Scenario Background

Scenarios are stories of possible futures told to inform current decision-making. There are many kinds of scenario exercises, but in general, all scenarios:

  • Organize statements about the future.
  • Are useful when future developments are both important and uncertain.
  • Connect descriptions of the future to the present through a series of causal links.
  • Are (or should be) plausible, internally consistent, and interesting to their target audience.

Scenarios generally have a qualitative component - the narrative - and a quantitative component - the numbers that illustrate and support the story. Different scenario analyses will require different balances between narrative and number.