Oxford Scenarios Programme

Overview

Scenario planning is a structured way of identifying plausible futures that strengthens an organisation’s ability to cope with uncertainty and turbulence. This approach helps leaders understand the context they are in and think through their approach to strategy and its development. 

The Oxford Scenario Planning Approach is an intellectually rigorous approach to scenario planning with theoretical aspects grounded in practical guidance. It offers a different approach to strategy development, asking you to focus on strengthening your ability to cope with uncertainty and secure the opportunities it offers instead of trying to predict the future.

You will be encouraged to adopt a more inquiring approach as a means of effectively forging a culture where disagreement becomes an asset to build better understanding, not a liability to be avoided. Opening your thinking will allow you to better identify shared opportunities and how you can leverage situations to suit your organisation’s specific challenges.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

  • Understand complex scenario theories, methodologies, approaches and interventions
  • Identify how to deploy effective scenarios and learn why scenarios can fail
  • Opportunity for individual growth and reflection, and to question assumptions
  • Creatively drive strategic thinking and practice
  • Able to make key decisions in the context of turbulence, uncertainty, novelty and ambiguity (TUNA)
  • Knowledge of where scenario planning fits in the organisation and its relation to other processes

WHO IT IS FOR

This programme is for individuals and teams with responsibility for strategy, planning or leadership. This programme is a public course that welcomes professionals from a wide range of industries and countries. 

SKILLS LEARNT

Business: Scenario planning create new business opportunities.
Innovation: Strengthening the ability to cope with uncertainty and secure the opportunities it offers instead of trying to predict the future
Strategy: Scenario planning helps leaders understand the context they are in and think through their approach to strategy and its development

Meet your faculty

Cho Khong

Associate Fellow. Chief Political Analyst, Global Business Environment team, Shell International

Cho has over 20 years of experience in leading and participating in country scenarios projects. He advises on political trends and political risk, and leads the external environment assessments for Shell’s country reviews. He was actively involved in developing the 1995, 1998, 2001 and 2005 sets of Shell Global Scenarios, the 2008 Shell Energy Scenarios and the 2013 New Lens Scenarios.

Cynthia Selin

Associate Fellow

Cynthia’s research explores the nature of future-orientation, methods for handling uncertainty, and the intersections between sustainability and innovation. As a social scientist, she investigates the social, ethical and political dimensions of emerging technologies. She leads the Center for the Study of Futures at Arizona State University.

Rafael Ramirez

Director of the Oxford Scenarios Programme and Professor of Practice

Rafael is a world-leading expert on scenario planning. As a researcher and advisor, Rafael has worked extensively with NGOs, corporations, inter-governmental organisations, governments and think tanks. He is the author of several books and many scholarly papers, and he is on the editorial boards of three scenario planning journals.

Trudi Lang

Senior Fellow in Management Practice

Trudi works with leaders to support them with the achievement of their strategic objectives. She has over 20 years’ experience as a practitioner, educator and researcher in strategy, strategic foresight and scenarios. Prior to joining Oxford in her current capacity, Trudi served as Director and Head of Strategic Foresight at the World Economic Forum, and Consultant for Strategic Foresight at the OECD.