Uncertainty versus Momentum and other Dilemmas in Engaging the Long Term


Cynthia Selin - Arizona State University  


Abstract: Scenarios are widely used to articulate and cope with some of societies most complex problems. From climate change, to land use, to intractable political problems, to innovation in Fortune 500 companies, scenarios are on the rise yet not without their own risks and drawbacks. Attention to the variety of choices in methodological design as well as the specific contexts of use are critical, yet often neglected in scenario planning practices. Drawing on a few examples of scenario exercises, questions will be raised about the balance between hope and prudence and about how different communities can be bridged through talking about the future.