Figures below illustrate the main characteristics of the 4 scenarios, respectively at the global, intersectoral level, and in terms of their mobility culture implications.
An intense discussion among the REBALANCE researchers led to the identification of two main axes for shaping the scenario framework and the resulting four scenarios. Rather than selecting two among the seven CUs – which would have entailed a further prioritisation of the latter and the risk of downplaying other important factors – the axes were chosen so as to illustrate two overarching dimensions:
“Type of society”, i.e. the broad characterisation of society in terms of its prevailing values and cultural tenets. At one extreme of the vertical axis we find a rigid society, one that is keen to conserve its deeply rooted values and cultural tenets, and finds safety in avoiding shocks and disrupting change. At the other extreme, society is fluid, or liquid, embracing change and continuously endeavouring to adapt.
“Powers and politics”, characterising the governance model and its basic instruments. The horizontal axis illustrates the contrast between a governance model that relies on hard, command-and-control powers and politics and one that prioritizes softer instruments based e.g. on nudging and moral suasion.
The two dimensions are largely independent, in that all four combinations they generate are plausible and ensure that each resulting scenario is, by and large, internally consistent. On the other hand, each of the seven CUs can be represented in each of the four scenarios with differentiated “values”, which helps confirming the contrasted nature of the four visions.
Combining the two dimensions, four scenarios emerge, which we have chosen to name after prominent mythological protagonsists:
Scenario A: Hercules (the myth of strength), where a rigid society is guided by hard powers
Scenario B: Themis (the myth of justice), where soft powers prevail in handling the rigidity of society
Scenario C: Gaia (the myth of interconnections), where a fluid society is kept afloat by recurring to soft policy instruments
Scenario D: Hermes (the myth of speed), where command-and-control policies keep a fluid society in check