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The CIB algorithm (2/4)

Structure of a cross-impact matrix

The construction of a CIB cross-impact matrix will be described with the help of a simple example. The example describes a fictitious country "Somewhereland" with six interdependent factors in the fields of politics, economy and society. The steps of the CIB process are as follows:

1) Compile a list of the most relevant system factors ("descriptors"). In our example the list of descriptors contains the factors:
  A. Government
  B. Foreign policy
  C. Economy
  D. Distribution of wealth
  E. Social cohesion
  F. Social values
This example represents a rather small CIB matrix. Usually a CIB analysis comprises 10-20 descriptors (and occasionally more).

2) Define a set of qualitative states which characterize the possible states of the descriptors.
(The number of states may differ from descriptor to descriptor)
Considering the fictitious country "Somewhereland" the following list of descriptor states may be used as an example:
  A. Government:
    A1 "Patriots party"
    A2 "Prosperity party"
    A3 "Social party"
  B. Foreign policy:
    B1 Cooperation
    B2 Rivalry
    B3 Conflict
  C. Economy:
    C1 Shrinking
    C2 Stagnant
    C3 Dynamic
  D. Distribution of wealth:
    D1 Balanced
    D2 Strong contrasts
  E. Social cohesion:
    E1 Social peace
    E2 Tensions
    E3 Riots
  F. Social values:
    F1 Meritocratic
    F2 Solidarity
    F3 Family

3) Make a judgement about the impact of state x of descriptor X on state y of descriptor Y, based on literature reviews, expert interviews, or other appropriate investigations.

Only direct influences must be accounted for these judgements. The resulting indirect influences will be automatically constructed by the CIB algorithm.
Express your judgement in a qualitative scale as follows:

   -3: strongly restricting influence
   -2: moderately restricting influence
   -1: weakly restricting influence
    0: no influence
   +1: weakly promoting influence
   +2: moderately promoting influence
   +3: strongly promoting influence.

In our example we may conclude that the occurence of riots will strongly motivate many citizens of Somewhereland to retreat mentally into their closer social references: the family. Therefore, +3 is chosen for the cross-impact of the state "E3 Social cohesion: Riots" on the state "F3 Social values: Family".

Fig 2

This procedure results in a cross-impact matrix. Fig. 2 shows the matrix for our example. The data of the matrix don't attempt to express a real situation and should be understood as an example.

>> Recognizing the inconsistencies of a scenario

Version 4.31 of the free CIB software ScenarioWizard is available now... More
SafeMed, a project analysing potential risks for the pharma supply chain, uses CIB to develop hazard scenarios... More
The Helmholtz Alliance "ENERGY-TRANS" studies the interplay between technological and societal aspects of the energy transition in Germany. ZIRIUS develops societal scenarios using the CIB method... More
The German-Peruvian project LiWa aims at strategies to cope with the threats of climate change to the water supply of Lima. The project's integrative scenarios are developed using the CIB method... More
The archive provides a compilation of older notes on CIB projects and publications... More

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