Planning for a post-COVID-19 future and creating a require both strategic scenario planning and the ability to recognize what scenario planners call “news from the future” — data points that tell you whether the world is trending in the direction of one or another of your imagined scenarios. As with any scatter plot, data points are all over the map, but when you gather enough of them, you can start to see the trend line emerge.

Because there are often many factors pushing or pulling in different directions, it’s useful to think of trends as vectors — quantities that are described by both a magnitude and a direction, which may cancel, amplify, or redirect each other. New data points can also show whether vectors are

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