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Scenario Planning as the Fulfillment of Critical Theory

an article in Futures Research Quarterly by James Ogilvy

(our site's article review)

Looking at the future possibilities with conjecture, speculation and a synthesist’s visionary, systems viewpoint is today, in a fast-changing world, as “coldly practical a necessity as feet-on-the-floor realism was in an earlier time,” according to the Tofflers, who always stress that futurism isn’t about prediction, but about looking at possibilities and trying to select the best ones now so that the future will be a good one. Similarly, Ogilvy uses alternative scenario development in the service of moral outrage at past and present social conditions, and opts not to predict, but instead to look at what should be. Social science from a value-neutral perspective is impossible, he says; let the physical scientists go that route. He mentions the Toffler name:

“With a few interesting exceptions such as Alvin Toffler, Peter Drucker and John Naisbitt, all of whom spurn large office staffs or consultancies, but give credit loud and often to their wives with whom they actively collaborate—future studies is a team sport.”