Thinking About the Future: Economic Aspects

Emilio Gerelli
Content Type
Working Paper
European Union Studies Center
Building scenarios of the future has been defined "the art of thinking the unthinkable". And in fact the successful author of scenarios must be able to combine both an open and creative mind, and analytical capabilities to envisage different and sometimes counterintuitive combinations of actors, factors and trends. Our author is often also "heroic", since he knows that most probably he will be disproved by facts. However it is worth bravely accepting the challenge of uncertainty, since "illustrating the future by means of scenarios is a way to overcome human beings' resistance to change. Scenarios can thus open mental horizons to allow the individual to accept and understand change, and so be able to shape the world. Scenarios may help in seizing new opportunities ahead as well as avoiding undesirable effects of misconceived actions". In this connection a historian notes: "it is desirable, possible and even within certain limits necessary to forecast our future…However the process of forecasting must be based necessarily on the knowledge of the past".
Economics, Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
Political Geography
United States