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This report uses the issues of climate change and genetic modification to explore four scenarios based on whether or not the world manages itself well and whether or not New Zealand manages itself well. These four scenarios illustrate why small countries have such a vested interest in international affairs.

The paper is the first report of Part II: Scenario Development, of Sustainable Future’s Project 2058. The aim of this report is to explore four possible futures for New Zealand in the year 2058, in order to help inform and develop a National Sustainable Development Strategy for this country.

This report builds on the global drivers identified in the research phase of the project (Part I), which will be discussed in more detail in an upcoming report, currently titled The State of New Zealand’s Future. These include 21 global drivers of change, including 14 ‘change agents’ and seven ‘wild cards’. Although change agents and wild cards do feed off each other, we believe that there exist primary change agents that tend to initiate a crisis or a chain of events. In contrast, we identified a second group that often produce change by responding to a primary change agent or wild card. We have called these secondary change agents because government, civil society and/or individuals, through careful consideration, might solve a crisis, minimise harm and/or improve long-term outcomes. However, the converse is equally true; reactive policy initiatives may do more harm than good.  

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