Environmental Scenario Planning

Marstel-Day’s Environmental Scenario Planning services assist our clients in building their understanding of how the world’s increasing environmental complexity could affect their objectives, strategies, decision making, and, ultimately, bottom lines. Marstel-Day’s focused Environmental Scenario Planning fills a special need for our clients, providing both advanced environmental knowledge and extensive experience in strategic scenario development for global clients.

Environmental Scenario Planning helps our clients to explore the question “what if this or that happened?” in a variety of different ways, with the objective of uncovering as many potential answers as possible.

Clients may explore the dynamics of particularly compelling Environmental Scenarios through Marstel-Day’s Environmental Game capability.

Environmental Scenarios draw heavily on increasingly powerful and complex environmental phenomena as the basis of their narratives. Predetermined environmental elements—climate change, for example—are likely to weigh more heavily on the direction and outcome of the scenario than one might find in the typical strategic scenario. The “drivers” of the Environmental Scenario—for example, extreme weather events, dwindling or compromised resources, or population movements—are usually both causes and effects of scenario development. The Environmental Scenario is often heavy with critical uncertainties—if this happened, things might unfold this way, but if that happened, things would go in a different direction. Moreover, the Environmental Scenario often harbors surprises, or “wildcards” unimaginable in other scenario contexts.

With its Environmental Scenario Planning, Marstel Day works with clients to create narratives of plausible alternative futures that can inform their strategies and operational planning. The process seeks to answer elemental questions:

  • What alternative environmental futures can we imagine, and what could happen to bring them about?
  • What plausibly might lie on the pathways into these futures? What should we pay attention to?
  • Who are the important actors or stakeholders—e.g., countries; states; cities with environmental strategies and regulations; corporations that see these strategies and regulations as impeding their business interests; and civil society environmental groups that mobilize opinion to meet popular environmental objectives.
  • Where could conflict or cooperation occur along the pathways? Where could the interests and actions of different actors converge or collide with other forces, trends, attitudes, and influences?
  • Where are the big gaps in our knowledge? What do we need to know?