A group of leading South Australian businesses have banded together to bring world renowned scenario planner, Clem Sunter, to Adelaide to help plot the future of South Australia.
Mr Sunter’s work has been credited with playing a major role in the release of Nelson Mandela and also saw him write a letter to President George W. Bush predicting the threat of a massive terrorist attack on a major American city just six months before 9/11.
Mr Sunter is in Adelaide today on invitation from The Working Journey, a niche consultancy supporting many South Australian businesses in their longer term strategies. He is running an intensive two day workshop with South Australian business leaders from RAA, Fyfe, National Pharmacies, Life Care, Department of Premier and Cabinet and the City of Playford, to name a few.
Mr Sunter said that while the future is unpredictable, the key is to prepare for anything the future can throw at you, be it a shift in economies or markets, a breakthrough in technology, a political revolution or a natural disaster.
“Scenario planning is a disciplined process of identifying, and then quantifying, opportunities to make better informed decisions for a more sustainable and rewarding future. This can work for businesses, nations, or in this case, the state of South Australia.
“The focus is on encouraging long term thinking as a normal practice, rather than something difficult and rare.
“The two day workshop will create a number of possible scenarios for South Australia over the next 25 plus years. We will identify markers, or flags, which will need to be monitored, post the workshop to see which scenarios are unfolding,” said Mr Sunter.
“This will ensure we know in advance what adaptations South Australian leaders will need to make if any of these possible futures we discuss emerge as reality.”
Workshop participant, RAA General Manager, Penny Gale said the opportunity to work with Clem Sunter will be a great benefit to the future of the state.
“South Australia is a state in transition. We’re experiencing the closure of our automotive industry, the future of our shipbuilding industry is in threat and unemployment is at a high.
“The answer to how South Australia can be a more prosperous state is as much the responsibility of the private and not- for-profit sector as it is government. South Australian leaders need to think carefully about the state’s future, how we are going to be competitive, how we are we going to offer employment and sustainable opportunities for people in our state,” said Ms Gale.
The workshops end today, with one already having been yesterday and with plans to run the workshop in a number of states next year building up to a National event.