RADICAL UNCERTAINTY CHALLENGES COMPANIES

“Acknowledging uncertainty is the first step to success”

Are trade wars the new normal? Who will control AI? Will China take the US role in politics and economics? To answer these questions amongst others, Nordic West Office, together with 16 prominent Nordic companies, has developed four Global Scenarios to describe plausible futures for 2021-2026.

Nordic West Office published four alternative scenarios for 2021-2026 in Helsinki on May 29. Scenarios help companies, organisations and societies to both prepare for the future, and also stress test their strategies.

According to Nordic West Office CEO, Risto E.J. Penttilä, “Turmoil in politics and economics will continue. Companies and countries need to be ready for changes, surprises and shocks. The best way is to use the scenarios method.”

The four scenarios for 2021-2026 are: Belt and Road which lengthens China’s march and examines how far it will take us; War-War picks up on how patriotism, populism and protectionism unify and divide within borders; Cyberworld imagines what technology can do for us on a global level, while lastly; Downshift focuses on the interplay of the new economy and changing values under conditions of lower growth, but higher hopes.

As a part of the scenarios analysis, Nordic West Office has been able to identify paths that could lead to the breakup of the EU, the political and economic collapse of China, or a tactical nuclear strike by North Korea. Conversely, there are also plausible paths leading to a breakthrough in quantum computing as well as market driven solutions for climate change mitigation.

Pekka Lundmark, CEO of Fortum, who participated in the scenarios project, says that the company uses scenario analysis as an integral part of their strategy work: “Fortum’s goal is to lead the change towards a cleaner world and optimal use of resources. Scenarios help us to test our thinking and make the right choices in an operating environment that is changing with a constantly accelerating speed.”

Elina Björklund, CEO of Reima, another company that was involved in the scenario project, agrees with Lundmark: “International scenarios analysis is an essential part of how Reima’s leadership team operates. No company is protected from changes in consumer behaviour or technology. Therefore, you need to be able to turn threats into possibilities.”

More information on the four Global Scenarios can be found here.

Contacts:

Risto E.J. Penttilä, CEO + 358 50 366 2395 / risto.penttila@nordicwestoffice.com
Susanna Eskola, Senior Advisor + 358 50 3640 844 / susanna.eskola@nordicwestoffice.com

Nordic West Office is a global affairs consultancy, a pan-Nordic think tank and a gateway to the US markets. We believe that New Nordic companies and countries can help lead the way to a more enlightened market economy.

The following companies participated in the Global Scenarios Project: Accenture, Barona, Forenom, Finnair, Fortum, Ilmarinen, Konecranes, Metsä Group, Mirka, Nokian Tyres, Outokumpu, Reima, Solidium, Taaleri, UPM ja Wärtsilä. The Project was realised in close co-operation with Nordic West Office’s partners: Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, Oxford Analytica and Miltton. The Scenarios were published in Finland, together with Business Finland and Finland Chamber of Commerce.

Maria Vaismaa