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Clem Sunter | Conclusive Scenario Planner

  • Somerset West

About:  Clem Sunter | Conclusive Scenario Planner

Clem Sunter is a world renowned Professional Speaker, Scenario Planner and the author of many books including ‘The Mind of a Fox: Scenario Planning in Action’, ‘Socrates & the Fox: A Strategic Dialogue’, ‘Games Foxes Play: Planning for Extraordinary Times’, ‘The High Road: Where are we now?’, ‘AIDS: The Challenge for South Africa’ and ‘Pretoria Will Provide’  amongst others.

Clem was born in Suffolk in 1944 and he was educated at Winchester College.

He went to Oxford where he studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics before joining Charter Consolidated as a Management Trainee in 1966.

In 1971, Clem Sunter moved to Lusaka in Zambia to work for the Anglo American Corporation (Central Africa) and in 1973, he was transferred to the head office of the Anglo American Corporation (South Africa) in Johannesburg.

Clem Sunter spent most of his career in the Gold and Uranium division, serving as Chairman from 1990 to 1996. He was Chairman of the Anglo American Chairman’s Fund which was rated as the ‘premier corporate social responsibility fund in South Africa’.

Clem Sunter | Conclusive Scenario Planner

In the early 1980’s, he established a scenario-planning function in Anglo with teams in London and Johannesburg. Two of the members were Pierre Wack and Ted Newland, who had previously headed up the Scenario Planning Department at Royal Dutch Shell. After retiring, the two acted as consultants to Anglo for over a decade.

Using material from these two teams, Clem Sunter put together a presentation entitled: ‘The World and South Africa in the 1990’s’ which became very popular within South Africa.

Clem’s Keynote Addresses:

‘The World and South Africa Beyond 2013: The Latest Scenarios, Flags & Probabilities’
Clem Sunter says: “In South Africa, people are used to uncertainty and we tend to reflect the environment we’re brought up in.

The world has grown in the last 50 years and we are in for some turbulent times. This calls for a system that can handle these surprises and that can put them into an operational context.

We need to have practical and down-to-earth measures to deal with them”.

Clem Sunter has defined seven principles of strategy, applied during the session:

·    Strategy is direction. Tactics are how to get there.
·    Strategy formulated without first consulting the context will probably end up being bad strategy.
·    Strategy is as much about ruling in potential paths that fit your scope as ruling out others that don’t.
·    Good strategy can be turned into bad strategy by a future change in the context. Scenarios are a way of exploring alternative futures, which might necessitate a change in strategy.

·    Bad tactics can destroy goo strategy but no tactic can rescue bad strategy.
·    Good strategy has a greater chance of being converted into good results if tactic are accompanied by a set of measurable outcomes to which people can aspire.
·    Above all, strategy is about understanding what you do and don’t control and what is certain (and uncertain) about the future – knowing when to change direction to avert unintended and possibly tragic consequences.

The strategic conversation Clem Sunter facilitates is in two parts: firstly defining the game and secondly playing the game. The first part has six steps and the second has four as indicated in the model below:

Defining the Game

The first step in defining the game is to review its evolution in recent years and where it stands today – together with your status as a player.

Clem Sunter has identified three kinds of rules that you need to establish in order to understand the DNA of your game.

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