The NYU Center for Global Affairs Scenarios Initiative is a mediated workshop series designed to produce cross-disciplinary, forward-looking thinking on countries and issues critical to U.S. national interest. By gathering experts from diverse areas of expertise and nationalities to participate in scenario-building workshops, the Initiative aims to raise the quality of U.S. foreign policy by improving policymakers’ understanding of and reaction to change. The Initiative’s most recent workshops focused on China, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and Pakistan.

Funding for these workshops has been provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The Scenarios Initiative is under the direction of Professor Michael F. Oppenheimer.

Alternate scenarios are designed to challenge the mindsets policymakers bring into policy debates by presenting alternative narratives that capture less conventional, but plausible, views of the future. By fostering imaginative thinking about the future, based on acute observation of existing potential seeds of change, they serve to expose alternate paths inherent in the present, sharpen debate about prevailing trends, and reveal the limited shelf life of extant conventional wisdom about the future and America’s role in it. More…

Current Reports
To date, the CGA Scenarios Initiative has hosted six workshops. The first, in 2007, imagined the future of Iraq after a substantial drawdown of U.S. forces in 2010. The second, in 2008, examined the future of Iran and its relationship with other Middle East actors. The third, in 2009 presented alternative trajectories that China might follow out to 2020, as it deals with a wide range of domestic challenges. In 2010, two additional workshops built scenarios for the futures of Russia and Turkey. The latest, in April 2011 built scenarios for the future of Pakistan.

Download current reports:
Iraq Post-2010
Iran 2015
China 2020
Russia 2020
Turkey 2020
Ukraine 2020
Pakistan 2020

Michael F. Oppenheimer
Michael Oppenheimer, Clinical Associate Professor at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs, has provided research, consulting, and policy advice to U.S. foreign policymakers and intelligence communities through scenario-building for nearly 40 years. Professor Oppenheimer mediated CGA’s workshops on Iraq, Iran, and China, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and Pakistan and plans to lead future workshops.  More…

The Carnegie Corporation
Funding for the workshops on China, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and Pakistan is provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote “the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding,” the Carnegie Corporation seeks to carry out Carnegie’s vision of philanthropy, which he said should aim “to do real and permanent good in this world.” Its International Program supports a diverse set of public policy initiatives with the objective of deepening the international engagement of American expert and policy communities and encouraging fresh perspectives on U.S. foreign policy. More…

Scenarios Initiative Releases Turkey 2020 and Ukraine 2020…
Carnegie Corporation of New York Awards Additional Grant…
NYU Center for Global Affairs “Russia 2020” Report…
Reading Crystal Balls in Foreign Policy
NYU CGA Releases Scenarios Report on the Future of Chinese Government and Policy
Carnegie Grant Awarded to SCPS for Innovative Scenarios Project
The Center for Global Affairs Scenarios Initiative Wins Carnegie Grant
SCPS Awarded Carnegie Grant for Scenarios Initiative
Foreign Policy Scholars Visualize Future Iran Scenarios
New NYU Paper on Iraq’s Future: Dictatorship, Civil War, or Regional Conflict?
Envisioning Iraq in 2010: Experts Weigh Scenarios for the Troubled Country

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