Shaping the Next One Hundred Years: New Methods for Quantitative, Long-Term Policy Analysis

By Robert J. Lempert; Steven W. Popper et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter Five
IMPLEMENTING ROBUST DECISIONMAKING

The preceding chapter described a framework (XLRM) and a scenario generator, and it explained how the wide variety of information contained in them defines a multiplicity of plausible long-term futures relevant to sustainable development. The present chapter applies the approach described in Chapter Three to the problem of global sustainability and shows how this information may be applied to identify society’s best near-term strategies for shaping this future to achieve positive outcomes. It should not be a surprise that computer simulation model(s) using a wide range of inputs can trace a multitude of paths into the long-term future. The challenge is using this information to support useful policy arguments.

Both to demonstrate clearly a robust decision strategy for conducting LTPA and to provide a detailed explanation of the process, this chapter is organized into two principal parts. The first describes the overall “story” of the analysis, emphasizing the methodology. Subsequent sections provide details of each step in that analysis.


OVERVIEW: INTERACTIVE ANALYSIS OF SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT

Chapter Three described an iterative procedure in which robust decision methods (RAP™, in particular,) supported by modern computation, create an analytic methodology that combines the best features of narrative scenario-based planning, group processes, simulation modeling, and quantitative decision analysis. This new approach is characterized by the four key elements of LTPA, as enu-

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