Participatory scenario planning

authors_maike-hamann_tanja-hichert_nadia-sitas
1. Maike Hamann (biography)
2. Tanja Hichert (biography)
3. Nadia Sitas (biography)

By Maike Hamann, Tanja Hichert and Nadia Sitas

Within the many different ways of developing scenarios, what are useful general procedures for participatory processes? What resources are required? What are the strengths and weaknesses of involving stakeholders?

Scenarios are vignettes or narratives of possible futures, and when used in a set, usually depict purposefully divergent visions of what the future may hold. The point of scenario planning is not to predict the future, but to explore its uncertainties. Scenario development has a long history in corporate and military strategic planning, and is also commonly used in global environmental assessments to link current decision-making to future impacts. Participatory scenario planning extends scenario development into the realm of stakeholder-engaged research.

In general, the process for participatory scenario planning broadly follows three phases.

Read more

A responsible approach to intersectionality

By Ellen Lewis and Anne Stephens

authors_ellen-lewis_anne-stephens
1. Ellen Lewis (biography)
2. Anne Stephens (biography)

What is intersectionality? How can it be used systemically and responsibly?

When you google the term over 66,400,000 results are returned. It is a term used by government and businesses, as well as change agents. But is it helpful and are there ways that we should be thinking about intersectionality and its inclusion in our everyday lives?

After describing intersectionality, we introduce a framework for systemic intersectionality that brings together issues that arise within three social dimensions: gender equality, environments and marginalised voices. We refer to this as the GEMs framework.

Read more

Improving cross-disciplinary collaboration with strategy knotworking and ecocycle planning

By Nancy White

nancy-white
Nancy White (biography)

How can cross-disciplinary teams improve their project results and cross-team learning, especially when they are part of a portfolio of funded projects?

I have worked with cross disciplinary teams in international agriculture development, ecosystems management and mental health. For the most part, these are externally funded initiatives and have requirements both for results (application of the work) and for cross-team learning. Often there is not useful clarity about how funder and grantee agendas work in sync. And there is rarely opportunity or support for shared optimization and exploration across different portfolios of funded work.

Read more

Dealing with differences in interests through principled negotiation

By Gabriele Bammer

gabriele-bammer_nov-2021
Gabriele Bammer (biography)

How can the interests of a diverse group of researchers and stakeholders tackling a complex societal problem be understood and managed?

Interests arise when a person has a stake in something and stands to gain or lose depending on what happens to that something:

  • researchers commonly have a stake in advancing their work and careers,
  • stakeholders affected by a societal problem generally have a stake in improving the problem, and
  • stakeholders in a position to do something about a problem generally have a stake in improving outcomes for the problem through their sphere of influence.

Interests relate not only to personal conditions or stakes (self-interest), but also to principles such as reducing inequities and promoting justice.

Read more

Creative destruction

By Keith McCandless

author_keith-mccandless
Keith McCandless (biography)

My favorite part of working with groups is helping people notice and stop counterproductive behavior. We all have self-limiting individual and group behaviors. Of course, they are easier to spot in others than in ourselves. So, finding seriously fun ways to help people discover for themselves what they can stop doing is important.

I use an activity called TRIZ from Liberating Structures. The purpose of TRIZ is to:

  • Make it possible to speak the unspeakable and get skeletons out of the closet
  • Make space for innovation
  • Lay the ground for creative destruction by doing the hard work in a fun way
  • TRIZ may be used before or in place of visioning sessions
  • Build trust by acting all together to remove barriers.

Read more

Why complex problems need abductive reasoning

By Mariana Zafeirakopoulos

mariana-zafeirakopoulos
Mariana Zafeirakopoulos (biography)

How does the way we approach complex problems differ from how we approach problems that are familiar or obvious?

In this i2Insights contribution, I explore four kinds of reasoning:

  • Deduction
  • Induction
  • Abduction
  • Design abduction.

