Scenarios about Austrian security policy

The administration for security policy is the security- and defense political advisory body for the Austrian federal minister for national defense and sports, the chief of general military staff and other departments of the ministry. The administration for security policy accompanies the issues of the National Security Council as well as the contribution of the federal ministry for national defense and sports concerning the general governmental safety precautions.  The head of the department for security policy, the director of defense, functions as a consulter for the Federal Ministry for immediate right of recitation and nomination in terms of questions of defense, is an advisory member in National Security Council and a member in the council for questions concerning the Austrian integration politics and foreign affairs.

In summer 2011, the administration for security policy received the order to demonstrate all different defense political handling actions of the military, under consideration of all relevant department offices. It quickly became evident, that significant insecurities concerning the external developments as well as concerning its own handling actions prevail. Therefore the Scenario-ManagementTM was used to provide an approach to strategic advancement, which includes such insecurities. Three different project stages were passed:

Development of profile variants (stage 1)

Development of external scenarios (stage 2)

Evaluation of profile variants (stage 3)

After the process of the development and evaluation of the defense political profile variants was successfully passed, a discussion about the implementation of a continuous strategic management process follows.  Therefore we used a model. A further project description can be found here.

 

 

 The society and the demographic change – our social state in 2030

The future of the social state is one of the main corporate topics, also in Germany. For a considerable time, this topic is discussed and thought about – in the more narrow political sense as well as in academic areas and in a broad political public. In June 2004, in order to approach the question of the existence and form of a societal and political imagination concerning the future of a social state, the Bertelsmann foundation, the Heinz Nixdorf foundation as well as the Ludwig Erhard foundation invited more than thirty politicians from the Bundestag and state parliaments to a jointly organized scenario conference in Dresden.

The aim of the scenario conference “young politic for an ageing society – Our social state in 2030” was to create future images of how our social state could and should look like in 2030. This future image should be cross-partied accepted by all participants. As a tool and method for evaluating and structuring such a future image, the Scenario-Management was applied. In the process 19 key factors were identified and thought ahead for four possible development paths. By combining these future projections, all in all six scenarios evolved:

 

 
  • The overcharged society in a downward-spiral  (Scenario 1)
  • The dynamic welfare state as a safe haven  (Scenario 2)
  • The dynamic sustainable bourgeois society  (Scenario 3)
  • The weak state with strong companies and strong family relation (Scenario 4)
  • The vernissage society (Scenario 5)
  • The ponderous society (Scenario 6)
 

These six scenarios generate the possibility space, which was visualized in a future space mapping.  During the conference the participants evaluated the scenarios, whereas the today’s social state is located between scenario 1 and scenario 2 – however with a distinct tendency towards scenario 1. With regard to the development dynamics, the optimists hoped that the future development might stabilize the today’s social state moving to a dynamic welfare state, whereas the pessimists feared a further slide of the German social model into a permanent overextension, ending in a growing downward- spiral.

Most of the participants expected a development containing more self- responsibility and less state. This is illustrated by the trend arrow which identifies the vernissage society (scenario 5) as the most possible scenario, in which the increase of individual liberty leads to a society of senile egoists, whose prosperity and stability is threatened by the non-dealing with the demographic challenges.

However – and this might be the most remarkable result of the conference – all participants came to a consensus concerning the desired future of the social state: The dynamic bourgeois society reflects the desired image of the German social state in 2030. The participants of the congress subsequently analyzed the four main topics social security, economy and finance, education and innovation as well as the future of the councils in order to illuminate the nature and characteristics of the jointly depicted future of a dynamic sustainable society. They furthermore discussed about how to draw the political way until they have reached the goals.

Further information regarding the results of the scenario conference can be found in: Avenarius, Moritz / Hackenberg, Helga / Vehrkamp, Robert B. / Witte, Kirsten: Der Sozialstaat im demographischen Wandel -  Ergebnisse einer Szenario-Konferenz zur Zukunft des Sozialstaates in: Stephan A. Jansen, Birger P. Priddat, Nico Stehr (Hrsg.):Demographie - Bewegungen einer Gesellschaft im Ruhestand; VS VERLAG FÜR SOZIALWISSENSCHAFTEN, November 2005, S. 145-184

 

Visions of commercial marketing

ScMI supported the ‚EHI Retail Institute’ in a cross-industry scenario project acting as a methodical companion. In collaboration with representatives of the trading-, the brand product-, IT and advertising industry as well as with representatives from media, different visions of commercial marketing in 2015 were developed.

