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Table 1 Illustration of major properties of the three modes of orientation

From: Modes of orientation provided by futures studies: making sense of diversity and divergence

  Mode 1 Mode 2 Mode 3
Approach to the future Predictive: one future Look for a corridor of sensible futures Open space of futures
spectrum of futures Convergence as ideal Bounded diversity Unbounded divergence
Preferred methodology Quantitative, model-based Quantitative or qualitative; participatory Narrative
Knowledge used Causal and statistical knowledge, laws Models, knowledge of stakeholders Associative knowledge, arguments
Role of normative issues Low Depends on case High
Orientation provided Decision-support, optimisation Robust action strategies Self-reflection and contemporary diagnostics