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Summary

This teleconference showcases how scenario planning methodologies can be used to create a logical, conceptual “roadmap” or “decision-tree” around the emergence of an avian influenza pandemic in Southeast Asia. A presentation and discussion of six scenarios developed by bio-era highlights the potential value of scenarios for institutional planning within the context of an emerging pandemic.

James Newcomb, bio era's Managing Director for Research, describes the “scenario building blocks;” the driving forces, predetermined elements, critical uncertainties and prime movers relevant to the current situation around avian influenza in Southeast Asia. Newcomb then summarizes each of six alternative scenarios and the
implications of each. The teleconference discussion that ensues takes up a number of related issues, including the possibility of deliberate spread of avian influenza, the likelihood of cooperation among governments in a pandemic, technologies for accelerated vaccine development and production, measures to increase effective “social distance” in communities and workplaces, and the critical role of China in the event of pandemic disease emergent in Asia.