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Future Earth Pathways Initiative Co-Facilitates Workshop on Biodiversity Scenarios

Biodiversity plays a central part in many of the socio-environmental challenges and solutions linked to energy, agriculture, health, and management. To face these challenges in concrete contexts, researchers and local actors need to work together to explore possible trajectories. Scenarios constitute a powerful approach not only to explore possible trajectories, but also to engage with actors on the co-development of place-based pathways towards more desirable futures. 

On 8 June, 2023, the French Foundation for Biodiversity (FRB) and the Future Earth Pathways Initiative convened participants from the French research community to an event, “Place-based scenarios and transition pathways: exploring modes of transdisciplinary research,” designed to foster and facilitate transdisciplinary collaborations. The event was part of the preparation phase for the launch of a new FRB Scenario #2 programme dedicated to the co-creation, with stakeholders, of place-based socio-ecological transition pathways.  

The aim of this event was to introduce three scenario methods promoted as part of this new program–Art & Storytelling, Mind Mapping, and Modeling– and to reflect on ways to involve actors in the co-design of scenarios. The first half of the day served to set the scene through presentations from experts. The three scenarios methods were introduced and illustrated through concrete examples by Deplhine Zigoni (freelance scientific illustrator), Pierre Scemama (Ifremer), and Sandrine Petit-Michaut (INRAE). These presentations were complemented by insights and reflections on transdisciplinarity approaches from Sandra Lavorel (CNRS) and Olivier Massicot (Territory Lab).

P. Scemama, S. Lavorel, S. Petit-Michaut, D. Zigoni, and O. Massicot, responding to questions from the audience.

The afternoon of the event was structured around four thematic workshops (one for each scenario method, and one for transdisciplinarity) facilitated by the FRB and Future Earth Pathways Initiative teams. The thematic workshops gave the opportunity to engage with research approaches they were not always familiar with, and to engage in critical reflections on the design, development and implementation

of these methods in a transdisciplinary context. More generally these workshops allowed researchers from different disciplines, research expertise, and institutions to meet, share experiences, and learn from each other.

The rich discussions that emerged during the thematic workshops also served to further inform the call for proposals for the FRB programme Scenarios #2. The call is now open and proposals can be submitted until 22 September 2022. 

For more information about the programme visit the FRB website (information in French):