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Learnings from the Long View

by Peter Schwartz

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The future has never been more complex and uncertain; yet leaders of companies, governments, and nonprofits must act and adapt with confidence. Peter Schwartz, the acclaimed futurist and business strategist, first popularized scenario planning-a powerful tool for navigating uncertainty-in "The Art of the Long View" in 1991. At that time, his knowledge about foresight and scenarios was drawn mostly from his previous planning and consulting experience at Royal Dutch Shell and the Stanford Research Institute. Global Business Network (GBN)-the innovative company Schwartz had cofounded-was a mere three years old. Since then GBN has undertaken hundreds of scenario projects with a diverse range of clients: Fortune 500 companies in every sector, nonprofits, NGOs, and governmental groups around the world. This little book, completed in late-2010, reflects on that legacy. It shares GBN's mistakes as well as successes and what Schwartz got right in the original "The Art of the Long View," (e.g., the rise of the global teenager, two out of the three scenarios for 2005) and wrong (e.g., the transformative power of the Web). Finally, Schwartz looks forward once more-examining the next great global driving force (hint: more troubling than teenagers) and constructing three scenarios for the year 2025.… (more)
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The future has never been more complex and uncertain; yet leaders of companies, governments, and nonprofits must act and adapt with confidence. Peter Schwartz, the acclaimed futurist and business strategist, first popularized scenario planning-a powerful tool for navigating uncertainty-in "The Art of the Long View" in 1991. At that time, his knowledge about foresight and scenarios was drawn mostly from his previous planning and consulting experience at Royal Dutch Shell and the Stanford Research Institute. Global Business Network (GBN)-the innovative company Schwartz had cofounded-was a mere three years old. Since then GBN has undertaken hundreds of scenario projects with a diverse range of clients: Fortune 500 companies in every sector, nonprofits, NGOs, and governmental groups around the world. This little book, completed in late-2010, reflects on that legacy. It shares GBN's mistakes as well as successes and what Schwartz got right in the original "The Art of the Long View," (e.g., the rise of the global teenager, two out of the three scenarios for 2005) and wrong (e.g., the transformative power of the Web). Finally, Schwartz looks forward once more-examining the next great global driving force (hint: more troubling than teenagers) and constructing three scenarios for the year 2025.

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