“Whenwillwe knowour financial systemisworking?” is one of the questions underlying Long
Finance’s goal to improve society’s understanding and use of finance over the long term. In contrast to
the short-termismthat defines today’s economic views, 40 years is only themediumtermfor the Long
40 years is however, beyondmost normal planning periods. Scenario planning can usefully be deployed
to try and answer questions about the future that cannot be answeredwith normal forecasting
techniques. It is therefore exciting for Long Finance and Financial Centre Futures to publish this paper
by Gill Ringland, Chief Executive Officer of SAMI Consulting and an expert in scenarios.
Gill creates four very plausible scenarios of howtheworld could develop over the next 40 years. The
first is a positionwherewe still value democracy, capitalismis still a dominant concept and the nation
state still dominates. The second is aworldwhich still has recognisable political and economic systems
but has adapted considerably to population and resource pressures.
The third scenario imagines aworldwhere the financial crisis has caused amelt-down inmanywestern
countries, budgets have been overloaded and general consumption has been severely restricted. The
result is a societal structure defined by ethnic and religious groups.
In Gill’s final scenario, globalisation has failed and democracy is thought to be unwieldy. Many city
states have replaced failed states and constantmobility between these states is seen as completely