Millennium Project
Annotated Scenarios Bibliography
Excerpt from 2003 State of the Future
all www 
Click on the following links to view a brief abstract of the scenarios:

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

International Trade and the Doha Development Agenda. Authors: Michael Garrett, Ian Goldin, and Dani Redrik in collaboration with the World Economic Forum

Reappraising the Future – Scenarios for 2012, Accenture

Urban Russia At The Crossroads, Russian Cities in the XXI Century: Development Scenarios. The Institute for Urban Economics

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

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

Creating the Future: Scenarios for the Digital Economy. Authors: Ed Boroevich, Mary Boname, Barbara Gill, Anthony Hempell and Sara Pitman

Cybernomics: Toward a Theory of Information Economy.  Author: John Perry Barlow

New World, Old Order.  Author: David Rejeski

Questioning Assumptions – Exploring Alternative Business Futures. Author:  Ged Davis

Terrorism and the Challenge to Globalization. Author: Peter Schwartz

The World in 2050. The Challenge Network directed by Dr. Oliver Sparrow

Manufacturing Anywhere. Author: Robert Gunther

The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization.  Author: Thomas L. Friedman

The Return to Depression Economics: 2010.   A scenario from the book, “The Return to Depression Economics” by Paul Krugman

The Online “Webolution” to 2010.   “Future Consumer.Com” by Frank Feather

The Future of the New Economy by Peter Schwartz

Scenario learning: A powerful tool for the 21st Century planner.  Authors: Jeff Ellis, Steve Feinstein, and Dennis Sterns

B2B or not B2B?  Scenarios for the future of e-commerce  by David Targett

2020 Vision – The Next Quarter Century in Management Consulting.  Report of the Association of Management Consulting Firms

Industrial R & D in 2008, by Charles F. Larson

American Consumers in 2025: Three Scenarios (Part 1). Gray Knight

American Consumers in 2025: Three Scenarios (Part 2). Gray Knight

American Consumers in 2025: Three Scenarios (Part 3). Gray Knight

Artifact Projections from 2005. Kevin Kelly

The Future Paradigm for Socio-Economics: Three Visions, Richard Hattwick

The Roaring Zeros – Wealth in 2020.  Kelly Kevin

The Global Corporation Becomes the Leaderless Corporation. Byrne John A

Future Marketplace: Consumer Heaven?  Jennings Lane

Manufacturing in 2020.  Morley Richard E

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Visit to Belindia. 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.

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

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

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

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

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, and 2050.

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

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

Long-Term Scenarios of the World Economy to 2015, by 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.

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.

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

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

The Post-Nationalist Map: A 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.

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

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

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:

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.

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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

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.”

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Reappraising the Future – Scenarios for 2012, Accenture.\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.”

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Urban Russia At The Crossroads, Russian Cities in the XXI Century: Development Scenarios. The Institute for Urban Economics

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.”

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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 remains 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.”

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

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.”

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Creating the Future: Scenarios for the Digital Economy. 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.

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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.”

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New World, Old Order.  Author: David Rejeski
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."

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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Manufacturing Anywhere. Author: Robert Gunther
Robert Gunther, a freelance business writer based outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Full narrative and graphic’s to Gunther’s writing available on RAND website: <>.

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:  “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: and On, 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, 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. 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.”

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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)

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The Return to Depression Economics: 2010.   A scenario from the book, “The Return to Depression Economics” by 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.

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The Online “Webolution” to 2010.   “Future Consumer.Com” by 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 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.

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

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 1) 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 2) 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 3) 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 4) 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.”

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

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 1) 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 2) 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 3) 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.”

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

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.”

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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.

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Industrial R & D in 2008. 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.

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American Consumers in 2025: Three Scenarios (Part 1). 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.

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American Consumers in 2025: Three Scenarios (Part 2). 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.

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American Consumers in 2025: Three Scenarios (Part 3). 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.

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Artifact Projections from 2005. Kevin Kelly, Philips Website.

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 /vof/.

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The Future Paradigm for Socio-Economics: Three Visions. 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.

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The Roaring Zeros – Wealth in 2020.  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.

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The Global Corporation Becomes the Leaderless Corporation. 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.”

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Future Marketplace: Consumer Heaven?  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.”

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Manufacturing in 2020.  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.”

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Global Scenarios. 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. The Forbes Group 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.)

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World Boom Ahead: Why Business and Consumers Will Prosper, 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…"

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The Silver Lining of Global Imbalances, Global Economic Forum, The Latest Views of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Economists.; 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 infact, 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…"

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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…"

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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…"

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The Futures of American Business. 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.

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New Organizational Forms: The Strategic Relevance of Future Psychological Contract Scenarios, 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. Reconfiured Labor Market Divesity: "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.

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A Vision for the World Economy - Openness, Diversity, and Cohesion. 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."

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Future Global Capital Shortages - Real Threat or Pure Fiction? 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 rises 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.

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Economic Evolution and Structure - The Complexity on the U.S. Economic System. 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."

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

The substance of this book is an attempt to develop a partial theory that the authors calls 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 U.N. Security Council). In this model the democracy between countries would be the same as the democracy among people."

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The New Capitalism. 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 is 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.

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A Visit to Belindia. 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."

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The Capitalist World-Economy: Middle Run Prospects, 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), resulting 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.

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Business NOT as Usual: Rethinking our Individual, Corporate, and Industrial Strategies for Global Competition. 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 indutrial 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.

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U.S. Financial Services in the Global Economy: International Competitiveness and Safety and Soundness, 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."

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In the Shadow of the Rising Sun: The Political Roots of American Economic Decline. 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.

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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:

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Wild Cards: Preparing for "The Big One" 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.

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The Age of Diminished Expectations: U.S. Economic Policy in the 1990s. 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."

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Long-Term Scenarios of the World Economy to 2015, by 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.

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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. 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.

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The Great Boom Ahead: Your Comprehensive Guide to Personal and Business Profit in the New Era of Prosperity. 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.

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21st Century Capitalism. 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.

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The Post-Nationalist Map: A 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.

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The Twenty-First Century Organization: Analyzing Current Trends—Imagining the Future. 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. 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.

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The Haves Have Less. By 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.

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