Evonik injects the future into the present 

Company's scientists used scenario planning to develop visions of the future of specialty chemicals. Evonik aims to use the results of this study on the future of specialty chemicals—the largest study of its kind anywhere in the world—to initiate innovations early and in a targeted way.

The company’s scientists used scenario planning to develop visions of the future of specialty chemicals. The scenarios can also be used for gauging and updating long-term strategies. This study has delivered five scenarios for the future of specialty chemicals.

The answers provided by the five resulting scenarios are based on a comprehensive collection of data and analysis. The scenarios describe possible international developments between now and 2040 that are plausible, but in some cases contradictory. Digital Champions, Chinese Dream, Deceptive Calm, Turbulent Times, and Sustainability Paradigm: the titles alone indicate the trends they describe.

The results of the scenario project now put a fascinating, strategic tool at disposal. One that will help everyone model today’s ideas for innovations on the potential developments of tomorrow. In addition to working with an eye to product developments, this can be useful in terms of new business models and efficiency strategies. Evonik’s Corporate Foresight team spent twelve months developing a solid foundation for their scenarios through a painstaking process of identifying and analyzing the key factors and influences arising from that information, extrapolating potential developments, and combining these into plausible, consistent scenarios.

What emerged were five future scenarios that could be relevant over both the medium and long terms. In the Digital Champions scenario, major internet companies, with their knowledge and unique mindset, benefit increasingly from the value chain of traditional industries. Sustainability Paradigm describes a case in which sustainability becomes the guiding economic principle. In Chinese Dream, China becomes a technological, economic, and political world power. Nationalism, “fake news,” and populist forces lead to a lengthy deglobalization process in the Turbulent Times scenario. Deceptive Calm looks at the future from a different perspective: in a system dedicated to maintaining the status quo, problems build up—to the point where the system could collapse.

Profitable growth and efficiency manifest market-leading position in specialty chemicals. Identifying megatrends before they emerge is Evonik’s motivation for success. By focusing on the key trends nutrition, health care, resource efficiency, and globalization, Evonik develops products and solutions that are shaping tomorrow's markets.