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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2030 Foresight Scenarios (Essay Sample)

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The assignment was about forecasting future scenarios for the kingdom of saudi arabia

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Content:

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2030 Foresight Scenarios
Name
Institutional Affiliation
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2030 Foresight Scenarios
Based on research and analysis, scenarios predict future of the world. Their aim is to identify significant events likely to occur in future, describe their repercussions and motivators, and explain how they will shape the future. According to the World Energy Council (2016), scenarios are tools that help better understand how the future will look like and what challenges to expect. Developing scenarios enables to make assumptions, address major uncertainties, widen perspectives by considering key factors, and come up with visionary strategies and policies. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has also embraced the practice of documenting scenarios (Vision 2030, n.d.). Decision makers analyze different factors in order to come up with policies and strategies targeted to shape a prosperous future.
The first possible scenario is a change in political climate of Saudi Arabia. For instance, the monarchy could fall and be replaced by a democratic government that provides inclusivity of all the inhabitants of the nation irrespective of their religion: Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, or others. Moreover, the Kingdom could fall victim of another Arab spring and follow the Tunisian example in becoming a democratic country. It could trigger a second revolutionary wave like that in 2011, which will impact neighboring countries in the region as well. However, there is another potential outcome: the Arab leap could occur, and the government could recognize the need for reforms. It can implement policies that can eventually lead to economic recovery, which will ensure political stability and prosperous and peaceful future.
Further, Saudi Arabia is the largest exporter of crude oil in the world. With current technological advancements in the energy sector, such as invention of electric cars, and increased use of solar and nuclear energy, the world will be less reliant on oil as source of energy for powering machines in future (Kobb, 2016). In addition, discovery of other forms of energy such as Canadian tar sands and heavy oil in Venezuela will increase world oil reserves making Saudi Arabia less significant.
According to the study conducted by U.S. Energy Information Administration (2017), the Saudi Kingdom is projected to be exporting 16.4 million barrels per day (mbpd) unlike 23.8 mbpd. It will come as a result of a policy put in place to restrict the petroleum production to 12.5 mbpd, which is a way to protect the depletion of country’s oil reserves. Eventually, it will translate to low revenues; therefore, the Kingdom should prepare itself to post-oil era. The government could start selling a minority stake at Aramco, which is one of the largest oil companies, and use the capital to diversify the economy and invest resources into other sectors, such as manufacturing, to provide employment and generate revenue.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an Islamic nation. Extremists’ Jihad groups, such as al-Qaida, ISIS, and others, recruit unemployed youths with the promise of better lives. If this situation is not managed, it will lead to grave outcomes. Thus, another scenario is the rise of militias who will take over the government. It will be an era of terror for the Kingdom resulting in deaths of hundreds if not thousands of people. Social media was a critical factor in influencing the 2011 Arab revolution. Currently, a quarter of Saudis has access to the internet, but this figure is expected to double by 2030 (Gaub & Laban, 2015). Ultimately, terrorism in Saudi Arabia might spill over to neighboring countries in the Middle East destabilizing the region.
In addition, gender inequality is very pronounced in Saudi Arabia. For instance, women are not allowed to drive. However, this policy is currently being reviewed, and soon they will receive the permission. Although the progress is a bit slow, the number of women joining businesses and politics is steadily growing. In future, with a democratic form of governance, there could even be a scenario of a woman being a president, which will symbolize maturity of democracy for an Arab nation.
Table 1. Summary of Foresight Scenarios
Scenarios

Drivers and Enablers

Name

No.

Economic Growth

Petroleum Exports

Gender Inequality

Political Climate

Food Shortages

Unemployment

Literacy Levels

Technology

Simmer

1

H

H

H

P

L

L

H

L

Impulsion

2

L

L

H

N

H

H

H

L

Transitional

3

L

L

L

N

H

H

L

H

Leap

4

H

H

L

P

L

L

H

H

H-high L-low P-positive ...
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