Monday, May 27, 2013

Scenario planning - a way of thinking

Scenario planning is a creative process of looking into the future to inform strategic planning. It is not a way to predict the future, but to be prepared for possible directions of the present (and maybe to avoid the mistakes of the past!). We live in a world that is constantly changing and therefore it is difficult to know how the future will be like to inform planning for education. What we can do however is to identify major trends that are likely to have a great impact on the wider context in which education is embedded. These trends should not be limited to those that are directly linked to education. Within a wider local, national and global ecosystem, there are political, environmental, social etc factors that have an effect on education, which we may not be able to identify if we look at scenario planning from a single perspective.

I find that scenario planning is not just a planning tool, but also a way of thinking that can make people accept the fact that we don’t know and we can’t control everything. However we can be prepared for alternative futures. I believe that it is a collaborative process, where individuals with different roles and perspectives come together and look into the future from different points of view. Through this workshop I am planning to further reflect on scenario planning in the context of primary/secondary education in New Zealand, perhaps with a little bit more focus in Christchurch, a city that is being rebuilt after two major earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, at a time where Ultra Fast Broadband in schools across the country is on its way.

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