Scenario Forecasting

By Andrew Shoesmith

Outward Bound, like most organisations, has been extremely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. 

However, along with our international affiliates, we have been able to look at a number of adaptations and strategies organisations like ours can make in an extremely ambiguous time.  It’s been very interesting because ALL Outward Bound operations (in over 35 countries around the world) have closed because of various forms of lock-down.  But, timing and practicalities are all different, which has given some of the “late responders” to the crisis (like us) some insight into what phasing out of lockdown may look like. There are some amazing people working tirelessly to get the usual Outward Bound Programmes back in business, but we certainly don’t have all the answers – yet!

Some centers are talking about “Virtual Outward Bound courses”… that will be interesting; strikes me as an oxymoron?

Closer to home Outward Bound Zimbabwe had obviously also had to stop all our usual wilderness programmes and adventucation activities.  We have been cogitating and frustrating about how we will evolve out of this crisis.  One programme adaptation we have initially set up to help organisations is a Scenario Forecasting Workshop (requires one full working day for a forecasting committee of ideally eight to twelve people).  I have attached some information about what scenarios are, and when to use scenario forecasting; if you get to bottom of the decision tree and the answer is yes – this will probably help you!

We have run a couple of these already – with some very interesting outcomes (scenarios) that have given our clients a deeper sense of balance, context and perspective in these surreal times for their business or industry.  We would now like to offer this to the broader business community.

Andrew Shoesmith

CEO – Outward Bound Zimbabwe

E-mail /

Tel +263 772 601 069 / +263 733 922 188 / Skype squash69


To Serve, to strive, and not to yield.

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