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open futures  strategic foresight tailored to your needs

The Scenario Method


Team Building 

A classic method of strategic foresight, scenario is the primary method for managing uncertainty systematically.

Scenario helps you develop a robust strategy that works across a wide range of futures.


8 to 80 people

3 hours to 2 days

in person

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What is it?

The value proposition of the Scenario Method is to provide robust strategic orientation based on a systematic exploration of future uncertainties in the business environment.

A scenario process combines trends and predictable future developments (forecasting) together with future uncertainties, that is drivers and events that produce very different, sometimes opposite, effects.

The interaction of these uncertainties create the different plausible future scenarios.

The Scenario Method is both a learning and a strategic process.

You can set the accent on strategy, training or team building. Check our workshops for strategy: Hands On or Deep Dive, or for learning and team building: Discovery or Insight.

Scenarios in 4 steps

Identify critically important uncertainties in the future global business environment (typically 5 to 20 years) and their 2 to 5 plausible effects.

Create 2 to 5 contrasted future scenarios of the business environment
from the coherent combination of one effect of each uncertainty.

Project your business in each future scenario:
How does success would look like in this environment? What would need to change?

On that basis, identify decisions and actions that are said “robust”,
that is decisions and actions that cover most scenarios.

Scenarios Workshops Portfolio

Henry R. Luce

#sustainability          #finance&cash          #cities&democracy          #arts&culture

"Business, more than any other occupation, is a continual dealing with the future; it is a continual calculation, an instinctive exercise in foresight."

Workshop Formulas

Workshop Formulas

Here are 4 indicative workshop formulas for training and strategy.
We very much welcome requests for tailored and creative workshop designs.

Training & Team Building

(Short) Strategy Processes

3h to 4h
up to 60 people

  • Build 2 scenarios with 2 uncertainties with 2x2 matrix

  • Share the scenarios and discover directions for action.

4h30 to 6h
up to 80 people

  • Build 2-3 scenarios with up to 5 uncertainties with key factors method

  • Share the scenarios and discover directions for action.

Hands on
6h to 1.5 day
up to 40 people

  • Build 3-5 scenarios with up to 7 uncertainties with key factors method

  • Share the scenarios and formulate a robust strategy.

Deep Dive
1.5 to 2.5 days
up to 40 people

  • Build 3-6 scenarios with up to 10 uncertainties with key factors method

  • Share the scenarios and formulate a robust strategy.

in 2–3 sessions

in 1–2 sessions

Find out how we can help your business
build a robust strategy in a changing environment.

Book a free meeting with our foresight director, Isabelle Vuong

through calendly, or write us an email.

Scenario Method:
From simple to complex variants

The Scenario Method has been around for about 70 years and there are many variations of the method. Here is an overview of three of the most commonly used scenario techniques.

Very Easy Method:
Dator's Four Images of the Future

The easiest way to design scenarios is to use the "Four Images of the Future" developed by foresight professor James Dator.

A reference in the field of foresight, Dator made the case that all images of the future (visions or scenarios) essentially follow four main narrative patterns:

  • Continued Growth or Business as usual

  • Collapse

  • Discipline, reform

  • Transformation


Easy Method:
2x2 Matrix

Another relatively simple and widely used method for scenario building is the 2x2 matrix (also known as a 4 quadrant map).


The advantage of this method is that you can identify your own two key uncertainties and their opposing effects. Once this is done, you cross them in a 2x2 matrix to obtain 4 quadrants, which then give you the 4 orientations of your 4 scenarios.


Standard Method:
Key Factors

A more complex method consists in defining the most decisive key factors for the future of your company.


On this basis, you distinguish between key factors that can be considered as stable trends and those that represent the critical uncertainties that interest us. The aim is to arrive at a number of 5 to 10 uncertainties.

The consistent combination of one effect of each uncertainty produces the 3 to 5 (6) scenarios. On this basis, you can consolidate the scenarios and describe their main drivers and justifications/indicators.


The Strategic Scenario Process

Our strategic scenario processes unfold typically along the 5 to 6 steps outlined below.

These steps can be tailored to your needs. Learning processes are typically lighter.

We are happy to receive special requests and develop tailored processes.


Initial Free Meeting

We discuss your goals, who you are as an organisation and your strategy in an initial 1 hour consultation meeting free of charge.


Please book your meeting using our calendly meeting agenda.


Topic Research

We research future trends, opportunities, risks, milestones and uncertainties.

  • We build upon your research and data (technology & innovation, consumers, ...)

  • We conduct (extensive) research on your topic, e.g. in (geo)politics, futures technologies, climate and nature risks, regulations, perceptions changes – all guided by your needs (learning or strategy) and your environmental context

  • We can also contact a few external experts according to your needs


1–2 Meetings to define scope and time horizon

  • We define the scope and the time horizon of the process.

  • Plus the strategy if other than your business or governmental/non-profit strategy.

  • We also set up a scenario team made up of members of your team and us.


Scenario Design

We (co-)design with you the scenario process.

  • We offer a draft design of the scenario process as basis for discussion

  • We agree with you on the definitive process design including moderation(s) and work groups dispatch

  • For short processes: We define with you the uncertainties with which the team groups will work

  • We define and oversee with you practical workshop material and organisational needs


Scenario Process

We facilitate the process that brings you to develop the scenarios and the robust strategy that you need in 1 to 4 tailored workshop sessions.

  • We help you develop scenarios of the global environment based on key uncertainties

  • You project your company in each of these scenarios: What would need to change?
    What would be decisions to make?

  • We share these results and discover the patterns of change that drive a robust strategy covering as many scenarios as possible

  • We help you develop the roadmap that drives your robust strategy to practical implementation


Reporting & Implementation

We offer additional support to help you report and implement your robust strategy.

  • We offer documentation and reporting of the scenario process conducted, as well as strategic recommendations and strategic foresight outlook

  • We develop with you the key area monitoring tool that gives your company future glasses in key areas

  • We accompany you in implementing the strategy into daily business practice

  • We accompany you with follow-up workshops on specific areas or issues

Future glasses

Find out how we can help your business
build a robust strategy in a changing environment.

Book a free meeting with our foresight director, Isabelle Vuong

through calendly, or write us an email.

Scenarios Workshops Portfolio


Contact us

Have a chat or ask for a non-binding request

© 2024 openfutures

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