Design and implementation of a scenario process for The Bertelsmann Stiftung: scenarios and strategies for Germany (China 2030)

The reorganization of the relationship between Germany and Asia will be one of the greatest changes and challenges for the German economy and other areas of society in the long term. One of the most relevant current changes for Germany is the development of China away from the workbench to a central player in research and innovation and to a provider of products and services along the entire value chain.

This change can already be observed on a number of indicators. Expenditures on research and development, the number of scientific publications and patents and the number of students at universities in China have risen dramatically. For the future, China is planning to push these developments further. At the same time, more and more factors are emerging that are slowing down the rapid growth of China's GDP. This development presents challenges and opportunities for German companies that are active in China. At the same time, it is characterized by a high degree of uncertainty. Established strategies have to be reconsidered and, if necessary, adapted in light of the new situation. Questions about further diversification of production and development locations will arise, as well as questions about how to anchor German companies permanently in Chinese society and how to deal with China's role as a leading market for high-end products. All these developments are reflected in the situation in Germany. What will Germany look like as a research and innovation location when China increasingly focuses on its own developments?

Given this background, the aim of the project was to enable a structured examination of possible future paths of the German research and innovation landscape in view of China's changing economic structure. This dialogue on the future has produced well-founded insights into possible developments in the time horizon of 10-15 years and options for action today. The target group were decision-makers from affected German companies and political fields, but also the general public.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung provides an online tool for the study, which allows users to compare their personal future expectations with the experts' scenarios.