Our scenarios team has been developing possible visions of the future since the 1970s, helping generations of leaders plan and make better decisions. By identifying and interpreting emerging patterns in the present, they deepen our understanding of how the world might appear decades ahead.
Over time, Shell Scenarios have gained a global following among governments, academia and business.
A clearer view
Scenarios help decision-makers better understand and deal with uncertainty, such as how political change in one region might impact global society. They also have the potential to improve awareness around issues that could become increasingly important, such as increased urbanisation, greater connectivity or loss of trust in institutions.
By exploring plausible outcomes scenarios challenge conventional wisdom. Organisations using scenarios find it easier to recognise impending disruptions in their own operating environment, such as political changes, demographic shifts or economic recessions. They also increase their resilience to sudden changes caused by unexpected crises like natural disasters or armed conflicts.
In an industry often defined by uncertainty and volatility, Shell is stronger thanks to the forward-planning capacity that scenarios bring.
New lenses on the future
Our latest assessment of the future is called New Lens Scenarios.
In it we explore two possible ways the 21st century could unfold, with dramatically different implications for society and the world’s energy system.
Called Mountains and Oceans, the two scenarios analyse current trends and trace two plausible routes to the future, exploring the implications for global economic development, the energy system and greenhouse gas emissions.
They also raise surprising questions. For instance, could photovoltaic solar power become the world’s largest energy source by the 2070s? Might global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions be near zero by 2100, thanks partly to technology that removes CO2 from the atmosphere?