Co-designing global target-seeking scenarios: A cross-scale participatory process for capturing multiple perspectives on pathways to sustainability
The United Nations 2030 Agenda catalysed the development of global target-seeking sustainability-oriented scenarios representing alternative pathways to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Implementing the SDGs requires connected actions across local, national, regional, and global levels; thus, target-seeking scenarios need to reflect alternative options and tensions across those scales. We argue that the design of global sustainability-oriented target-seeking scenarios requires a consistent process for capturing multiple and contrasting perspectives on how to reach the goals, including the perspectives from multiple scales (e.g. local, national, regional) and geographic regions (e.g. the Global South).
Here we propose a novel approach to co-design global target-seeking scenarios, consisting of (a) capturing global perspectives on pathways to the SDGs through a review of existing global scenarios; (b) a multi-stakeholder process to obtain multiple sub-global perspectives on pathways to sustainability; (c) an analysis of convergences, and crucially, divergences between global and regional perspectives on pathways to reach the SDGs, feeding into the design of new target-seeking scenario narratives. As a case study, we use the results of the 2018 African Dialogue on The World in 2050, discussing the future of agriculture and food systems. The identified divergent themes emerging from our analysis included urbanization, population growth, agricultural practices, and the roles of different actors in the future of agriculture.
The results challenge some of the existing underlying assumptions of the current sustainability-oriented global scenarios (e.g. population growth, urbanisation, agricultural practices), indicating the relevance and timeliness of the proposed approach. We suggest that similar approaches can be replicated in other contexts to better inform the process of sustainability-oriented scenario co-design across scales, regions and cultures. In addition, we highlight the implications of the approach for scenario quantification and the evolution of modeling tools.
Research news | 2022-08-12
What it takes to make different approaches work together
Researchers invite readers “behind the scenes” to share their experiences combining agent-based modelling and controlled behavioural experiments
Research news | 2022-08-11
Adding the technological to the social-ecological
Researchers make the case for a more systematic way of thinking when designing urban, nature-based solutions
Research news | 2022-08-05
Not only clear-cuts, but even forest degradation drives CO2 emissions
Further degradation of the Amazon rainforest can lead to enormous C02 emissions in the upcoming decades, unless it is halted soon, new study finds
Research news | 2022-08-04
Growing tree cover can boost or dwindle water availability
Tree restoration is a great way to mitigate climate change and store atmospheric carbon. But when trees are planted at a large scale, regional water availability can be seriously affected
Research news | 2022-07-05
New exhibition at Skansen open-air museum features inputs from centre
Last week, Skansen, an open-air museum in Stockholm, launched the first part of an exhibition about biodiversity with contributions by the Stockholm Resilience Centre
Research news | 2022-07-01
Human actions drastically alter river flows
Diminishing water flows may jeopardize the lives of millions of people that depend on the rivers for food production, energy or sanitation