What is it about?

This foresight gaming system was originally developed to facilitate the application of futures thinking to policy-making but proved to have a much broader range of applications. In particular, we discovered its ability to accommodate conversations on virtually any issue using any relevant sets of scenarios. These conversations can be used for many purposes (awareness raising, ideation, strategy development, engagement, ice breaking, etc.). The broad experience accumulated to date has made it possible to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of this open access tool as a platform for futures thinking and to share broadly the know-how for the creation and application of new versions. This article also gives a series of practical design suggestions for futures practitioners seeking to repurpose the original Scenario Exploration System for use in their own project.

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Why is it important?

This is a tool that makes scenarios much more usable beyond those who developed them. It also allows any participant in a scenario exploration to engage with them without any need for preparation and with minimal time requirements (3 hours). Making a custom version of the SES doesn't require much foresight knowledge from the users if scenarios are already available. In particular, it allows high level decision-makers to get the benefit from scenario building without having to invest the time to actually build the scenarios.


This article has been written in order to empower readers to make the tool theirs and to facilitate the use of foresight to develop systemic thinking without realising and to enrich strategic thinking.

Laurent Bontoux
European Commission

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A Game for All Seasons: Lessons and Learnings from the JRC’s Scenario Exploration System, World Futures Review, February 2020, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/1946756719890524.
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