Why scenarios?

Since Clem Sunter and his ground breaking High Road - Low Road scenario planning work of the 1980s South Africa has been at the forefront of global scenario planning efforts. In a volatile economic, policy, and political climate scenarios allow you to anticipate the long term consequences of current events with a unique degree of precision. If you use scenarios effectively then nothing should happen in a future South Africa that takes you by surprise. You will safely anticipate and navigate around political and economic shocks while identifying and taking advantage of South Africa's many opportunities.

 Events such as the 9/11 attacks, 2009 global financial crisis, Arab Spring, Brexit, and election of Donald Trump continue to prove that traditional forecasting methods leave decision makers dangerously exposed to unanticipated events. In 2017 the New York Times reported that the Global Economic Policy Uncertainty Index had reached a record high. Factor in South Africa's volatile economic and political climate and the degree of uncertainty confronting South African decision makers is unparalleled. The purpose of scenarios is to cut through that uncertainty and provide advance warning of future political and economic shifts. Unlike many forecasting methods robust sets of scenarios put previously unanticipated events and their consequences onto the radars of strategic planners while equipping those planners with the indicators to know which of the scenarios will materialise. Good scenarios give decision makers sufficient advance warning of unanticipated political and economic shifts to introduce responses that capitalise on positive future events and navigate effectively around negative ones.

The methodology used in the Time Traveller scenarios meshed proven scenario planning methods with complex systems theory to deliver an approach uniquely able to overcome the uncertainty inherent to South Africa's political and economic climate.  

Uses for the scenarios

Scenarios are used in a variety of ways:

  • To develop a detailed 3, 12, 36, and 120 month understanding of how economic, social, policy, and political trends will change.
  • To develop risk management and aversion strategies and contingency plans.
  • To improve the investment and strategic intelligence capacity of an organisation.
  • To test existing strategic, marketing, and investment plans for robustness.
  • As an independent view against which to 'war-game' new investment decisions.
  • To inform clients about the current macro-economic and political environment and how that environment may change.
  • To develop advocacy and lobbying strategies.
  • As a tool for lawmakers, political leaders, and policy advisors to 'wind-tunnel' the likely future effects of a new law or policy.
  • To help ordinary people make informed decisions about how to secure the best possible future for their families.