In order to prepare for future changes in international migration we must understand the different ways in which societies may change and how these will affect migration patterns. Traditional approaches to migration forecasting have tended to focus on a limited set of relatively certain, easy-to-predict factors, such as demographic trends, and which assume structural continuity. We must instead begin to explore methodologies that are suited to examine factors such as geopolitical shifts, economic restructuring, technological change and environmental change. These are notoriously difficult to predict, but we cannot afford to ignore them, since they will have a considerable impact on global migration patterns and trends.
This new working paper presents the Global Migration Futures Scenario Methodology developed at IMI, which integrates insights from migration theory with techniques from the Intuitive Logics School of scenario planning to enable the simultaneous and systematic examination of relatively certain and uncertain migration determinants, their future evolution as well as their implications for population mobility. The authors discuss the key insights gained through applying this scenario methodology in different world regions as well as its main limitations.