In a changing and uncertain world, predictions about the future become harder to make. Rather than trying to predict a future, a more realistic option is to identify the range of possible futures or scenarios that could emerge. Shell, the oil company is widely credited with propounding scenario planning as a way of overcoming the over emphasis on extrapolation from the past.
In essence, scenario planning assumes that the future is not out there waiting to be discovered, but rather is the product of the myriad of decisions we and others round the world make today. If we examine these different ways the future might unfold, we can then begin to determine actions that will move towards a more desirable future and away from a less desirable one.