Explore scenario quantification using the International Futures model developed by Barry Hughes at the University of Denver. For this exercise computers and access to the internet will be required (the model can also be loaded onto the computers directly, but this description assumes that this is not the case as many participants will have their own computers).
IFs is a world model, representing the world in multiple regions as well as individual countries. It allows you to forecast developments in demographics, food and agriculture, energy, economics, politics, and the environment from 2000 to 2100. Using IFs you can make multiple forecasts based on changes in assumptions about the workings of the world and about government policy choices. After making such changes you can run the model and then display the results in tabular or graphical form. Through comparison of forecasts you can analyze the leverage we have to affect our world and the policies that may improve our futures. IFs has been used in the scenario development for GEO-4.
Go to http://www.ifs.du.edu
Select “Web-Based IFs”
Select Scenario Set “UNEPGEO” (These are the GEO Scenarios described earlier in this module)
Select time horizon
From here on you have several options, including displaying scenarios or actually carrying out scenario analysis. Please note that there is an extensive Help system that allows you to learn more about the model and how to use it. For this activity, in order to illustrate the link between narratives and quantification, select “Display”.
Select your country and look at a few key indicators, e.g. carbon emissions and water usage, for the four GEO scenarios. Discuss those differences by reflecting on the overall narrative of each scenario.