Scenario Archetypes: Converging Rather than Diverging Themes
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 1997â€“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 Reformâ€”PR, Market Forcesâ€”MF, Breakdownâ€”B, Fortress Worldâ€”FW, Eco-Communalismâ€”EC and New Sustainability Paradigmâ€”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., STEEPâ€”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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- Duchin, Faye & Lange, Glenn-Marie, 1995. "The Future of the Environment: Ecological Economics and Technological Change," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195085747.
- Raskin, Paul D., 2008. "World lines: A framework for exploring global pathways," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 461-470, April.
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