A reflection on the mass production of scenarios in response to COVID-19

George Cairns, George Wright

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In this short paper, we reflect on the recent accumulation of scenarios that have been developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Will they be of use to worried individuals and organizations? Or, are they artifacts of the very recent past? We conclude that these quickly-produced scenarios are not embedded in the realities of affected communities and that the scenario development process should be enhanced to either involve power-holding stakeholders or, more straightforwardly, to activate local consideration of how the affected community might/ might not/ wish to react to localised dilemmas. Both enhancements will provide action-orientated insights, beyond that of simply appreciating possible global/regional futures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFutures & Foresight Science
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 May 2020


  • scenarios
  • local agency
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • scenario planning
  • sustainable communities

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