Oxford University Press
April 11, 2002
In Creating Better Futures, James A. Ogilvy presents a new vision of how the world is changing – and how it can be change for the better. Ogilvy argues that self-defined communities, rather than individuals or governments, become the primary agents for social change. Towns, professional associations, and interest groups of all kinds shape the future in all the ways that matter most, from schools to hospitals to urban development.
The key to effective change is scenario planning – a process that draws on groups of people, both lay and expert, to draft narratives that spell out possible futures, some to avoid, some inspiring hope. Scenario planning has revolutionized both public and private planning, leading to everything from the diverse product lines that have revived the auto industry, to a timely decision by the State of Colorado to avoid pouring millions into a an oil-shale industry that never materialized. But never before has anyone proposed that it be taken up by society as a whole.
Drawing on years of experience in both academia and the private sector, where he developed both a keen sense of how businesses work best and an abiding passion for changing the world, James Ogilvy provides the tools we need to create better communities: better health, better education, better lives.
James A. Ogilvy is a co-founder of Global Business Network, a member of the Monitor Group of Companies. He helped develop the technique of scenario planning, which has become an integral part of strategic thinking in both business and government. Prior to his career in consulting, Dr. Ogilvy taught philosophy at Yale University. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.