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What are scenarios?
Shell Scenarios ask “what if?” questions to explore alternative views of the future and create plausible stories around them. They consider long-term trends in economics, energy supply and demand, geopolitical shifts and social change, as well as the motivating factors that drive change. In doing so, they help build visions of the future.
Shell has been using scenarios since the early 1970s to allow generations of leaders make better business decisions. Over time, the Shell Scenarios have gained a global following among governments, academia and other businesses. They have helped deepen understanding of how the world might appear decades ahead.
A clearer view
Scenarios help decision makers reconcile apparent contradictions or uncertainties, such as how political change in one region impacts global society. They also have the potential to improve awareness around issues that could become increasingly important to society, such as increased urbanisation, greater connectivity or loss of trust in institutions.
By exploring plausible, as well as predictable, 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 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.