A scenario is an internally consistent narrative about the future, developed using a structured approach with clear and consistent logic to consider systematically how uncertainties and surprises in the future might lead to alternative plausible outcomes. Scenarios can share meaning at deeper levels than logic-based communication through their basis in narrative. Scenario development draws on a range of information, quantitative modelling, expert judgement and creative thinking. These ingredients are combined using procedures that ensure that three key requirements are satisfied: legitimacy (that the information base is reliable and the models used are sound), saliency (that the questions or future uncertainties probed by the scenarios are pertinent) and credibility within specified boundaries (that the scenario is considered plausible by participants in the scenario-building process and by observers). A crucial starting point in scenario development is the specification of a focal question. To exemplify these concepts, we consider scenarios arising from three different focal questions, respectively concerning approaches to climate change, governance and complexification.
|Title of host publication||Negotiating our future: Living scenarios for Australia to 2050|
|Place of Publication||Canberra, Australia|
|Publisher||Australian Academy of Science|
|Number of pages||37|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
Cork, S., Jones, R. N., BUTLER, C., Cocks, D., Dunlop, I., & Howe, P. (2013). Towards scenarios for a sustainable and equitable future Australia. In Negotiating our future: Living scenarios for Australia to 2050 (1 ed., pp. 115-151). Canberra, Australia: Australian Academy of Science.