Scenarios and Narratives for the 21st Century
How will human societies evolve in the rest of the 21st century? In spite of how “VUCA” or “postnormal” our world appears, are we able to tell the story (or rather, stories) of this century?
We’d like to try it with you!
In 1990, the French ministry of Research published 2100, a “narrative of the coming century”. While the idea of a single narrative seems quaint nowadays, exploring what very long-term foresight can do for us remains a useful task.
How will this highly participative workshop unfold?
Think of is as a mechanism for creating storylines of which we are both protagonists and authors.
The storylines will be centered around bifurcations – decisions (or the absence thereof) that alter the course of history for a whole community.
Before that, we’ll discuss catalysts – trends, emergences and risks that make change (but not its results) certain. We’ve prepared a few, but you can bring your own.
Then we’ll choose an initial bifurcation. Unsurprisingly, the initial one will have climate change at its core, however responding (or not responding) to it can take very different forms. Several groups will explore these differences.
Having told the stories of this initial bifurcation, we’ll pause around 2040 and take stock: what do our worlds look like as a result?
And more interestingly: what are the important issues then, and what new bifurcations are ahead of us?
This workshop will be facilitated by the Société Française de Prospective and the Plurality University Network. It will of course result in a report which will be shared with you. It will also feed into an upcoming publication which tries to shed some light on the 2100 horizon.
We hope this experiment will generate common knowledge, both on the choices ahead and on the possibilities and challenges of long-term foresight.