Narratives are a practical way of synthesizing different and incommensurable values. They always contain qualitative elements, but may also include quantitative references both in verbal or graphical representations, as well as visual and artistic illustrations.

Narrative approaches allow representing diverse worldviews and value types, and can be applied to various foci of valuation. They are also suitable to bring together valuation results from different geographical and social organization scales, although ‘upscaling’ is often based on logical argumentation instead of calculation. Different time scales can also be represented by narrative approaches, especially by scenarios storylines that describe and compare plausible future alternatives.

Narratives often prove to be powerful communication tools that integrate scientific and expert knowledge as well as ILK and tacit knowledge forms in sometimes novel ways. This makes results more accessible for decision makers, experts and the general public, and helps them consider and apply relevant value information in complex policy decisions.

Examples of tools
Tools and instruments: