Last Friday I gave a brief presentation on scenario planning, to the research groupthat I consult to.
One of the things that came out of that all too brief session was that there is a very real lack of understanding of interdependency of nations and of industries in a globalized economy.
It is remarkable how little people who are involved in medical research, for instance, understand the potential for the results of the US election this coming week to have indirect, but highly material, impact on the funding of medical research.
Equally, researchers need to understand and appreciate the potential for there to be impact to research in Australia in the event of there being either a hung parliament in the next Australian election or in the event of a strong government that is Labour or a strong government that is Liberal.
Each of these, together with the impact of fiscal policy, will impact research funding. Similarly research funding will be impacted by the continuing rise of digital technology as it impacts universities and as online open courses erode the education / degree factory business model…
Scenarios give us at least one way of quite logically interpreting the future by taking a much keener interest in the present.