January 14, 2018

Article at Denise Withers

Scenario Planning: Health Authority (project overview)

Health authorities in Canada struggle to find the time and resources to look beyond ongoing crises such as the opioid situation. Yet, decades of scenario planning work across sectors shows that investing in research to study emerging trends and future scenarios can provide critical intel and inspire innovation to transform strategy and policy.

When the health team working to reduce chronic disease among South Asians in Canada needed to plan for the future, they asked me to prepare a set of scenarios to help them. The goal of this work was not to try to predict the future but to explore potential challenges and opportunities they could encounter.

Working with data from a variety of sources, including the World Economic Forum, local and national government databases and industry analyses, I created the four scenarios below and presented them as posters. We then combined them with a related impact game I developed to run a futuring workshop with local stakeholders to identify strategic priorities for the health team.

The impact of the scenarios was immediate. Not only did the team get the insight they needed, but everyone else in the workshop found new issues they needed to consider. By the time we were done, several alliances formed with municipal planners, to consider how to manage future challenges.

(Right click to download/read the scenarios)