The principal aim of the anticipation workshops is to explore the four WP2030 scenarios with the group and to reflect upon implications and possible actions. While scenarios are not intended to provide immediate advice for action they are very useful – especially in times of great uncertainty – for discussing options in order to be prepared for ‘several futures’. A further part of the workshop therefore involves reflecting on strategies and priorities for today.

The first national anticipation workshop based on the scenarios ‘Worker Participation 2030’ was organised in autumn 2010. The pilot workshop brought together about 20 works councillors, trade union officials and trainers from the Netherlands, complemented by some participants from European organisations.

Workshop elements

Getting acquainted with the Scenarios

The first part of the workshop is devoted to the exploration of the scenarios in order to become familiar with the different scenarios and ‘synchronising’ participants’ understanding of what was happening. Moreover, participants look for ‘possible early signs’ that are already discernible today and/or example stories for each of the scenarios.

What if? (PIM – Possible Impacts Matrix)

The next phase consists in reflecting in small groups and in the plenary on possible impacts of each scenario: What does this story mean for you/your organisation/your branch? What would be the impact if your environment were to behave/change in this way? Where do you see risks and dangers, where might there be opportunities? How might you/your organisation contribute to the outcomes of this scenario?

What could you do? (PAM – Possible Actions Matrix)

Following the analysis of possible impacts, the participants reflect on actions and strategies for each of the four scenarios: ­What could you do? Which instruments, measures, levers and strategies would fit the different scenarios? What would be the best strategy to enable you/your organisation to succeed in this scenario?

Being prepared for an uncertain future

The final step consists in making the link from the future(s) back to the present. Participants examine and discuss whether their own current strategies are prepared for the different futures envisioned in the scenarios. What could you/your organisation do to promote your preferred scenario?

'What I got out of this workshop'/'My opinion about working with scenario'

(Feedback from workshop participants)

‘New ideas: Motivation with regard to my work and the topic; how trade unions and workers’ organisations should change their role/actions.’

‘The usefulness of scenarios in strategy making in the short and long term and also in daily life.’

‘A more open mind about thinking about the future. Stop thinking only about day to day business.’

‘Stimulus to think about the changing role/desired development of works councils and unions.’

‘Broadening and stretching my mind.’

‘We are already in an uncertain future. Scenarios can provide us with a compass for orientation.’

‘A new experience.’

‘A lot of ideas and many things to think about.’

‘Scenarios are very useful for broadening one’s mindset.’

‘To take more of a bird’s eye view and see developments as a whole. Also, recognition on developing a path to new developments.’

‘It broadens the view and energises.’

‘This was the first time for me, but it was very interesting and very helpful for dealing with possible futures and possible developments under various conditions.’

‘I think scenarios are needed for coping with problems on a global basis.’

‘Should be used on an everyday basis.’

‘Provides encouragement to put everyday affairs on hold and reflect on what we are doing and where we should be going.’

‘It broadened my horizons and will lead to new ideas about the present to prepare me/us/our works council/our company for the future.’

‘Stimulates creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, therefore good for a realistic view on developments.’

‘Great, it provides a space in which to think about different possibilities.’