Syke's scenario and foresight work

Many ongoing projects (at least 27) at the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke) are engaged in future scenario and foresight activities. The timeframe of the foresight varies, some focus on just some years many are looking towards 2030 and some even to 2100. The Scenarios cover a large amount of issues from the impacts of climate change to urbanization and many different methods and approaches are utilized in the projects.

Examples of projects doing scenario or foresight analyses

  • Syke has for a long time been a key partner in climate change scenario work. Examples of earlier projects are FINSKEN, CARAVAN and A-LA-CARTE. This work is now continued in the PLUMES and the EU-project (FP7) IMPRESSIONS. Another project related to climate impacts is the MARS project.
  • Syke has a long tradition of air pollution scenarios, there are several ongoing projects.
  • Syke is involved in several projects doing energy scenarios, one of them is FutWend.
  • Syke is participating in the BEMINE project, which develops scenarios for urbanization. This work partly builds on the Urban Zones Applied in Planning (Urban Zone 3) project.  

Syke’s foresight work is linked to other international and national foresight activities. SYKE is for example an active participant in the FLIS (Knowledge base for Forward-Looking Information and Services) work of the European Environment Agency.

Methods in scenario and foresight work

The approaches to foresight are manifold. Here at SYKE we identified via an interactive workshop some of the key methods that have been deployed in the above-mentioned projects. These include:

  • Delphi-method and variants thereof. These are primarily expert survey type approaches;
  • Quantitative scenarios. Model-based projections of the evolution of quantitative information with different assumptions.
  • Back-casting. Projecting ‘backwards’ from a known or normative outcome (depending on the timeframe).
  • Scenario narratives. Qualitative descriptions of the future outlook. Often in conjunction with co-creation or stakeholder workshops.
  • Shock scenarios. Desk-top research or collaboration based scenarios with considerable variation to status quo.
  • Weak signals. Interpreting the current ‘low-lying’ or ambiguous trends. A form of foresight for strategic work or future policy.

Key people involved in scenario or foresight activities

Jari Lyytimäki
Niko Karvosenoja

Example of some recent publications

Kateryna Pereverza, Oleksii Pasichnyi, David Lazarevic, Olga Kordas (2017) Strategic planning for sustainable heating in cities: A morphological method for scenario development and selection, Applied Energy 186 (Part 2): 115-125.

Kristie L. Ebi, Stephane Hallegatte, Tom Kram, Nigel W. Arnell, Timothy R. Carter, Jae Edmonds, Elmar Kriegler, Ritu Mathur, Brian C. O'Neill, Keywan Riahi, Harald Winkler, Detlef P. Van Vuuren, Timm Zwickel (2014) A new scenario framework for climate change research : background, process, and future directions, Climatic Change 122(3): 363-372.

Lena Hallin‐Pihlatie, Jaana Rintala, Henning Sten Hansen, (2013) Integration of climate change and land‐use scenarios in nutrient leaching assessment, International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management 5(3), 285-303.

Published 2017-05-12 at 14:46, updated 2023-01-13 at 11:25
Target group: