European Futures

European Futures

Five Possible Scenarios for 2010

Gilles Bertrand, Anna Michalski and Lucio R. Pench

This book is an innovative and highly original exercise in scenario building, the aim of which is to investigate the future of Europe. The scenarios investigated by the authors include ‘triumphant markets’, ‘turbulent neighbourhoods’, ‘the hundred flowers’, ‘shared responsibilities’ and ‘creative societies’. These are five coherent and thought-provoking images of Europe in 2010. Rather than present a definitive picture of the future of Europe, the authors highlight the range of possible futures, and the factors and actors that are likely to shape them. Written in a narrative style, the scenarios are grounded in a rigorous analysis of the main trends affecting Europe’s future, including demography, technology, globalisation and post-modernity.

Chapter 7: The Scenarios at a Glance (Key Drivers)

Gilles Bertrand, Anna Michalski and Lucio R. Pench

Subjects: politics and public policy, european politics and policy

Extract

This section presents a selection of variables that were considered in writing each of the scenarios (see also the section on methodology, How We Built the Scenarios). For each variable a succinct description is provided, characterizing its behaviour in a given scenario. Because they interrelate across the different scenarios, the variables receive the name of ‘key drivers’. To capture the interrelations, the scenarios and the key drivers are presented in a matrix format (Figure 7.1). Read vertically, the matrix describes the scenarios through the key drivers; read horizontally, it describes the key drivers through the scenarios. The horizontal reading is particularly interesting, as it allows the reader to appreciate the similarities and the dissimilarities across the scenarios on a number of important points. For this reason, the analysis follows the horizontal reading, highlighting how the key drivers behave in the different scenarios. TECHNOLOGY/WORK ORGANIZATION Two scenarios, Triumphant Markets and Shared Responsibilities, are characterized by trend acceleration in productivity growth as new technologies, especially in the field of information and communication, realize their potential in full. The two scenarios differ fundamentally, however, as to the hypothesis underlying the successful exploitation of the new technologies. In Triumphant Markets, this occurs through the unleashing of the forces of competition, whereas the guiding idea of Shared Responsibilities is that the new technologies will fulfil their promise only if a process of social apprenticeship is properly encouraged. The other scenarios are characterized by a slight slowdown of growth, which is broadly consistent with the performance...

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