• "Are environmental science students developing the mindsets and obtaining the tools needed to help address the considerable challenges posed by the 21st century? Today's major environmental issues are characterized by high-stakes decisions and high levels of uncertainty. Although traditional scientific approaches are valuable, contemporary environmental issues also require new tools and new ways of thinking. We provide an example of how such new, or “post-normal”, approaches have been taught at the graduate level, through practical application of scenario planning. Surveyed students reported that they found the scenario planning course highly stimulating, thought-provoking, and inspiring. Key learning points included recognizing the need for multiple points of view when considering complex environmental issues, and better appreciating the pervasiveness of uncertainty. Collaborating with non-academic stakeholders was also particularly helpful."
  • Why did Shell—renowned for its scenario planning—find itself so badly adrift with the Brent Spar? And why, later in 1995, was it wrong-footed again in Nigeria? The answers reflect deep currents already clear to the company's scenario writers in the 1980s, but retaining their ability to surprise. The authors conclude that Shell's scenarios have been ‘individualist’, ‘hierarchist’ or some combination of the two; none have adopted an ‘egalitarian perspective’. They also suggest that the ‘Values Shift’ scenario—developed for European Partners for the Environment—may hold clues to future shifts in business strategy.
  • "By 2050, Europe will be unrecognizable. Instead of romantic cafes, Paris's Boulevard Saint-Germain will be lined with halal butcheries and hookah bars; the street signs in Berlin will be written in Turkish. School-children from Oslo to Naples will read Quranic verses in class, and women will be veiled. At least, that's what the authors of the strange new genre of "Eurabia" literature want you to believe."
  • On camera phones. "[W]hat are all these images we are sending? The majority are, frankly, worthless, and often taken in socially unacceptable circumstances…. [T]he Leeds-based sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, wrote in his book Liquid Love that, in a modern world in which those purportedly fixed and durable ties of family, class, religion, marriage have melted away, we look for something else to hold us together. Hence, no doubt, the rise of social networking sites – and hence, too, the feverish snapping with camera-phones to take images that can validate our existence to our Twitter followers, our speed-dial intimates, our online "friends". It's a new Cartesian cogito: I photograph, therefore I am (and don't my uploaded images glam up my Facebook profile a treat?)."