Planning for “unknown unknowns” is in principle a challenge to the imagination; we have to systematically extend our understanding by pushing the borders of our existing thinking outward from our current perception of what is relevant, what is logical, what is causal.
We apply four design principles in our Resilience Portfolio method. In order to define the borders of uncertainty, we focus on extremes; low probability events/drivers and descriptions of environments defined by the extreme ends of uncertainties. We process a large number of options, which is why we transform qualitative descriptions to quantitative ones. The method is web-based and participatory.
The ultimate goal of long-term planning is to support decision making in the short-term. Thus it is important to create and evaluate options and incorporate these into our planning such ways that we can prepare for / or benefit from the extreme events.