Turbulence is an ever-present property of most organizations’ operating environment. Thus, different applications of futurizing have become an important practice as we navigate towards uncharted waters ahead. Senior Advisor Mikael Paltschik shares his reflections on the latest Capful blog post.

Wrong futures?

Turbulence is an ever-present property of most organizations’ operating environment. Thus, different applications of futurizing have become an important practice as we navigate towards uncharted waters ahead. Senior Advisor Mikael Paltschik shares his reflections on the latest Capful blog post.

Become an International Certified Future Strategist (ICFS)

Companies and organizations act in an increasingly complex environment. The speed of change is tremendous. In order to successfully cope with rapid change companies need to understand their business environment as well as the future development.

That is why we have developed a tailored education program with the objective of leading to International Certified Future Strategist (ICFS) and a new job category in Europe.

Until today, there has been no such profession in Europe and we see the urgent need for one to be developed and explored, should Europe be able to successfully compete with other regions of the world. Only by understanding the rapidly changing and increasingly complex world can companies, organisations and public authorities take a lead. The Future Strategist is vital to this aim.

We are delighted to announce the dates for the 2023 ICFS course that will start on February 2023. As usual, the 12-day programme will focus on environmental analysis, scenario, vision, and strategy building. The ICFS is composed of four modules and taught by international business professionals with extended experience in the field.

The programme fee for the ICFS course is €7,000 (all prices are excluding VAT). This is inclusive of lunches and course materials, but exclusive of travel and related costs.

We will repeat venue due to the positive feedback from previous participants. This means we will be holding the 2023 course in Stockholm, Sweden.

The ICFS modules and dates are the following:

Module 1: Environmental analysis 1–3 February
Module 2: Scenarios 8–10 March
Module 3: Vision & strategy analysis 17–19 April
Module 4: Strategy & action 10–12 May
Module 5: Follow-up and certification 7 June

Please visit the programme website here and feel free to contact us for further information.

Please join us at the webinar for more information on Sep. 15th:

Date: September 15, 2022
Time: 15:00–16:00 (UTC + 1 hour)
Location: Online, a link will be sent to you before the webinar.
Language: English


How to apply:

For registration, please contact Mikael or Jari. You can also arrange a personal demonstration by leaving us your contact information – we will be happy to tell you more about the program.

Mikael Paltschik kuva

Mikael Paltschik, Senior Advisor (+358 50 344 6953)

Jari Puhakka kuva

Jari Puhakka, Senior Partner (+358 40 562 2675)

Mental models, worldviews, and the challenge to perceive unpleasant futures!

Are the ”wrong trousers” here again, but now enabling the war in Ukraine?

New geopolitical, bipolar structure seems to be speeding up. We build stronger alliances with those who share the same understanding of the world. The US secretary of treasury, Janet Yellen expressed that the US would now favour “the friend-shoring of supply chains to a large number of trusted countries” that share “a set of norms and values about how to operate in the global economy”.

Although such a development makes it easier to play in your own sandbox, it creates new risks as you do not understand what is happening in another sandbox. Our value systems might hinder us from correctly assess the dynamics in e.g. Asia and how China’s position is evolving.

Senior Advisors Mikael Paltschik and Heini Kaivola shares their reflections on the latest Capful blog post.

How do we ensure a just, prosperous, and resilient Nigeria when it turns 100 in 2060?

This question underpins the Which Way Nigeria – Citizen Scenarios to 2060 (CS60) initiative with the aim of first creating scenarios for the country up to 2060 and then offering a roadmap towards achieving Nigerians’ desired path to the future. CS60 has retained Capful to facilitate the participatory scenario process, which engages civil society in exploring and debating the future of Africa’s powerhouse. 

“Which Way Nigeria – Citizen Scenarios to 2060 provides citizens the very rare opportunity to create the future that they want, not what officials and barons dictate. The initiative is also geared to spark the entire country to be the change and live the change to create the Nigeria that is a global player, not the hobbling giant of Africa.”

– Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, Olamide Udoma-Ejorh, Bell Ihua, Chukwumerije Okereke, Odeh Friday, Oluseun Onigbinde, Aloysius Bongwa, Richard Dion
Citizen scenarios 2060: A necessary and hard look into the future

The citizen scenarios stem from the existential questions that Nigeria and its citizens have to ask. Topics such as energy transition, agriculture, urban and regional development, education, and health are pivotal to Africa’s largest economy. With Nigerian civil society organizations (CSOs) taking the lead, CS60 brings together leading local and international experts, whilst Capful brings its scenario expertise to the table. Capful’s Scenario Builder® helps create logical, plausible, and differentiated scenarios for Nigeria until 2060. The algorithm-based tool produces a set of initial scenarios that are illustrated in an interactive map. The map helps select logical and thought-provoking alternatives for further examination and brings out novel viewpoints that inspire futures thinking among participants involved in the scenario process.

