James J. MacKenzie, Annals of the American Academy of Political & Social Science, Sept.’97, Vol. 553, p192, 7p.

Explores two different possible future scenarios for ground transportation in the United States.
This article explores two quite different possible futures for U.S. ground transportation. The first represents a plausible extension of current trends: heavy reliance on oil to fuel gasoline - and diesel-powered cars and trucks, continued expansion of the road network to keep pace with the growth in vehicle use, little effort to integrate urban land-use planning and transportation, and no significant shift to innovative forms of public transportation. The second scenario seeks to define a sustainable transportation system that can run on renewable energy sources and provide options for travel where today there are few.

Scenario: Business as Usual: “Current trends in vehicle fuel use and associated problems are characterized by unbridled growth. Largely as a result of the growth in the motor vehicle fleet, total motor vehicle fuel consumption -- as well as carbon dioxide emissions --has been steadily rising, and there is little indication that this kind of growth will change soon. Using the National Energy Modeling System, the Department of Energy projects a 20-30 percent increase in motor vehicle oil consumption by 2010. Fuel trends are not the only problematic ones. Congestion is another. It is one of the most troublesome long-term problems faced by motor vehicle drivers and one of the most frequently cited issues in the debate on urban transportation planning. Nationally, current trends indicate that congestion will continue to grow. By the year 2005, delays have been projected to increase between 300 and 500 percent over 1985 levels. In Los Angeles, congestion has already reduced average freeway speeds to less than 31 miles per hour; by the year 2010, they are projected to fall to 11 miles per hour. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), "Congestion now affects more areas, more often, for longer periods, and with more impacts on highway users and the economy than at any time in the nation's history.”

Alternative Scenario: A More Attractive Pathway: “How might transportation look if a more reasoned approach were taken? The easy part to this question centers on the sustainable fuels that we should come to rely on. If the nation were to move to very efficient, emissionless vehicles powered by renewable energy sources (such as electricity, or fuel cells with the hydrogen derived from photovoltaic cells, wind turbines, or other renewable technologies), the current atmospheric and security impacts associated with motor fuels would, over time, disappear, irrespective of the size of the vehicle fleet. Concentrations of smog and carbon monoxide, largely the result of vehicle emissions would be greatly reduced. Greenhouse gas emissions would be similarly cut. The sides over our cities would begin to clear, and the threat of global warming would recede. This alternative future would also provide more options to the current exclusive reliance on cars and trucks. Integrated land-use and transportation planning would give greater emphasis to non-motorized possibilities such as walking and bicycling paths as well as innovative forms of public transit such as personal rapid transit (PRT). The scenario goes on to describe PRT systems. PRT systems in the 21st century consist of small, dedicated, computer-operated electric vehicles capable of carrying three or four seated passengers. The vehicles ride on their own electrified guideways, either elevated or below ground, allowing the vehicles to travel safely at high speeds independently of existing motor vehicle traffic. In a properly designed system, there should be a PRT station within a 10-minute walk of almost any point in a metropolitan area. PRT systems would gradually be retro fitted to many cities, especially in suburban areas, connecting residential developments, shopping centers, universities, hospitals, train stations, airports, and business centers. The elderly, the young, and the disabled would have ready access to PRT and the myriad services that it provides access to. Existing retail strip developments would be gradually replaced with commercial and residential buildings; the retail shops, in turn, would be co-located at transportation nodes. These changes would permit consumers to use public transit to meet many of their shopping needs. Bikeways and walking paths would be constructed in suburban areas, encouraging non-motorized shopping and travel. In this alternative future, U.S. cities would be far less subservient to cars. Streets would be quieter. The air would be cleaner. There would be more options for travel and, at the same time, less need to travel because of mixed residential and retail development. Those persons preferring to live in single-family homes could readily do so and still have less of a need to drive because of opportunities to bike, walk, take personal public transit, or telecommute.” For more, see original article.


Headline: Medusa’s Child ABC Movie’s Doomsday Scenario is a Plausible Armageddon. Author: Walter A. Combs, Tribune Media Services, The Buffalo News, November 16, 1997.

Scenario of an embittered scientist, whose weapon project was canceled by the Defense Department, continues the work on his own. He creates a doomsday device triggered by a nuclear explosion, which emits a powerful electromagnetic pulse that “fries all the computer chips in North America.” Modern technological society comes to a halt.

Medusa’s Child: “The dying scientist, Rogers Henry, asks his ex-wife Vivian whom he terrorized while they were married, to take a prototype of his "Medusa" project to Washington as a final favor to him. She reluctantly agrees, and after an initial freight-scheduling snafu, gets the device aboard a novice freight-carrier's initial flight. Scott Nash the freight company's owner and pilot, eventually realizes what he's carrying, as do the FBI and the Defense Department, and a mad scramble to prevent the device from unleashing catastrophe begins.

Nash, his crew, and a lovely meteorologist aboard the flight are trying to get the equipment to Washington to observe a powerful hurricane as it devastates the East Coast, and Vivian end up risking their lives to prevent the catastrophe. A top general wants to inspect the device to deactivate it and discover how it works, and the president of the US and an FBI agent simply want to keep the thing from blowing up. For fans of these types of movies, there are plenty of heroes to root for, villains to hoot at and bureaucrats to despise on the way to a fairly predictable climax.

But beneath the surface of this run-of-the-mill entertainment lies a plausible disaster scenario. "Medusa's Child" author John J. Nance elaborates: "There's only one small, intuitive leap here. If you took an ordinary nuclear weapon, even a one-megaton one, and lofted it 300 miles over Kansas and exploded it, you would do the same exact amount of damage as the Medusa wave in my book. In other words, you would wipe out all the computer chips in North America that were unshielded. That's been known for a long time. That's been one of the horror visions the Defense Department faced back during the Cold War. What if the Soviets tried that? They would shut us down.”

Nance says, “Up to about 20 years ago, we had our society pretty hardened, and we were nowhere near as dependent, or at least one order of magnitude less dependent, on computer technology than we are today. The thing that fascinated me was just taking a leap on this basis: What happens if we create a nuclear weapon that creates not only the standard electromagnetic pulse, but a super magnetic pulse that from ground level or near-ground level will do the same kind of job of blanketing the continent?”


Blessings from the Book of Life.
Author: David Stipp, Fortune, 3/6/00.

Decoding the human genome will yield a bounty of biotech miracles that will transform our lives in the next 40 years. Scenarios of biotechnology.

By 2010: “We'll start winning the war on cancer. Say you experience back pain, night sweats, and loss of appetite, and then find an egg-like swelling under your arm. Today a doctor would analyze biopsied cells from your lump with an instrument using 400-year-old technology, the microscope, and make an educated guess: You have non-Hodgkins lymphoma. You'd get one-size-fits-all chemotherapy that might work. If it doesn't, your doc would tell you not to despair--other drugs might save you. In 2010 your doctor will scan your biopsied cells with a DNA array, a computer-chip-like device that registers the activity patterns of thou