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The Story-and-Simulation (SAS) Approach

The Story-and-Simulation (SAS) approach is one of the few scenario development methods to tackle head-on the problem of combining the quantitative and qualitative aspects of scenarios. It does this by iteratively developing scenario storylines and scenario models, starting with the scenario storylines.

As originally proposed, it appears to be designed for relatively large projects [1]. However, it is suitable for a wide range of project sizes with minor modifications.



  1. The scenario team and scenario panel are established.
  2. The scenario team proposes goals and an outline of the scenarios.
  3. The scenario panel revises goals and outline, and constructs “zero-order” draft of storylines.
  4. Based on the draft storyline, the scenario team quantifies the driving forces of the scenarios.
  5. Based on the assigned driving forces, the modelling teams quantify the indicators of the scenarios.
  6. At the next meeting of the scenario panel, the modelling team reports on the quantification of the scenarios and the panel revises the storylines.
  7. Steps 4, 5 and 6 are repeated until an acceptable draft of storylines and quantification is achieved.
  8. The draft scenarios are distributed for general review.
  9. The scenario team and panel revise the scenarios based on results of the general review.
  10. The final scenarios are published and distributed.


[1] Alcamo, Joseph. 2001. “Scenarios as Tools for International Environmental Assessments,” Environmental Issue Report No. 24, Experts’ Corner Report: Prospects and Scenarios No. 5, European Environment Agency. Copenhagen: EEA.