January 23rd 2020

Shutdown – Using Experiential Learning and Scenario Planning

Exploring the value of experiential learning and scenario planning to imagine and prepare for possible futures, with neuroscientist Dr. Kris De Meyer (King’s College London) and Dan Barnard, Artistic Director at fanSHEN, from their session at CRF event Future Insight in January 2020.

They described an experience-based learning tool that can help organisations learn how to prepare for unexpected scenarios.
Shutdown, a tablet-based experience, is based on the scenario of a nationwide power failure in the UK lasting one week. How would people respond in this situation? The government wanted to know, particularly with regard to the ‘intentionbehaviour gap’ – there’s what people say they will do, and then there is what they actually do.

Kris and Dan closed their session by discussing the relevance of experiential learning and scenario planning like Shutdown in a business context.

  • Experience-based learning – to prepare people for a future situation that is difficult, turn it into an experience to help them learn
  • Future-based thinking – we can’t think about the future decisively, but we can prepare for
    the vigilance that is needed
  • Individual and group decision-making – help us understand how decisions come out differently depending on group dynamics; it’s very important to see how this operates so we can open our eyes, for example, to groupthink; it’s critical to unpick why a group ended up in a given situation.
  • Managing disagreement and conflict – we must build good cultures for managing conflict within an organisation; having a culture of openness and speaking up is important, but another method for managing conflict is by debriefing after an experience-based learning intervention. The debrief is about analysing what went wrong; it’s not about justifying one’s position, but about understanding how and why it happened, so as not to lose trust in the future.

NOTE: The presentation's file-size is extremely large due to the embedded video and audio files, which are sourced from the Shutdown! simulation.

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