Interactive backcasting is used to define and assess future scenarios and also to work on the concrete implementation process.
By looking at complex situations in an integrative way, students will be aware of how interrelated they are but at the same time they will be equipped with a tool to handle this complexity. Since the focus is on developing comprehensive strategies to attain the desired tomorrow, this tool is of practical relevance.
Didactical description of the method
Preparation: Initially, the group develops a future scenario (plus 25 to 50 years), which should solve a complex problem by a paradigm shift. By means of example, this could be a “future without fossil fuels for individual mobility”. The facilitator can also use creativity tools (6-3-5 Brainwriting, Station Talk – also to be found on the Sustainicum platform) to develop these scenarios. In fact the actual development of the scenarios is not that important since this exercise focuses on the interventions necessary to attain it.
In a second step, these future scenarios will be analysed in small working groups to find out how to realize this common future with small interventions that start today. The group analyses the following factors: feasibility with state-of-the-art technology, obstacles and opportunities on the way, the biggest problem during implementation and how it could be overcome, an implementation plan including milestones. The process has been illustrated in a document attached.
After this session it is advisable to give the possibility for feedback in the plenary, where the interventions and opportunities and obstacles on the way towards the future scenario can be addressed.
- Flipchart, markers for each group.
- The interactive backcasting process has been illustrated in a document attached.