South Africa: Moving South Africa From VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) to Vuka


What is evident is that if our political class declares something to be true, or possible, then true and possible it is. We can fly near the sun, just do so at night. The rand may fall, we can pick it up.

Newlyweds love to honeymoon at special places, with latter-day survivors wont to pilgrimage back to the site of their nuptial joys. Starting late 1991, the newlyweds of our detente gathered, honeymoon-style, at Mont Fleur near Franschhoek, to foresight scenarios for the new South Africa. With the benefit of 25 years of hindsight, it is time to check in again at Mont Fleur to reflect on the scenarios, and perhaps rethink.

Scenarios are valuable tools for enabling change. To this end, they must be plausible, defensible, and implementable visions of our VUCA world with its volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Digitally speaking, we live in interesting times.

Guided by facilitator Adam Kahane, with support from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and Shell, the newlyweds (including Trevor Manuel, Saki Macozoma, Vivian Taylor, Christo Wiese, Dorothy Boesak, Johann Liebenberg and Tito Mboweni) crafted four scenarios themed on feathered things: Ostrich; Lame Duck; Flight of the Flamingos; Icarus. Happily, a cooked goose was...

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