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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsWhat we're going to do now is take a look at one of two actual scenario exercises done. Some of them internationally. Some of them more closer to home. Here's an example about a couple of years ago by the World Economic Forum. Now as you can see, this also complies with some of our predetermined conditions, such as the scenario theme is very clearly stated here. It's China and the world. So “to” is the scenario time frame. The scenario is of the year 2025. Now I'm not going to take you through their particular exercise in terms of identifying and playing around with the driving forces.

Skip to 0 minutes and 43 secondsI'm going to jump straight to the fact that from their obvious work on identifying driving forces, they came up with what they call two core questions. What we would call two key uncertainties. And as you can see, in the form of questions. So can China implement internal reforms to further its development?

Skip to 1 minute and 9 secondsSo from their identified driving forces, they came up with two key uncertainties. Or in their words, two key questions for the future of China. The first one. Can China implement internal reforms to further its development? And the second one. How will their relationship with the rest of the world affect its development and shape the global context? In both cases, we don't know the answer. But we do know they are very important questions to ask. So what we expect to find now is that these two key uncertainties will be used along two axes. Let's confirm that.

Skip to 1 minute and 52 secondsAs you can see along the horizontal axis, we have the question of institutional reform. On the extreme left hand side, ineffective reform. On the right hand side, effective reform. On the vertical axis, we have something dealing with their global in or exclusiveness. So on the top part of this axis, inclusive global environment. The lower part, discriminative global environment. And this ought to yield four scenarios. These four blocks should give us four scenarios. And now we see something interesting. In the case of the World Economic Forum, they clearly felt that the bottom left hand corner was not a plausible scenario. Now we don't have to agree with that. But I've used this example to illustrate a very important point.

Skip to 2 minutes and 48 secondsIf you're doing an exercise and you feel happy with what you've done so far and yet one of these blocks doesn't quite fit the bill, feel free to reject it, to ignore it, and to carry on by employing the remaining three scenarios. So let me repeat that. I don't agree that this one is not plausible. But that's not my-- it's not for me to say. In their opinion, the fourth bottom left hand corner was not plausible. They decided to carry on with the remaining three scenarios. We also see they've given each one of these remaining three a nice descriptive title ranging from "Unfulfilled Promise," "New Silk Road," "Regional Ties." What else do we expect to find?

Skip to 3 minutes and 35 secondsWell, we probably expect to find some narrative regarding each one. And here, too, they have taken an interesting approach. Now I'm sure you can't read the words here. But that's not the important point. What I want to point out is that this particular narrative here refers to the scenario they called "Regional Ties." And the first point to make is it is very short. It's probably barely one page. In fact, it is three paragraphs. One, two, and three. And interestingly the way they've done it is, if you look take a very close look, you'll see that paragraph one deals with the first five years of the scenario period. 2006 to 2010. Paragraph two deals with next decade, 2011 to 2020.

Skip to 4 minutes and 25 secondsAnd paragraph three deals with the final decade, or the final five years. So brief paragraph. It's three paragraphs all told but told in a very clever way, giving us an immediate feel for the nature of that particular scenario. And then they've done the same thing for this scenario, "Unfulfilled Promise." Once again, three short paragraphs. And yet again the same thing for the final scenario, "New Silk Road." Three short paragraphs. Short and sweet. To the point. Very nice for a busy reader, for a busy executive, busy decision maker. He or she doesn't have to go into reams and reams and reams of chapters of discussion. They get to the point as quickly as possible.

China's role in the Future

China has always had a major impact on the world.

A change in China’s economy can very easily result in changes to the world economy.

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This video is from the free online course:

Futurism and Business: Dealing with Complexity

University of Stellenbosch Business School Executive Development

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