Scientific conference organized by strategic research programmes

7 October 2020 - 8 October 2020
Place Webcast
Registration Register by 2 October

Preparing for the future: analyzing and identifying responses to societal challenges using scenarios and other tools for future scanning

Scientific conference organized byt the strategic research programmes and programme directors

When:  7-8 October 2020, between 9.30-18.00

Where: Online (Zoom)

If you wish to participate and follow the conference (without a paper), please register here by 2 October. Participation link will be sent to registered participants few days before the conference.

The overall aim of the Conference is to bring together scholars that have a common interest in exploring responses to societal challenges using and developing scenarios and other tools for scanning the future. The Conference will foster an exchange of ideas, approaches and insights in how these tools and approaches can be productively used. Furthermore, the Conference will also discuss methodological and theoretical possibilities and problems related to the study of future developments. The conference provides diversity in approaches and theoretical frames, thus providing opportunities for novel views.

In addition to future studies, the Conference aims at identifying and discussing approaches that enhance the societal impact and relevance of future oriented research. To this end, hands-on sessions give possibilities for exchanging ideas and experiences across research projects. In these sessions researchers can share their experiences and best practices, but also stumbling blocks, in efforts to increase the societal impact of their research. Presentations highlight successes or failures in interacting with different stakeholders, sharing information and co-creating knowledge about the future.  

The Conference is hosted by the research programmes of the Strategic Research Council. On the basis of presentations, the organisers will explore opportunities for editing a special issue in a scientific journal. 

The programme is  based on keynote presentations and parallel thematic sessions focusing on different aspects of scenarios, presenting and discussing both specific topics and methodological aspects. The thematic sessions are compiled to facilitate interactive discussions between presenters, commentators and other participants. 

The format of the science sessions consists of short talks, followed by the comments by an appointed opponent and the audience. The interaction arena is built around short talks and separate discussion sessions.

 Thematic sessions:

  • Down-scaling of global scenarios for a region/country
  • Challenging established thinking, new visions, practical challenges
  • Opening of new avenues for research, challenging established thinking, providing new hypotheses
  • Bottom-up development of pathways for the future in the urban environment
  • Bottom-up development of pathways for the future circular economy
  • Bottom-up development of pathways for the future: Innovations and new solutions
  • Bottom-up development of pathways for the future: Food and agriculture
  • Scenarios and future scanning as impulses for solutions to societal challenges: historical perspective and risks
  • Scenarios and future scanning as impulses for solutions to societal challenges: broad analyses with projections and risks
  • Focused future scanning
  • Co-creation, indicators and scenarios

Keynote speakers:

  • Professor Steve Evans is Director of Research in Industrial Sustainability in the engineering department at the University of Cambridge. He is also Director at CSEng Ventures and a founding partner at Riversimple. Read more.  
  • Professor Marjolein van Asselt is holding the Risk Governance chair at Maastricht University. Her research interest and expertise is in the interplay between science, society and politics. She has specialised in the related topics dealing with uncertainty, risk governance, the regulation of innovation and foresight. Read more.
  • Professor Ahti Salo currently works at the Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis, Aalto University, with research interests in decision analysis, efficiency analysis, risk management and foresight methodologies. Read more.

More information

  • Kaisa Korhonen-Kurki, Programme Director, firstname.lastname(at)
  • Mikael Hildén, Programme Director, firstname.lastname(at)

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