Looking from the Future: The Daring Game

In my lectures and work around the world my ability to predict certain events/trends is challenged quite often. Obviously, I cannot foresee the future, neither can I point to any individual who can, but I am able to arise certain scenarios with the hope that if they were to occur we would be better prepared, after thinking them through.

The topic of building futuristic strategic models, is not only discussed in our day-to-day life at the office, but also on the many channels of communication and media around us.

Being a prophet was a biblical profession. Nowadays however, no one can actually predict with any certainty what the new day, month nor year, will bring us. In essence, it becomes more complicated and difficult to predict the climate, stock market, health issues, geopolitics or whether a country, company or a leader will actually be present tomorrow.

Looking from the Future So, I would like to present a few issues in random order which I dare “to put down on paper.” It is my hope that we will have the courage to address the negative issues in a positive way and with as little denial as possible:

· By the summer of 2012, major natural disasters stuck the world. The floods of 2010 in Australia have expanded to the low lands in Europe, India and the south eastern region of the United States. Major earthquakes hit the Middle East, Russia and the South Pacific. The “sleeping” volcanoes of Mount St. Helens in Washington State and Mount Etna in Italy have erupted causing major unprecedented volcano dust all over western Europe and major parts of the United States. The State of Washington was declared not fit for living. Question: If we knew that this scenario would take place, how could the regions prepare ahead for these imaginary possibilities?

· Canada and Africa are the booming areas of the second decade of the twenty first century. Both areas are the “greenest” on earth, posses major untapped natural resources and have the most stable currency on earth. The Canadian Dollar is one of the strongest exchangeable currencies by the end of 2012. It is valued much higher than the US Dollar and substantial US investment has moved into Canada over the year. Question: If we knew that this would be the case, how would we prepare during 2011-12 for this outcome?

· The United States’ economy collapsed in the beginning of 2012 after a wave of unprecedented bankruptcies hit the country. The real-estate market, which didn’t completely recover after the 2008-9 financial crisis, suffered an even further blow when major corporations whose bond yields came to term, could not deliver. The Obama administration collapsed and a semi-new dictatorship with national emergency laws arose. Question: If you were an American, what would you have done if you knew in advance this was a real possibility?

· North Korea, Iran, Pakistan and a terrorist group in the Middle East have used nuclear weapons which caused major losses and aggravation. Dozens of millions of people died and the world entered a new reality of nuclear proliferations. Question: Was there something we could have done?

· 2012; New medical technology is now the domain in the major hospitals around the world. The non-evasive ultra sound equipment of Insightec (an Israeli company) and GE, are now the spoken word in “surgical” operations around the world. Brain, liver, bone and prostate tumors are removed without any need for surgical intervention. Question: If you were a doctor in Beverly Hills, New York City, New Delhi or Munich, assuming that the technology truly worked in 2012, how would you have prepared during 2011?

· In 2012, electric and natural gas automobiles are efficient, inexpensive and go for 1000 km a tank without needing to recharge or refill. Question: If you were in the automobile industry in the 2012 period, how would you have prepared for the collapse of the traditional industry?

There are unlimited scenarios and those criticizing the approach would rightfully say that one cannot prepare for all. I would unequivocally agree with this claim, but will qualify my agreement with a small addition. Within our own “worlds”; companies, families or countries, if we were to get the best and smartest brains and thinkers to come together and openly discuss as many scenarios as possible, this specific awareness process would already put us in a different futuristic place. I will be glad to supply further food for thought for all those interested.