Learnings from role playing through future scenarios

On Monday the 4Sing team combined two of our favourite approaches: scenarios and role-playing.

The participants – a total of about 120 people gathered by an International Organisation – were allocated to one of the four scenarios, i.e. about 30 people per scenario. Each scenario group was then broken down further, into five sub-groups, each of which needed to role play a particular perspective in the scenario – for instance, a lower-income country could have a very different take on the problems posed in the scenario when compared to a higher-income country. The small groups then had time to review the ideas of others, before a few “commonality spotters” identified the similar threads they could see in all groups, and we looked at a word cloud produced by participant input.

The big thing I would change if doing this again, is to find a better way of gathering bottom-up input from all participants than using a word cloud – as one participant pointed out, there were many words that were near synonyms but did not appear in large letters, as they were not identically formulated.

Thanks to the team Jonathan BuhlLindiwe KhumaloSebastian Stölting (Stoelting) and Petra Wiesbrock, as well as to the wonderful client team and dynamic participants!

foresight-to-strategy, multi-stakeholder strategy, wargames