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The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century
This appendix contains the scenarios referred to in the Preface and Executive Summary. The participants listed in Appendix B developed them at a fall 2002 workshop.
About Scenario Thinking
Scenario planning is a highly interactive process that is intense and imaginative. The idea of scenarios is to tell possible stories about the future. A scenario is a tool for ordering one’s perceptions about alternative future environments in which today’s decisions might be played out.
The initial phase usually involves rigorously challenging the mental maps that shape one’s perceptions. A good scenario planning project expands our peripheral vision and forces us to examine our assumptions and to practice what we would do if the unthinkable happened—a condition that occurs more often than one might imagine.
In the body of the process, groups identify driving forces (social, economic, political, and technological) and the factors that shape those forces. These factors are then prioritized according to importance and uncertainty.
Each scenario should represent a plausible alternative future, not a best case, worst case, or most likely continuum. Most important, the