A new volume of Futures has published 'Scenarios as a scholarly methodology to produce “interesting research”' by Rafael Ramirez, Malobi Mukherjee, Simona Vezzoli and Arnoldo Matus Kramer.
This article responds to recent debates which have identified the insufficient production of 'interesting research', i.e. research that is innovative and develops theory while being both usable and rigorous. Its authors propose that scenarios methodology as a scholarly form of inquiry is one way in which researchers can generate 'interesting research'.
Investigating three research studies: (i) the unfolding of retailing formats in India; (ii) the evolution of migration patterns in Europe and the Mediterranean; and (iii) climate change and regional and urban planning in the Tulum region of the Peninsula of Yucatán, the authors present and compare how scenarios methodology was used. Their findings demonstrate that when scenarios are used as a scholarly methodology involving iterations and revisions, they help to challenge existing assumptions, identify novel lines of inquiry, and enable new research opportunities to emerge, thus opening up a research mode that helps engaged scholars to make sense of and address complex and uncertain contexts and produce interesting findings.
This article builds on research undertaken by IMI researchers into scenarios methodology as part of the Global Migration Futures project.