The Rome Scenarios

The Rome Scenarios took shape in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. The city was in shock. Heavy fortification surrounded the US Embassy and even restaurants closed.

Updated for the fourth time from first principles, the scenarios explore three alternative futures and pathways to 2050. Each one starts with the possible extreme short-term outcomes to the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic has reset national, global and sector prospects, creating new initial conditions that will shape the long-term future.

‘Dark Ages’, ‘Walled Gardens’ and ‘Renaissance’ form an integrated strategic framework—a package that also includes active monitoring of weak signals and likely wild card events.

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The Rome Scenarios Menu

Title: Imagine the World to 2050
Approx. Reading Time: 5 minutes
Author: Peter Kingsley

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The Rome Scenarios

Imagine the World to 2050

The Rome Scenarios, now updated, range from the chaos of ‘Dark Ages’ to ‘Walled Gardens’ – a world of enlightened and inclusive nationalism. ‘Renaissance’ describes a multi-lateral vision of a world of mutual understanding that many people might like to create for future generations.

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Title: Walled Gardens: towards 2050
Approx. Reading Time: 39 minutes
Author: Simon Tilford, Peter Kingsley

The Rome Scenarios

Walled Gardens: towards 2050

January 2050. Time to look back. Survey a world of patchwork, environmentally secure post-industrial walled gardens. Secure borders for some, mass-migration and survival conditions for others. The climate and biosphere crises had global causes, but hyper-local solutions. The long political backlash against globalisation shaped the emergence of isolationism, protectionism and state power. What remains of trade is in ideas: digital, virtual, fragmented.

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Title: Renaissance: towards 2050
Approx. Reading Time: 32 minutes
Author: Peter Kingsley, Simon Tilford

The Rome Scenarios

Renaissance: towards 2050

Picture this: January 2050. The time to look back—to 2025, to the time when after years of crisis, the focus on recovery and regeneration of the natural world gained momentum. To a time that marked the beginning of mass-scale global action to reverse the decades of industrial destruction and the ecological disasters that followed. In just one generation, the world’s geostrategic and environmental landscape is now transformed.

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Title: Dark Ages: towards 2050
Approx. Reading Time: 39 minutes
Author: Simon Tilford, Peter Kingsley

The Rome Scenarios

Dark Ages: towards 2050

Scenarios are models. They describe alternative possible futures. At their best, they explore extremes, because history tells us one thing: failure of imagination is a primary source of risk and catastrophic failure. In this update of Dark Ages, one of our reference scenarios, we explore a descent into chaos, a story of climate and biosphere collapse, state failures, mass migration, and perpetual wars. Too little, too late. Like Orwell’s 1984, it serves as a warning, not a prediction. This story has momentum. Is this the world we want?

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