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Scenario Archetypes

Starting the scenario planning process with archetypes offers the following advantages:

  • Creates a more efficient scenario construction process with clear scenario outlines to work within.

  • Ensures that all the scenarios are very different and not just marginally different, as could happen with obtaining scenarios through convergence or analytical means.

  • Captures the empirically derived archetypes that emerged from decades (50+ years) of experience with futures studies.

  • Flips the questions to be about how the scenario archetypes can emerge, to help “stretch” the thinking of participants to futures they would not have thought of or converged to.

Below are the four most common future archetypes.  

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