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Scenarios 2040

Our region, in 2040, could be like this...View the Scenarios 2040 trailer:

For more information on these public response workshops, click HERE.

Scenarios 2040

More vivid and dynamic than forecasting or visioning, scenarios are stories that describe plausible futures. Research based, scenarios rely on a comprehensive analysis of data and community perspectives to understand how the powerful driving forces that affect our world and the choices we make right now could affect our region’s future.

In 2009, the Center for Houston’s Future embarked upon Scenarios 2040, the largest public-interest, business-led, regional scenario project in the country.

Two scenarios were developed. They describe different worlds we might face in the year 2040, and will be used to generate wide public discussion to help individuals,organizations, businesses and government entities identify relevant opportunities and potential risks while exploring their options and responses to different potential futures. These scenarios will help us learn how to protect and nurture what we value, and achieve a workable balance between competitiveness and sustainability.

The Journey

Through retreats, learning journeys, interviews, workshops and meetings, our 30-member all-volunteer Scenario Building Team developed a thorough understanding of our region as it presently exists. Based on this “Picture of Now,” and an exploration of the factors that will have the greatest impact on the future, the team constructed two plausible stories - Playing to Win and Learning to Live. These scenarios describe distinctly different realities in which we might someday find ourselves living and working.

The scenarios were first introduced to a group of about 300 at our Scenarios 2040 Gala in October, 2011. Since then, we have presented to various groups in the region at public response workshops.

The scenarios were also shared with the region's media on March 22,2012 as we build greater awareness around the Scenarios and the issues they raise. An interactive web platform that allows and encourages a full range of stakeholders to engage with the scenarios will be developed later this year.

The Scenario Building Team

The Scenario Building Team was a diverse volunteer group from across the region comprised of architects, teachers, doctors, bankers, lawyers, social workers, students, artists, small business owners, scientists and planners, representing businesses, governments, universities and non-profit agencies. Over the last two years, they have steadily contributed more than 2000 hours of work.

The Scenario Building Team

Ovidio Barillas, HCC student
Carolyn Bates-Jackson, U.S. Vets Initiative
James Calaway, Calaway Interests
Sheryl Dacso, Seyfarth Shaw, LLP
Sasha Dela, Artist & co-owner of Skydive
Irma Diaz-Gonzalez, Employment & Training Centers, Inc.
LeTosha Gale, M.D., Zoe Life Wellness Center
Ayesha Ganguly, Center for the Healing of Racism
Robert Harriss, Houston Advanced Research Center, HARC
Lynne Humphries, Allen Boone Humphries Robinson LLP
Guy Robert Jackson, Chambers County Representative
Laura Jaramillo, Wells Fargo Bank
Michael Jhin, St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System
Harris ‘Shrub’ Kempner, Kempner Capital Management, Inc.
Raymond Lewis, UTMB School for Health Professions
Emily Smith Llinas, Montgomery County Health Department
Charles Mbacha, IQPlus Services LLC
Tracye McDaniel, formerly with the Greater Houston Partnership
Bill Neuhaus, Studio Red Architects
Neena Newberry, Newberry Executive Coaching & Consulting, LLC
Dennis Odell, Community Development, Liberty County
Immy Papadopoulos, Attorney
Mary Ruth Rhodenbaugh, former County Commissioner, Brazoria County
Graciela Saenz, Saenz & Associates, P.L.L.C
Jesse Saldivar, Shell Oil Company
Sr. Damien Marie Savino, University of St. Thomas
Scott Van Beck, Houston A+ Challenge
Margaret V. Robinson, MCV Consulting
Arti Vir, Appliance Desk
Chuck Wemple, Houston Galveston Area Council

Professional Assistance

Barbara Heinzen, a London-based strategist and scenario planner, facilitated the work of the scenario team.
Todd Gentzel, Chief Strategist and scenario planner at Houston-based Yaffe Deutser, developed, designed and produced the scenarios.
Related Research
List of Sources for Scenarios 2040
Scenarios 2040 Summary


Scenarios 2040 explores Houston's future
Shell Global Scenarios: "New Lenses on Future Cities"
Center for Houston's Future
701 Avenida de las Americas, Suite 900
Houston, TX 77010
Phone: 713.844.9303

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