Growing levels of uncertainty and concern arising from climate change disruption raise important questions, not least of all, about sustaining democratic decision-making structures, in the face of increasingly fragile, incomplete and unpredictable projections for the future of our society and environment.
In response to this growing uncertainty, we have seen a substantial growth in scenario analyses using a range of pathways, predictive, contingency and foresight modeling tools. The need to further advance and promote future thinking tools is critical for academics, educators, decision makers, community practitioners and activists. Recognising that the positive visions required to move to a low carbon and climate-resilient society must involve the inclusion of many actors, communities and stakeholders, if we are to succeed in ‘future-oriented’ communities and decision-making. To encourage this multi-stakeholder approach a clearer link to democratic processes is required.
This toolkit offers guidance on futures-thinking tied to more inclusive, equal and reason-based participation processes. The potential of this approach hinges on the importance of considering various and ever evolving preferred future alternatives emerging from politically connected, socially inclusive and self-reflective practices.
This toolkit includes a series of guiding pieces which offer advice on good practice around engagement and provides guidance for those interested in incorporating different futures-thinking tools into their practice, either individually or as part of their wider process. To support the application of these tools we showcase the work carried out through the Imagining2050 project, including clear examples of how each tool was employed, visual examples and some video links that offer an overview of the process and people involved. We rate the ease of implementation of each tool (as easy, medium or difficult) to indicate relative levels of simplicity/complexity and resource use in employing each tool.