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Scenario Archetypes: Converging Rather than Diverging Themes

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Author Info

  • Dexter V. L. Hunt

    ()
    (Civil Engineering/College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B152TT, UK)

  • D. Rachel Lombardi

    ()
    (Civil Engineering/College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B152TT, UK)

  • Stuart Atkinson

    ()
    (Center for Water Systems/College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QF, UK)

  • Austin R. G. Barber

    ()
    (The Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, School of Public Policy, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B152TT, UK)

  • Matthew Barnes

    ()
    (The Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA14YQ, UK)

  • Christopher T. Boyko

    ()
    (Faculty of Arts and Social Science/Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YD, UK)

  • Julie Brown

    ()
    (The Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, School of Public Policy, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B152TT, UK)

  • John Bryson

    ()
    (School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B152TT, UK)

  • David Butler

    ()
    (Center for Water Systems/College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QF, UK)

  • Silvio Caputo

    ()
    (Department of Sustainable Construction, Coventry University Technology Park, Coventry, CV1 5FB, UK)

  • Maria Caserio

    ()
    (Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD), Birmingham City University, Birmingham B4 7DX, UK)

  • Richard Coles

    ()
    (Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD), Birmingham City University, Birmingham B4 7DX, UK)

  • Rachel F. D. Cooper

    ()
    (Faculty of Arts and Social Science/Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YD, UK)

  • Raziyeh Farmani

    ()
    (Center for Water Systems/College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QF, UK)

  • Mark Gaterell

    ()
    (Department of Sustainable Construction, Coventry University Technology Park, Coventry, CV1 5FB, UK)

  • James Hale

    ()
    (School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B152TT, UK)

  • Chantal Hales

    ()
    (School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B152TT, UK)

  • C. Nicholas Hewitt

    ()
    (The Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA14YQ, UK)

  • Lubo Jankovic

    ()
    (Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD), Birmingham City University, Birmingham B4 7DX, UK)

  • I. Jefferson

    ()
    (Civil Engineering/College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B152TT, UK)

  • J. Leach

    ()
    (Faculty of Arts and Social Science/Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YD, UK)

  • A. Rob MacKenzie

    ()
    (School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B152TT, UK)

  • Fayyaz Ali Memon

    ()
    (Center for Water Systems/College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QF, UK)

  • Jon P. Sadler

    ()
    (School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B152TT, UK)

  • Carina Weingaertner

    ()
    (The Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, School of Public Policy, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B152TT, UK)

  • J. Duncan Whyatt

    ()
    (The Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA14YQ, UK)

  • Christopher D. F. Rogers

    ()
    (Civil Engineering/College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B152TT, UK)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Future scenarios provide challenging, plausible and relevant stories about how the future could unfold. Urban Futures (UF) research has identified a substantial set (>450) of seemingly disparate scenarios published over the period 1997–2011 and within this research, a sub-set of >160 scenarios has been identified (and categorized) based on their narratives according to the structure first proposed by the Global Scenario Group (GSG) in 1997; three world types (Business as Usual, Barbarization, and Great Transitions) and six scenarios, two for each world type (Policy Reform—PR, Market Forces—MF, Breakdown—B, Fortress World—FW, Eco-Communalism—EC and New Sustainability Paradigm—NSP). It is suggested that four of these scenario archetypes (MF, PR, NSP and FW) are sufficiently distinct to facilitate active stakeholder engagement in futures thinking. Moreover they are accompanied by a well-established, internally consistent set of narratives that provide a deeper understanding of the key fundamental drivers (e.g., STEEP—Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental and Political) that could bring about realistic world changes through a push or a pull effect. This is testament to the original concept of the GSG scenarios and their development and refinement over a 16 year period.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 (April)
    Pages: 740-772

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:4:y:2012:i:4:p:740-772:d:17324

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    Web page: http://www.mdpi.com/

    Related research

    Keywords: sustainability; future scenarios; scenario archetypes;

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    References

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    1. Raskin, Paul D., 2008. "World lines: A framework for exploring global pathways," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 461-470, April.
    2. Duchin, Faye & Lange, Glenn-Marie, 1995. "The Future of the Environment: Ecological Economics and Technological Change," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195085747.
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