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Future Maps: Three Global Scenarios for 2010
by Dr. James Canton

Future Maps is a process conducted by Dr. James Canton where scenarios are developed around key change drivers, trends and forces that will shape the future of an enterprise, market, industry, society or civilization. In these Future Maps three different tomorrows are considered given varying degrees of change drivers. These Future Maps are all possibilities yet to emerge that have vastly different outcomes, workouts and impacts on consumers, markets and society. The purpose of this overview is to summarize the results of a Future Maps Global Scenario Design seminar conducted to help clients identify and understand the key change drivers that will shape the global future in 2010. All three of these Future Maps are probable even in different time periods. The process of Future Mapping is designed to enable a learning capacity to emerge to encourage critical forward thinking. To enable folks in the enterprise to be able to better: 1. anticipate change, 2. predict the elements of future-shapers and 3. Develop a strategy to be able to shape their future.

Future Map #1: Global Collaboration 2010
Collaboration among and between governments, corporations and citizens has produced relative prosperity. Global GDP is at 7%. Robust economies as in China, the EU and US are seeing 5%. Relative global peace, security and social prosperity are hallmarks of this era. Economic growth is steady. Global diversity is celebrated and bridges between industrial and emerging economies are closing gaps as poverty, hunger and disease are addressed. Global economic opportunity is growing and boundaries between nations are dropping. Free trade and commercial global transactions are unifying supply chains, markets and societies as peace and prosperity win out over war and desperation. Global conflicts have been averted as economic and social progress has been achieved.

  1. Business Impact
  2. Integrated electronic on-demand supply chains
  3. Digital markets
  4. Few trade barriers
  5. Low government regulation
  6. Emerging markets growth
  7. Rise of globally diverse consumer base
  8. Ecological sustainability
  9. Robust new markets
  10. Increased competition
  11. Access to capital investments
  12. Sustained steady growth
  13. Strong ROI on R&D investment
  14. Key Scenario Drivers
  15. Global IT and network deployment
  16. Strong investment in science and technology
  17. Internet and wireless infrastructure
  18. Rise of moderates globally united for peace
  19. Strong international aid and military presence to broker peace
  20. Increased access to health care, education and economic opportunity
  21. Future Outlook
The outlook for the world given this Future map is optimistic. Prosperity, growth and development are paying off. Further efforts must be taken to insure in stability, security and prosperity. Fundamentalism has been marginalized and conflict contained.

Future Map #2 Cultural Silos 2010
Cultural silos, walled off nations, regions and cities became necessary after the increase in global conflicts. No support for international engagement left a power vacuum-no peacemakers. And without the peacemaker's chaos ruled. The inability of the global community to contain and resolve major flashpoints in Asia, Europe and Africa left many citizens to fend for themselves. Huge gaps between the safe and the at risk population, emerged. The global growth in terrorism and crime outpaced the authority's ability to control the impact on fragile social systems. Collapse of essential services like health care and sanitation, as well as in the banking sector led to corporations stepping in to create order. In the industrialized West, security rivaled materialism. Affluence is now equated with safety, economic stability and social order. Low growth, low productivity, few prospects for change indicate a cloudy forecast for future prosperity. Global GDP is a negative percentage. Some select regions are thriving but with a regional and local focus. Innovation is gone.
  • Business Impact
  • Insecure financial markets
  • Slim access to expensive capital
  • Local markets focus
  • Fragmented supply chains
  • Risk analysis drives decision-making
  • Learning to market to the Silo Consumer segment
  • Select stable yet mature markets
  • Rise in protectionism
  • Currency markets in flux
  • Thinner profit margins
  • Aging consumer segments that are shrinking
  • High risk entry to new markets
  • Low investment in R&D
  • Low investment in new products and services
  • Key Scenario Drivers
  • Need for security
  • Protectionism
  • Technology for security
  • Lack of new markets
  • Lack of new customers
  • Future Outlook
  • The outlook is problematic, not hopeful, pessimistic-batten down the hatches except there is no future in sight. Survival is the key and growth is unlikely. This could last a long time as the needs for communication and change are low.
Future Map #3: A Better Tomorrow 2010
A hopeful but complicated environment characterized by moderate growth, is the best way to describe this era. The participation and international engagement of the major and minor powers in the peace process has managed to handle all the big conflicts. Micro wars still rage leaving billion or so in poverty, ignorance and with little chances for progress. Global cooperation to manage terrorism has been successful. Free trade has moved slowly but not fast enough to bring the emerging nations to where the first world lives-but there is movement. This progress has resulted in overall peace and prosperity but for too few still. The inability of governments and corporations to realize a global free trade policy has slowed down growth and development.

  • Business Impact
  • Insecure consumers
  • Marginal access to capital
  • High cost of capital
  • Low investment in R&D
  • Tech innovations low
  • Low collaboration in business
  • War for talent
  • Strong global diverse market opportunities
  • Key Scenario Drivers
  • Diplomacy
  • International cooperation to secure peace and prosperity
  • Free Trade
  • Open Markets
  • Access to education
  • Access to capital
  • Access to talent
  • Future Outlook
The future outlook for this map is promising, but guarded with hope. This is not really a fragile era but it could evolve one way or another. With international cooperation prosperity and peace will emerge. Without this global security, markets and economies as well as quality of life will drop. The prospects for progress in this scenario are conducive for a better tomorrow.

Each of these different Future maps requires business and governments to act different, plan differently and prepare differently. By examining the possibilities, and then mapping out the impact on the consumer, the market and the enterprise, new strategies will emerge.

© Copyright 2004 Dr James Canton. All Rights Reserved.

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