Design abduction is the brain-child of Professor Kees Dorst (2015). In simplified terms, these different kinds of reasoning can be compared as follows (Watson and Dorst, 2022, p. 3; taken from Dorst, 2015, pp. 46-49):

Read more

Extending the DPSIR (Driving forces, Pressures, States, Impacts, Responses) framework

By Will Allen

will-allen
Will Allen (biography)

What is the DPSIR framework? How can it be extended to improve the ability to describe the interactions between society and the environment?

DPSIR (Driving forces, Pressures, States, Impacts, Responses) is a framework for describing and analysing the important and interlinked relationships between social and environmental factors (see the first figure below).

Different groups use these terms in slightly different ways, dependent on their disciplinary backgrounds – and given the diverse range of uses that the framework is put to, it probably does not make sense to attempt to create rigid definitions.

Read more

Adaptive skilling

By Seema Purushothaman

seema-purushothaman
Seema Purushothaman (biography)

How can tribal societies forge a healthy equilibrium wherein short-term gains in livelihoods can be achieved without permanent loss in quality and security of tribal life? Are there lessons beyond the developmental journeys of the marginalised to how societies can craft informed, deliberative and adaptive mechanisms to generate blended knowledge that links diverse systems of learning and practice?

We suggest that the answer lies in adaptive skilling (Purushothaman et al., 2022).

What is adaptive skilling?

The process of adaptive skilling is more than mere avoidance of deskilling or just ensuring the continuity of individual and social learning.

Read more

Three narratives describing interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary researchers

By Laura Norton, Giulia Sonetti and Mauro Sarrica

authors_laura-norton_giulia-sonetti_mauro-sarrica
1. Laura Norton (biography)
2. Giulia Sonetti (biography)
3. Mauro Sarrica (biography)

How do inter- and trans- disciplinary researchers talk about themselves? Do these narratives disrupt the status-quo and help integrate inter- and trans- disciplinarity into current academic institutions?

Below, we describe three narratives that can be applied to how inter- and trans- disciplinary researchers talk about themselves, namely as:

  • Heroes
  • Refugees in sanctuaries
  • Navigators of shifting borders.

Read more

Replacing conferences with effective online learning experiences

By Maha Bali, George Station and Mia Zamora

authors_maha-bali_george-station_mia-zamora
1. Maha Bali (biography)
2. George Station (biography)
3. Mia Zamora (biography)

What options are there for developing effective online replacements for face-to-face conferences? How can these options promote better access for those without funds or freedom to travel? How can they contribute to climate justice?

We share our experience in co-organising (with others) Equity Unbound’s inaugural Mid-Year Festival 2022, aka #MYFest22 (referred to throughout as MYFest), a virtual event that sought to center community and support, and avoid the many pitfalls of online, in-person and hybrid events.

Read more

Resolving disagreements by negotiating agreements in the right way

By Lawrence Susskind

lawrence-susskind
Lawrence Susskind (biography)

How can interdisciplinary teams avoid getting stuck on questions like:

  1. What kinds of data do we need to collect?
  2. What methods or techniques should we use to analyze our data?
  3. How should we handle gaps or incongruities in our findings?
  4. What are the policy implications or prescriptions that follow from our findings?

I want to share some lessons I’ve learned about handling disagreements on these four questions.

Research Design

Read more

Systems thinking in public policy: Making space to think differently

By Catherine Hobbs

catherine-hobbs_2021
Catherine Hobbs (biography)

Why does public policy go wrong? How can researchers who are systems thinkers begin to create the conditions in which those involved in public policy may flourish within their possible spheres of ‘horizontal’ influence?

The public policy context and why it goes wrong

Jake Chapman’s System Failure: Why Governments Must Learn to Think Differently (2002; 2004) remains a much-quoted report. In his second (2004) edition, however, Chapman reflects that, despite an enthusiastic reception, there had been “very little substantive shift in either policy or management styles within government” (2004: p.10).

Read more