Sketches of four possible scenarios were developed to illustrate what the impact of the choices we make might be. We used the PESTLE method as the basis. PESTLE analysis (political, economic, socio-cultural, technological, legal, and environmental) describes a framework of macro-environmental factors used in the environmental scanning component of strategic management.
The following simple model was developed to compare the four scenarios visually. Among these four scenarios, Scenario 5.0 emerged as the one to pursue.
Curaçao is a continuation of the past. The pandemic has increased the island's tendency toward inward-looking and isolation. The political situation in countries like Venezuela and the United States has added to the isolation of the island. The Netherlands had to come to the rescue again. The lack of transparency has made this relationship difficult because of the low level of trust between the countries. The political arena is divided into two camps. The camp in power does not allow much participation (of the opposition). The civil services are too big, though they are paradoxically weak. Corruption is a pervasive issue of concern. The economy is still based on traditional sectors, namely the economy contracts. Neoliberalism is the dominant philosophy. Industry, tourism, and financial services are the main economic sectors. New sectors are not well defined nor developed. Sustainability is still not high on the agenda. Economic growth and employment remain challenges. Among the general characteristics of Scenario 2.0, the following are present: Health-care is run as an ineffective and inefficient business and not as care for human beings. There is little real preventive healthcare. Food is mainly imported. There is little local production. The educational system is broken. There is no good connection to the labor market. Unemployment, especially youth unemployment, is high, and over 60% of the population lives under the poverty line. There are lots of social problems like crime and drug economy. The internet is underused - business to not redesign their business model to make optimal usage of the internet. There is a production mix of energy (fossil, wind, and sun), but the power situation is still unstable. The public transport system has not changed over fifty years. The ecological system is somewhat protected by law. There is still a big conflict between economic development and preservation of the nature island. This leads to stagnation of development. There is the rule of law, but many laws are outdated, and many new developments are not regulated by law.
The island is more aware of its inward-looking and isolation tendencies. The island is actively seeking more collaboration within the Kingdom and beyond. The political arena is more pluriform. The civil service smaller due to the application of an early retirement program and ICT solutions but is still weak. There are attempts to diversify the economy and increase export, but there is no significant economic growth. Although there is some conversation on sustainable development in practice, not much changed. Among the general characteristics of Scenario 3.0, the following are present: The performance of healthcare has improved, but there is still room for improving preventive healthcare. The internet is used in education, but not in an effective manner. There is a digital dived, and so poverty remains a big issue. The performance of the educational system has improved because more 21st Century Skills are acquired in school. The unemployment rate and social problems remain high. Some local agriculture is using technology, but the island is still dependent upon the import of food. The internet penetration rate has increased, but still, many have no access to the internet. The internet is widely used but is expensive. Using the internet for business is not optimal because there is no real paying solution enabling entrepreneurs to export. In business, the internet is mainly used marketing. The economy is better integrated into the region. Despite the availability of some data it is not a data-driven society. The power mix is further diversified by introducing new technologies (sea, SWAC), and the grid is more stable. The ecological system is somewhat protected by law. There is still this big conflict between economic development and preservation of the nature island, but due to climate change, there is a better understanding of what is at stake. There is the rule of law, but still, a lot of legislation is not up to date. The tax system has been overhauled is somewhat simplified.
The political arena is pluriform. E-Government is a reality, and this has increased transparency and enabled the island to be more outward-looking. The island has become a better partner in the global arena. The economy is based on the innovative ITC cluster and the creative sector. Remote working and learning is the norm. Export has increased, and there is significant structural economic growth. Neoliberalism with corporations taking the big stage is still dominant. This is an unequal society. The island produces a significant part of the food by applying technology. There is also urban gardening, and people grow part of their food in their gardens and, in some cases, their roofs. Among the general characteristics of Scenario 4.0, the following are present: E-Learning and Life-Long Learning have been implemented. Corporations are satisfied with the skill level of recent graduates. Unemployment and social problems are reduced. Social security programs are improved. E-Healthcare is a business model, as is preventive healthcare. Internet penetration to the house is maximized, and we live with the Internet of Things. And an online paying solution is in place, enabling international transactions. Public transportation is based on electronic vehicles. The energy is sustainable. A significant part of the houses generates power using solar panels. The ecological system is somewhat protected by law. There is still a conflict between economic development and preservation of the nature island. Due to climate change, adjustments have been made. There is the rule of law based on modern legislation. And a simple and efficient tax system is in place.
The political arena is pluriform. E-Government is a reality. Government power is decentralized to the neighborhoods. The island is outward-looking, collaborating, and integrating. The island plays a mediating role in the region, especially in the case of Venezuela.
The economy is based on the principles of the doughnut economy or circular economy. We got there by implementing a Green New Deal. Progress is measured using a well-being index. The economy is based on the innovative ITC cluster and the creative sector. Remote working and learning is the norm. Export has increased, and there is significant structural economic growth. The economy is meaningful and not driven by neoliberal corporations.
The island produces a significant part of the food by applying technology. There is also urban gardening, and people grow part of their food in their gardens and, in some cases, their roofs. This is achieved by bettering the system to collect rainwater.
Among the general characteristics of Scenario 5.0, the following are present:
E-Learning and Life-Long Learning have been implemented. The main purpose of education is to guide people to live a meaningful life.
Unemployment and social problems are reduced. Universal Basic Income replaces social security.
Healthcare is care and not a business. Healthcare means living a healthy lifestyle.
The internet penetration is nearly 100%. It is the era of the Internet of Things.
Cryptocurrency is a reality.
Public transportation is based on electronic vehicles.
The energy is sustainable. A significant part of the houses generates power using solar panels and other technologies.
The ecological system is protected by law. There is no conflict between economic development and preservation of the nature of the island.
There is the rule of law based on modern legislation. A simple, effective tax system is in place.
Due to the fact that Curaçao is a small island (geographical consideration), as well as historical, cultural, social, and economic factors, the society is divided (i.e., individualistic or I-based, and it is thus centralized in terms of politics and government.
Scenario 2.0 is the best representation of the current state of Curaçao, and in a sense, it has come naturally to the island. Even before the pandemic, this scenario had become no longer sustainable, and the coronavirus has only accelerated this decay.
Ideally, Curaçao is better off aiming to implement Scenario 5.0, which is further described in later sections of the text, and if we shoot for the stars, we might reach the moon. In other words, we would be fortunate to reach Scenario 4.0.