By Maike Hamann, Tanja Hichert and Nadia Sitas
Within the many different ways of developing scenarios, what are useful general procedures for participatory processes? What resources are required? What are the strengths and weaknesses of involving stakeholders?
Scenarios are vignettes or narratives of possible futures, and when used in a set, usually depict purposefully divergent visions of what the future may hold. The point of scenario planning is not to predict the future, but to explore its uncertainties. Scenario development has a long history in corporate and military strategic planning, and is also commonly used in global environmental assessments to link current decision-making to future impacts. Participatory scenario planning extends scenario development into the realm of stakeholder-engaged research.
In general, the process for participatory scenario planning broadly follows three phases.