Last week, CS60 completed its third workshop, with participants exploring the key drivers, uncertainties, and potential outcomes relating to Nigeria’s future and describing the country’s alternative futures. In addition to end-state descriptions, we will define storylines, cause-and-effect relationships, and quantifications of the scenarios to pave the way for further analysis on the implications of the scenarios for Nigeria.

After the scenario phase, CS60 moves on to outline a roadmap towards achieving the desired future Nigeria through a combination of leadership, policy reform, and investments. The roadmap, created by CSOs, will include intended milestones tied to the timeline and it will serve as the basis for actions needed to achieve a just, prosperous and resilient Nigeria that its citizens deserve.

“With its abundant resources and its population likely to hit 400 million by 2050, Nigeria holds immense future potential. Helping facilitate the scenario process that engages Nigeria’s civil society has been both demanding and meaningful.”

– Arto Kaunonen, Capful’s Founder and Senior Partner


Contact us

Arto Kaunonen
Founding Partner
050 356 0717        

Capful cooperates with Kemira in scenario work

Capful and Kemira have collaborated in scenario work with the aim to envision the future of water management by 2040.

What will the future of water management look like? Will citizens become more aware and activate around clean water topics? Will conflicts erupt because of water scarcity? Will megacities and global corporations take a more prominent role – also in water provision? How does digitalization impact the clean water value chain? What about regulation?

To understand what the future of water management might hold, an influential panel of water sector experts were invited to discuss different challenges, opportunities and possible paths ahead.

The “what if?” stories presented in this report can give food for thought for strategic discussions, inspire cooperation, technology development, and encourage new and innovative ways of thinking.

The decisions we make today about water access, quality, solutions for water treatment and water reuse impact the future living conditions of communities around the world. What will actually happen? No one knows. But it’s important to consider the possibilities.

Learn more about the “Water management 2040 -future scenarios” and download the report here.

Interested in scenario work?

Contact us!

Jari Puhakka
Senior Partner
040 562 2675

Scenario services to help understand the future amid coronavirus uncertainty

Capful offers scenario services to help make sense of the future amid coronavirus uncertainty.

The corona pandemic is without precedent in the modern era. Several billion people are under lockdown, and large parts of the economy have frozen. There is no old playbook to copy in this crisis. For organisations struggling to navigate the crisis and wondering what world will emerge from the shock, Capful has put together four alternative scenario packages that focus on different phases and aspects of the crisis. Our proprietary software tool, the Scenario Builder™, makes our scenario process highly effective and efficient. The four packages we offer are outlined below. Please have a look and contact us to find out more.


  • Alternative scenarios for the epidemic’s progression
  • Duration and phases: case growth and other aspects
  • Depth and severity of the twin crisis: health and economy
  • Impact of scenarios on different sectors, response plans
  • Organisation-specific impact analyses, need for change
  • Time span: 4-18 months


  • Alternative scenarios for how the complex pandemic-induced crisis will unfold
  • When and how will we emerge from the crisis?
  • New and old normal in the short term
  • Implications on strategy, testing of strategies against scenarios
  • Time span: 2-5 years


  • External shock as a source of innovation
  • Scenarios as platform for new growth ideas and business opportunities
  • Concretising growth ideas and testing against selected criteria
  • Selected growth ideas in existing, adjacent and new markets
  • Time span: 5-15 years
  • External shock as a source of innovation
  • Scenarios as platform for new growth ideas and business opportunities
  • Concretising growth ideas and testing against selected criteria
  • Selected growth ideas in existing, adjacent and new markets
  • Time span: 5-15 years


  • Big picture after the pandemic
  • From crisis to creative destruction, compounding effects of the pandemic
  • Permanent effects or new normal in the long run
  • Reversible effects, factors returning to old normal
  • New vision and strategy emerging after the crisis
  • Time span: 10-20 years

Contact us, we are glad to tell more about the scenarios.

Gasgrid Finland updates its strategy in cooperation with Capful

Gasgrid Finland, a Finnish state-owned gas transmission system operator has prepared four scenarios concerning the future of gases to base its strategy work on. Scenario work seeks an in-depth understanding of changes in the operating environment that are to be utilized later in the strategy phase. In the scenario phase, Capful helped Gasgrid Finland to look far into the future and to see alternative developments in the industry, key forces for change in the operating environment and the associated uncertainty.

The preparation of the scenarios to form the basis of Gasgrid’s strategy started in February 2020. The scenario work has been a modern, open journey of exploration into possible visions of the future.

