The EPCRC organized a series of two workshops “Scenarios for Mongolia: Building a Positive Future” which are aimed at identifying actions needed to support sustainable development for Mongolia towards a brighter future. By doing so, the EPCRC provided a neutral platform for multi-stakeholder strategic dialogue by engaging notable representatives of government, business, civil society, academia, and international development organizations.
During the first workshop on June 28, participants analyzed 4 alternative scenarios developed last year during workshops organized by Heminge and Condell LLC, international experts in scenario analysis. During the break-out sessions, they then identified key uncertainties that the future might hold.
Those scenarios are:
The Future Promise, in which the promise of Mongolia’s mineral wealth is deferred, as commodity demand declines gradually. Mongolian leaders join together to create a shared vision and plan to build an economy that is more open, educated and competitive;
Nine White Banners, in which the promise of Mongolia’s mineral wealth is fulfilled, with high levels of demand for commodities, particularly in China. Business, social and political leaders work together to build a positive future that can be shared by all Mongolians;
Storm of Gobi, in which the promise of Mongolia’s mineral wealth is supported by high yet volatile demand for commodities. However, the gap between rich and poor widens, and competitiveness falters as oligarchs and foreign influences use political and economic power for personal gain;
Disappointed Dreams, in which the promise of Mongolia’s mineral wealth is cut short by an economic slowdown in China, resulting in only moderate demand for commodities. Governments and companies around the world are under populist pressure from economic dislocation. An ultranationalist party comes to power as international support falters and antipathy increases toward government and private enterprise.
-To test and understand strategies under different circumstances, the workshop participants identified issues and opportunities in each of the scenarios that Mongolia may face in the foreseeable future. Thanks to the participants, we also created a list of Early Warning Signs that may be indicating if Mongolia is heading towards one of the scenarios. During the second workshop on July 5, by accessing the list of Early Warning Signs, participants identified that the most of the indications may be pushing us towards the direction of the “Storm of the Gobi” more than the other scenarios. On the other hand, there were some strong and some early signs for the other three scenarios: “Nine White Banners”, “The Future Promise” and the “Disappointed Dreams”.
As scenarios are not predictions, it is highly unlikely that any of these scenarios will emerge supremely if not dominate absolutely. The future will most likely consist of some combination of all of these scenarios to different degrees. However, as scenarios can answer the question “What if…?”, we can use them to explore a wide range of uncertainties at the global and local levels. Therefore, the workshops enabled us to discuss the actions that may be needed in order to be better prepared for an uncertain future and define some contingent actions for each of the scenarios.