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Scenario Thinking (PE)


This course is part of the specialisation course Future Decision Making (together 12 EC)
It depends upon the number of participants whether the course will take place


This course is aimed at introducing students to Scenario Thinking and how to make strategic decisions later on. As an alternative approach to prediction based strategy this course will teach the theory and practice of scenario thinking.
Scenario planning was pioneered by Shell in the 1970’s where it famously anticipated the oil crisis, after which Shell emerged as worlds biggest oil company for much of the following two decades. Shell again achieved success in anticipation the break up of the Sovjet Union.
Today the scenario thinking is widely used across the world to structure strategic thinking; from planning the future layout of the Rotterdam harnour and the technologies that facilitate security services to the future of banking in the 21st century.
Daniel Erasmus pioneered the use of scenario thinking to create ICT and Internet strategies, and using Internet technologies to facilitate democratisation of the scenario thinking process.

Scenario thinking is a process in which managers, technologist; people inside and outside the organisation work together to constuct plausible strategic scenarios. Because this process involves challenging old assumptions and developing new ones, the sides together create a shared strategic language. It is this shared language that enables organisations to deal with the strategic challenges of an uncertain environment.

Course objectives

The purpose of this course is to learn the participants how to use scenario thinking and organisational learning as instruments for future decision making. The role an using of scenario thinking facilitates more robust ICT infrastructures, services, solutions and products in organisations.


The schedule is tailor-made and will be defined by mutual agreement. A detailed table of contents is published in ELO.

Mode of instruction

The course combines lectures, book analysis, case studies, interactive discussions, film & video analysis, assignments, research, serveal essays. Students are required to fill in expected study efforts (SBUs) by co-operating, self-study and to explore literature on available resouces such as libraries, internet, etc. There is a preparatory assignment before the first meeting.

Assessment method

You will be evaluated and graded for this course on the following basis:
1. 20% class participation
2. 80% assignments, scenarios, essays

Reading list

Pandemonium: Towards a Retro-Organization Theory [Gibson Burrell], ISBN : 9780803977778
China The Next 10 Years – Foong Wai Fong
From Yao to Mao – 5000 Years of Chinese History
The future of ICT in Financiel Services – Daniel Erasmus

Materials will be provide by teacher during course.

Contact information

For more information, please contact Programme Co-ordinator ms. Judith Havelaar LL.M