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Learning to grasp the future: a simulation tool

We often take decisions that affect our long-term future on the basis of present considerations, thinking very little about long-term changes. We are also asked periodically to make choices (e.g. in elections) that could shape society for a long time. Uncertainty about the future is always very high, however the future can be built to a large extent. How can we help people create a balanced and reasoned view of the future?

Developed by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), the Scenario Exploration System (SES) is an award-winning future simulation tool. It has already been used to make people reflect on future applications of nanotechnologies, EU food safety policies, EU-China cooperation in research and innovation, etc. Join this hands-on demonstration and learn how to create your own version of the game.


Laurent Bontoux
Foresight specialist
European Commission Joint Research Centre

Session legacy

More than 30 people joined us for a very dynamic hands-on session in which we demonstrated how everyone can make his/her own version of the Scenario Exploration System. The lively discussions and questions at the end of the session gave a sense of how engaged the participants became. We hope that the number of business cards distributed at the end was a sign of interest in follow up. In a time when the world seems to be changing so fast, I am looking forward to helping more people becoming proficient users of the Scenario Exploration System and engage in practical thinking about the long-term.

Session speakers

Laurent Bontoux
Foresight specialist
European Commission Joint Research Centre
Laurent works at the EU Policy Lab of the European Commission. He is a foresight practitioner and co-developer of the Scenario Exploration System very experienced in participatory leadership methods. He has been a key user of the SES for policy making and a major contributor to its adaptations and applications. His work related to the SES has been published in the Journal of Future Studies and the European Journal of Futures Research.
Frank Kupper
Associate Professor Science Communication & Public Engagement
Frank is a specialist in responsible research and innovation, developer of the overall stakeholder engagement process of the NANO2ALL project, and co-developer of the 'Future Technology' edition of the SES, together with Jantien Schuijer.
Epaminondas Christophilopoulos
Head of Foresight unit
Nondas is a foresight specialist, head of the foresight unit of the Praxi Network and of the Greek node of the Millenium Project, expert in participatory techniques. He is the creator of the 'China' edition of the SES and user of the SES in various contexts.
COO & Chief Futurist
United Kingdom
John is an award-winning author, designer, and futurist who organized, managed, and facilitated workshops and seminars, multi-stakeholder projects, and foresight gaming systems in over 30 countries. He is one of the original co-developers of the SES. His work has been published in Futures, The Journal of Futures Studies, Ctheory, Continent, and other academic and media outlets.
Junior Researcher Responsible Research and Innovation
Athena Institute (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
Jantien is a junior researcher and lecturer in Responsible Research and Innovation at the VU University. She contributed to the creation and follow-up of the stakeholder dialogue formats used in the NANO2ALL project, and was involved in the development of the 'Future Technology' edition of the SES.