The main underlying question beyond the project was: How does the trade remain capable of making the right future decisions for the customer in times of an increasing complex world of media, the less foreseeable consumer behavior and the increasing influence of technology? Consequently, the aim of this project was to develop alternative future images of the commercial marketing and the commercial environment in 2015.

Five scenarios result from the process, which describe commercial marketing in 2015:

 

  • Scenario I: Cheap? That’s what I want. According to this thinking the customer searches for information
  • Scenario II: Be prepared – the passion for consumption is roused via all channels. The actual seduction takes place at the POS
  • Scenario III:  Smart Shoppers buy bargain – The Smart Shopper receives a wealth of information which find their way to the customer via extensive networking of media
  • Scenario IV: Everything but ordinary – tailored products are sold with tailored communication
  • Scenario V: Something you can trust on – Common values is what unites the user and the trade. One buys where one feels home.

 The future in payment transactions in SEPA-area

Since the beginning of 2008, a unified Euro payment transaction space was implemented with SEPA, the single euro payment area. Thanks to SEPA, there is no longer a differentiation between national and cross-border payments.  This enables making euro payments with consistent payment instruments. Although SEPA especially poses operative questions, innovative traders and service provider think ahead of the introduction stage:  Which consequences does SEPA have for the German direct debit procedures? In which direction will the value chain change – and which actors will dominate the future market? How will the trade react to these changes?

Due to these various questions, the EHI retail dealt with the future developments of the European payment transactions in the context of a scenario project. Therefore a heterogeneous scenario team was composed, consisting of commercial enterprises as Metro, Plus, Obi and Dm as well as of leading service provider as MasterCard, Visa and easycash. The scenario development was supported and methodical accompanied by the ScMI, which has already collaborated with EHI about the future of the trade communication.

On the 6th of May, the results of this project were presented to almost 500 participants of the EHI cards congress– which is the biggest event in payment media in Europe. Marco Atzberger (EHI Retail Institute), Detlev Anders (Strauss Innovation) and Katrin Schweisfurth (dm-drogerie market GmbH&Co.KG) forged a bridge from bank-driven to trade-driven future images and did not disregard rather unlikely developments as a return to cash payments. Dr. Alexander Fink from the ScMI AG complemented the discussion with scenarios and a ‘map of the future’ – in which eight future images were linked to each other.

The results will be published in detail in a study of the EHI institute.

 

 

Sport development in the area of educational structural change

With more than 83000 inhabitants, the city of Minden is a cultural as well as administration and economic center for the county Minden-Lübbecke. Of the 83000 inhabitants, almost 26000 partake in some form of sporting activity at one of the 136 different sport clubs available, an organizational rate of 32.3%. In order to reflect the sports development plan for Minden, the city council launched a scenario project which was presented at an event on the 23rd of June.

A central change which should be examined at the sports development is the educational structural change. Currently, 18 out of 20 schools within the city already have an all-day-program, according to the person responsible, Philipp Koch. As a result, sports halls are occupied until late afternoon and students have little time to partake in sporting activities outside of the school environment. “The different educational environment is the central starting point for the future sports environment”, states Koch, while further questioning: “Who knows whether there will still be clubs in 2020?”

In order to recognize and tackle these issues in a timely manner, a project shall be initiated which consists of a core team, a scenario team and an external team. During this project, external scenarios shall be described and options for future actions developed in the form of strategic scenarios, eventually leading to both future perspectives being linked.
 

 

The future of the utility car market

The market of utility cars is one of the winning parties from the globalization process. Nevertheless, the industry sees itself strongly affected by the latest financial and economic crisis. The traded growth rates, especially those for India, China and Eastern Europe are now cleared off by market slumps. At the same time there is a huge increase of consolidation processes in the haulage and transport industry of the developed regions.


The life cycle of a vehicle in the utility car market nowadays stretches from 10 to 15 years, whilst the underlying vehicle concept remains. When it comes to the strategic alignment and product planning it is therefore necessary to think ahead of customer requirements, market developments and different operating conditions in the long run.

In the context of the circle‚ research and innovation from IHK Heilbronn-Franken, the idea of encouraging a scenario project for the utility car industry was discussed. Six well-known companies within the automotive industry; KS Kolbenschmidt, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge, Knorr-Bremse, ZF Friedrichshafen, Robert Bosch and MAGNA Powertrain, congregated and started this collaborative project.  During the project, extensive scenarios for the whole utility car market as well as partial scenarios for busses and trucks were created, evolved and linked.

 

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