Scenarios - Brief Description


A scenario forecasts the future state(s) of a system based upon assumptions about interactions and external conditions. It is developed from a description of the present conditions and an extrapolated forecast of the future conditions. The forecast is based on the external constraints to change, and the likely interactions between system variables in the progression from the current conditions to some future state.

Scenario analysis is an interactive process engaging a group in a process of identifying key issues, creating and exploring scenarios in order to learn about the external environment and/or integrating the insights into the decision-making of the organisation. The freeformat approach enables the exchange and synthesis of ideas and encourages creative thinking.

A scenario may be either a state scenario for a single point in the future or a transient scenario tracing the evolution of the system over time.
Scenarios may be employed to:

  • identify and clarify major issues for debate among policy makers and interest groups
  • formulate a narrative and dynamic behaviour of a social system
  • provide inputs for techniques such as gaming
  • provide a framework for normative forecasts of desired future conditions