CIB analysis aims to qualitatively capture the range of possible developments of a system by formulating the available knowledge about the system and its influence relations as a qualitative network and analyzing this network with the CIB algorithm. This procedure is demonstrated below using a simple example. The example deals with the possible social, economic and political futures (scenarios) of the fictitious country 'Somewhereland'.¹
Step I: Specifying the Descriptor Set
The first step of the procedure is to identify the essential factors required to describe the system's development. These factors are called 'descriptors'. The descriptors are generally determined through literature reviews or expert elicitation. The example assumes that six descriptors have been selected.
B. Foreign policy
D. Distribution of wealth
E. Social cohesion
F. Social values
In practice, typical CIB analyses often include 10-20 descriptors, sometimes even more. The descriptors can by their nature be quantitative (like D. Distribution of wealth) or qualitative (like B. Foreign policy). Mixed descriptor sets, as in Somewhereland, are permitted.
¹ The example does not aim to make any sound statements about societal developments, but serves solely to demonstrate the method.