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Scenario Planning Institute working with 100 Year Starship

October 16, 2013

Thomas Chermack advising astronaut Mae Jemison and organziation charged with making human travel beyond our solar system a reality in the next 100 years.

Mae Jemison and Thomas Chermack planning for travel beyond the solar system. Thomas J. Chermack, director of the Scenario Planning Institute in the School of Education, College of Health and Human Sciences at Colorado State University, is working with Mae Jemison, the first African American woman astronaut, and her advisory council of the interstellar human space travel group 100 Year Starship. Undoubtedly, radical leaps in technology, knowledge, and understanding of human biology and psychology will be required to make distant human space travel a reality.

Jemison has made a career of breaking boundaries and crossing borders. Her latest mission is to lead the organization charged with making human travel beyond our solar system a reality in the next 100 years. According to the website: "100 Year Starship designs and implements independent, collaborative and open-source projects to advance and promote the public engagement, research, development, and capabilities needed for humans to reach another star."

Scenario planning to test critical decisions

100 Year Starship was initially funded by DARPA and NASA and its advisory council members are using scenario planning to explore, test, and support critical initiatives and decisions that will drive the organization's direction in the next five to ten years.

"Scenario planning is a participative approach to strategy that features diverse thinking and conversation as a means of shifting how the external environment is perceived," said Chermack. He explains that the intended outcomes of scenario planning include individual and team learning about driving forces of change in the business environment, integrated decision-making, integrated understanding of how the organization can achieve its goals amidst an uncertain environment, and increased dialogue among organizational members. 

Scenarios are used to test and explore decisions and their implications so that consequences can be played out and investigated ahead of time. Scenario work also identifies signals of certain environmental conditions so that decision makers can react quickly having already thought through their strategic options. Chermack recently returned from facilitating a scenario planning session with Jemison and 100 Year Starship.

For more information on 100 Year Starship, go to the website.

For more information on scenario planning, go to the Institute's website or Chermack's site

Contact: Gretchen Gerding
Phone: (970) 491-5182