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Scenarios Worker Participation 2030

The scenario project ‘Worker Participation 2030’ has a threefold aim:

1. To exchange views on the long-term prospects and changing contexts of worker participation in its various forms in Europe.

2. To develop various scenarios about possible futures in which worker participation structures and actors might have to operate.

3. To strengthen a culture of long-term thinking, broaden our ‘memories of the future’ and identify/reflect on possible future strategies for worker participation in the EU.

Worker participation 2030. Four scenarios.

This publication, edited jointly by ETUI and the Berlin-based Institute for Prospective Analysis (IPA), sets itself an audacious task: casting a long look forward into the future, namely the year 2030. Four alternative scenarios explore the long-term prospects and changing contexts of worker participation, in its various forms, in Europe. The stories incorporate broad developments in society, as well as the strategies and actions of people and organisations, first and foremost the actors involved in worker participation. Available in English, French and German (hard copy and free pdf download).

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ETUI »Anticipation Workshops« – Preparing for an Uncertain Future by Working with Scenarios

»It broadened my horizons and gave me new ideas about how to prepare our works council for the future.« With this statement a participant summarized his first experiences of working with the Worker Participation 2030 scenarios in one of the »Anticipation Workshops« organized by the ETUI. During these workshops, participants explore the four alternative futures of Worker Participation 2030, jointly reflect on their implications and exchange views on strategies and priorities for today. A great opportunity for creativity and out-of-the box thinking and the possibility to take more of a bird’s eye view and see developments as a whole.

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Scenario Facilitators Network


The network brings together facilitators for scenario training sessions in the context of worker participation. The network represents a forum for exchange and mutual support between people who work with scenarios. SCEN4WORK promotes and supports the realization of new scenario projects and generates material to be used in scenario trainings.

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The scenarios WP 2030 in a nutshell

‘Life goes on’, ‘The GRID’, ‘Al(l)one’ and ‘The lost cake’ tell different stories of possible futures for worker participation in Europe and how people might act within (quickly) changing contexts. Here we provide you with a brief overview of what happens in each the four scenarios.

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What are scenarios?

A scenario is the presentation of a possible future situation in narrative form. It is a story or an analysis of something that has yet to happen. Thinking in scenarios is innate: every day, we anticipate possible futures and prepare for them as best we can. We think up scenarios on personal issues, such as an upcoming job interview, mulling over all sorts of potential questions and answers, and we ponder over scenarios related to all-encompassing challenges, such as global warming or energy scarcity, perhaps wondering uneasily what the future might hold for our children.

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Why engaging in a scenario-building process?

Scenario-building has three main components: (i) acquiring orientation in situations of great uncertainty, (ii) developing several consistent scenarios and (iii) reflecting upon consequences and options for action derived from the scenarios.

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How to work with the scenarios WP2030?

The scenarios ‘Worker Participation 2030’ are presented in three forms, offering different ways of approaching the four worlds. Which one suits you best depends on specific purpose, time available but also personal preferences: the scenario summaries integrate the key developments and dynamics of each scenario, whereas the ‘full scenarios’ explain in more detail what happened and why. Finally, the ‘stories’ provide a more personal way of approaching the scenarios by listening to someone who lives in this future. The principal aim of the scenarios is to encourage people to join in discussions about what may come in the future, the implications of this and strategies for today to contribute to positive developments.

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Sustainability and Scenario building - The need to strengthen a culture of long-term thinking

The transition towards sustainability is – in its different dimensions – a key challenge faced by humankind today. And yet, although there is a largely shared consensus as regards the need to take up this challenge, the gap between intentions and actions has never been more startling. A major hurdle still on the path is that sustainability does not – or at least does not yet – hold sufficient appeal. In people’s minds it usually tends to be connected with ideas of waiving or prohibiting, with fears of higher costs, job losses or a potential reduction of personal freedom. One reason for this ‘image problem’ from which sustainability suffers is that we lack stories and pictures about the future. The new is hard to imagine and this reduces its attractiveness. There is a general preference for sticking with what is familiar because it has been handed down from the past.

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Worker participation 2030. Four scenarios.

Michael Stollt and Sascha Meinert (ed.)


Field manual - Scenario building

Sascha Meinert, Institute for Prospective Analy...