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Stretch-thinking loops: a new technique for scenario planning


Brooks, B and Curnin, S, Stretch-thinking loops: a new technique for scenario planning, Risks, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy, 12, (1) pp. 110-124. ISSN 1944-4079 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 Policy Studies Organization

DOI: doi:10.1002/rhc3.12205


In crisis management, scenario planning is a necessity in our volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world. Strategic planners need to be able to imagine future environments even in the most uncertain conditions. The scale of potential scenarios and associated management suggests that those involved will require innovative planning techniques. To support innovation in strategic planning, we have combined the research on creativity, divergent thinking, and creative constraints to design a method called "Stretch‐Thinking Loops." This technique uses iterative thinking approaches that identify broad scenarios, the likely consequences, and the potential constraints, and then uses this information to identify new opportunities and innovations to support scenario planning. We report on the development of this technique in the context of crisis management and its application in a collaborative project with an Australian State Government that explored a series of post‐COVID‐19 recovery scenarios for a 12‐month time horizon. The proposed Stretch‐Thinking Loops are not just limited to crisis management but offer all organizations a structured method to enhance their capability to engage in divergent‐thinking for future scenario planning.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:stretch-thinking, creativity, scenario planning, COVID-19, disaster, crisis management
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Policy and administration
Research Field:Public administration
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Brooks, B (Associate Professor Benjamin Brooks)
UTAS Author:Curnin, S (Dr Steven Curnin)
ID Code:141358
Year Published:2021 (online first 2020)
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2020-10-16
Last Modified:2021-06-21

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