Summary of What the Future Holds

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What the Future Holds book summary
Scenario plans: Crystal balls of the 21st century?


7 Overall

6 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


You might expect that a book edited by professors of economics at Harvard and the London School of Economics would come in on the dry side. Nothing could be further from the truth with regard to What the Future Holds, a compelling compilation of possible future scenarios written by experts in population, climate, energy, labor, government, monetary policy and information. The enlightening details about scenario planning are an added bonus that believes will be especially relevant to any business or government decision makers.

In this summary, you will learn

  • The fundamental principles of scenario planning;
  • How scenario planning can help in developing rational strategies for business and government, and
  • Predictions from experts in a variety of fields concerning possible future scenarios.


Navigating New Knowledge
The art of future forecasting is in its infancy. Serious errors are made continually, as in 1980, when IBM predicted an annual market of about 300,000 personal computers and brought in Bill Gates to handle the software and Intel to provide the chips.
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About the Authors

Richard N. Cooper is a professor of International Economics at Harvard University and the author of Economic Stabilization and Debt in Developing Countries. Richard Layard is Director of the Center for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics. He is the co-author of East-West Migration and co-editor of The Fight Against Unemployment.

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