Foreign affairs agencies of the US federal government saw a need to devise a shared set of strategic touchstones to align their missions in the years to come. Before that could happen agencies holding quite different portfolios needed a common understanding of the uncertainties likely to confront America in the next two decades.

CI partnered with Futures Strategy Group and Booz Allen Hamilton in applying a wholly different approach to scenario planning, one focused not on placing bets on likely futures but on devising strategies strong enough to adapt in an unpredictable world.

The work began with intensive interviews of more than 200 experts—bankers, theologians, rocket scientists, generals, epidemiologists. Their insights were distilled into multiple possible "worlds" that participants in subsequent workshops—drawn from in and out of government—were asked to inhabit. CI helped lead these workshops in structured free association, capturing the expert perspectives of participants, drawing out the dominant themes and developing a list of recommendations—a compelling "serious game" that originated forceful tactical supports for strategy suited to an uncertain age.

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