Project Timeline 2005–2010

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Draft Notes from Discussion on Project Method

Categories: Advisory Group, Meetings, Scenario Planning as a Discipline
Date: 7 April 2007

The standard scenario planning ‘workflow’ still applies. It is easily accommodated within the ‘schedule’ that we offered the ARC. i.e:

None of this should happen before all investigators have a thorough discussion and design session regarding a rigorous description of the rules and methods of interviewing, focus-grouping etc.

In other words, as an academic exercise, we all need to ‘describe the instrument’ with which we are doing the research, rather than assuming we all understand it. We need to make explicit the methods and protocols being utilised. This clarification will also lead to the setting of the exact ‘prompting questions’ that we take into the interview, focus groups and seminars. This ‘instrument-defining’ session should be done as soon as possible. Next meeting?

Re. the ‘discuss with all industry participants’ action — this can be done in forums and focus groups, of course. But it should also be done in the ‘liveplasma’ type of online mapping engine that ALJ is keen to develop.

The ability for the participants to feedback online plus the way the liveplasma map can give us a never-ending, reiterative ‘flow-chart’ of developments … all this introduces what’s innovative and exciting about our project. (Ie the project promises exciting new knowledge that can be brought into the academic and industrial settings.) Ie in addition to doing ‘classic’ scenario planning according to proven methods, we are looking to innovate in at least four ways:

1) we will be looking to introduce computer-assisted ‘morphological analysis’ into the definition of the overall environment. Morphological/computational mapping allows us to keep all the drivers or crucial factors in view throughout the project, even as we will often draw selective settings and/or narratives out of this larger field of possibilities. The liveplasma feedback site will be crucial in this regard.

2) this dynamic and morphological approach will lead us to an examination of how scenario planning might take account (and perhaps form a bridge between) two different notions of ‘uncertainty environments’ — (a) a complicated/intricate system understood mechanistically and (b) a complex/adaptive system understood reiteratively, narratively and always in-process.

3) this leads to our intention to develop a scenario planning process which empowers participants to iterate well-informed new narratives of possibility, to iterate them endlessly, to see this narrating as a capability generated by the scenario planning.

4) this leads to our intention to develop a scenario planning process which deliberately incorporates emerging new ‘social media’ practices and technologies. Such practices and technologies might allow the scenarios to be complex/adaptive/dynamically evolving over time.