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BANI world: VUCA world is not enough anymore

When we think things are changing and evolving quickly, we certainly don’t realize exactly how fast. In the last years, we talked about the VUCA world, but we started 2021 with a new expression. BANI World came to replace and do what the old model couldn’t.

Talking about a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous world (VUCA) was the task of a society that was entering a health crisis and that gave much emphasis to this model of how to face changes.

Naturally, the evolution of concepts brought the BANI World to life – it came to replace the previous model, which proved itself to be insufficient in face of the demands that emerged and that might still arise.

The truth is that private and legal persons couldn’t handle the crisis with only the characteristics of VUCA. It is as if this model was dated and, in view of what we’ve been through in the last year, it could not describe what we really live.

Let’s go to what matters: BANI world

With the VUCA World becoming increasingly distant from our reality, Jamais Cascio, a professor and futurist in California, presented the definition of BANI world and the Age of Chaos. Let’s break down this acronym.

  • Brittle: without solid roots, everything can change quickly. A virus can spread around the world (easily, thanks to globalization and interconnection), a competitor can change the logic of the market and so on. Then, jobs are not synonyms of security, positions do not guarantee stability and career changes are normal. That’s obvious. So, we need to learn to work with instability being always around the corner.
  • Anxious: all this brittleness generates fear, which results in anxiety (one of the most common diseases of our time). It seems that we live in the limit, that decisions need to be made quickly, that lost seconds leave us behind. This causes a sense of urgency.
  • Nonlinear: the social distancing of the last year left us with the feeling of being in a world with disconnected and disproportionate events. This completely changes the system of cause and effect we were used to, since the acceleration of events means that the ups and downs are not proportional, and nothing is certain. This way, long-term plans, for example, may not be the most suitable for the BANI World and should be adaptable to the circumstances.
  • Incomprehensible: incomprehensibility is the final stage of our information overload. We have a lot of data, but logic doesn’t seem to make sense anymore. We seek more information to have more control, but this exaggeration can be just a scam, instead of a solution. Our cognitive ability to process has not changed and excess data can leave us without answers. Each time it seems that we understand less, even with the increase in the amount of information.

BANI World X VUCA World

The parallel between the BANI World and the VUCA World is one of evolution. The idea is that the exacerbated dimensions of Volatility generate Brittleness. Uncertainties result in Anxiety. Complexity brings us Nonlinearity. While what was considered Ambiguous has become more than that, now it is Incomprehensible.

In the BANI world, situations are no longer just unstable and become chaotic. The results are not simply difficult to predict, but are completely unpredictable.

The good side

It seems that everything we talk about here is negative and desperate, right? But stay calm, it’s not all bad. Created to guide companies, BANI World can also direct decisions in the personal and professional lives of each one of us. This is because the concept was made to create opportunities.

How is this possible? Just think that the definition of the BANI World came to open our minds and stimulate our brain to think creatively and already predicting obstacles. Want to see how simple it is to understand?

  • To face brittleness, seek for resilience and freedom.
  • To face anxiety, we need empathy and full attention.
  • To face nonlinearity, we must think about the context and act with flexibility and adaptability.
  • And to face incomprehensibility, we need transparency and intuition.

Had you heard about the BANI world before? Share your thoughts with us!


Marina Petrocelli
Marina Petrocelli
Over 12 years have passed since my first experience with Social Communication. My first professional years were dedicated to the routines of redactions with no or little digital relevance. Plural journalism was resumed in investigating facts, write a piece and guarantee an expressive picture. The first sign of change came with the proposal of changing realities and experimenting a different way of producing. From then on, the specificities of the marketing universe became permanent. Oh! I’ve also graduated in Law School (passing the bar exam and all). But not everything is comprised tom y professional skills. As a content producer, I’m interested in good stories, from real people or series, movies and books, specially dystopias. I like to draw up travel plans and identify stars and constellations on a cell phone app. Museums, music and art in general grab my attention, as well as pop culture. O primeiro sinal de mudança veio com a proposta para mudar de realidade e experimentar um formato diferente de produzir. Daí pra frente, as particularidades do universo do marketing se tornaram permanentes. Ah! Também me formei em Direito (com inscrição na OAB e tudo). Mas nem tudo se resume às minhas habilidades profissionais. Como produtora de conteúdo, me interesso por boas histórias, de pessoas reais ou em séries, filmes e livros, especialmente distopias. Gosto de montar roteiros de viagens e reconhecer estrelas e constelações em um aplicativo no celular. Museus, música e arte no geral chamam minha atenção, assim como cultura pop.