In the course of the scenario work, the understanding that the Finnish gas sector has possibilities to have an impact on its future has strengthened, however it requires work. If we as a sector believe in our possibilities to create significant benefit for the society as it strives to become carbon-neutral, we must work in even stronger collaboration and relay this message – both in words and in actions,” summarizes Anni Sarvaranta, who leads strategy work at Gasgrid Finland.

The scenarios are presented in more detail on Gasgrid’s website at Gases as Part of the Energy System of the Future.

Further information:

Anni Sarvaranta, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Market Development, tel. +358 50 348 2071, anni.sarvaranta[at]gasgrid.fi.

Gasgrid Finland Oy is a Finnish state-owned gas transmission system operator with system responsibility. Gasgrid Finland ensures safe, cost-efficient and reliable gas transmission for the customers and society.

The preparation of the scenarios to form the basis of Gasgrid’s strategy started in February 2020. The scenario work has been a modern, open journey of exploration into possible visions of the future.

Covid – 19 – a terrible enemy, but not a wicked problem. Wait for the real surprising challenge. 

Every life lost to Covid-19 is a tragedy.  Physical and mental sufferings are carving deep wounds. Individual, corporate and national economies are in a free fall. And this will go on for some time, with different pace in different parts of the world. But, unfortunately, this is an easy problem, and still we are suffering too much. 

Few surprises 

Covid-19 has caused a pandemic which has very few surprising elements, if one does not count some political leaders’ statements. Epidemiologists, who are supposed to be on top of things, do not seem to be surprised. When calibrating the parameters of their models, the virus seems to behave as expected. There is a good fit between model estimates and empirical facts. Scientists are also very confident to have a vaccine available later in the year. They know perfectly well how to proceed. During long nights, the lights are on in many laboratories.  

Economists make predictions of the effects of lockdowns, and opening measures, stimulus packages, national debt etc. Although the outcomes of the work do not paint any bright picture, the professionals seem to be sure that they know what they are doing. And in the welfare sector, professionals are very clear about the negative consequences the pandemic, and all the restrictions superimposed on citizens will result in. From the kids in nurseries to the elderly in care homes, all will have wounds. Few seems to run into any bigger challenge understanding how this works.  

A wicked problem? 

Wicked problems are hard to solve as we mostly lack understanding of the complexity of the issue, knowledge can be incomplete or available information is contradictory. Many stakeholders and interconnected socio-economic systems are regular qualities of wicked problems. Solutions are never easy to find. But the corona epidemic, as indicated above, is not really a wicked problem. Policy makers know how to tackle it and know the price. If costs are too high, policies are fine-tuned and one accepts some more casualties, if moral and ethics allow for that. So, by the end of the day, it is an optimization problem, how cruel it ever may sound. Optimization of bad outcomes. Or less bluntly, it is about solving dilemmas. 

Why are we in this situation? 

How could we end up in this horrible situation if the problem is solvable? Instead of participating in the popular blame game, one has to understand how we perceive things happening around us, how we make judgement, what kind of heuristics is applied, what designs the option space we are applying looking for solutions. Think about the leaders that are responsible for our societies. Decision makers like good news. Our minds are geared to the positive. The seminal works of Kahneman and Tversky clearly show our bias towards the more positive outcomes in decision making. We do not properly perceive and interpret signals of unwanted developments. We discarded facts about Covid-19, interpreted the threat as a flue that will go over very quickly. Initial responses are often based on an automated judgement for fixing the known, although the problem has many unknown elements to the decision maker. Those who allow their system 2, in the Kahneman terminology, to help to understand the complexity, and all consequences of available options, might come to other decisions, than those how to handle a flu.  

A journey to the future, and back. 

Decision makers dealing with covid-19 have probably a very limited set of “memories of the future” applicable to what is happening now. They have had very few reasons to make the journey into alternative plausible futures shaped by different responses to and developments of pandemics. Accordingly, their judgment system is under severe stress to interpret signals and information, sort out conflicting views and align all the issues with their value system. Having been on a trip to the future, would probably make decision making less painful. 

For decades scenario planners have included pandemics in different scenarios. A proper use of scenarios also includes preparing for scenarios that are not welcome developments. It is a no-brainer to build up reserves of e.g. PPE. When we prepared the population for the nuclear war, everybody knew how to store supplies and find shelter. Now frontline personnel in many countries feel the consequences of decision makers not paying proper attention to pandemic scenarios. 

Covid-19 does cause tragedies. The number of too early fatalities will be too big. And every single death makes us feel sorrow. But, now we are fighting a virus which we know how to conquer. Wait until we will face a new threat, with properties that we do not understand. Before this wicked problem hits us, let’s engage in building scenario narratives that gets traction with decision makers. 

Mikael Paltschik
Senior Advisor
050 344 6953
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