Encountering future uncertainties through scenario technology

Limor Samimian-Darash*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As a social technology, the scenario differs from other techniques usually associated with managing future uncertainties. These draw mainly on the construct of risk and the related notion of risk management – that is, calculation and evaluation based on knowledge of past events, leading to possible control, prevention or prediction of unknowable futures. Scenarios create stories of the future neither to translate them into assessed possibilities nor to predict it in advance, but rather to destabilize perceived futures and to mitigate overreliance on existing knowledge and models when addressing the unknown future. This article addresses three questions through ethnographic insights: firstly, why do organizations create scenarios and use this technology? Secondly, does deliberately creating crisis events and tracking their cascades and responses help organizations encounter the future? Thirdly, can organizations prepare for extreme uncertainty or polycrisis, and could scenarios help resolve such complexity?.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)27-29
Number of pages3
JournalAnthropology Today
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Anthropology Today published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal Anthropological Institute.


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