Using Futures-Thinking to Support Ecosystem Assessments

Authored by: Steven Cork

Routledge Handbook of Ecosystem Services

Print publication date:  January  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138025080
eBook ISBN: 9781315775302
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315775302-16

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Abstract

The literature on futures-thinking includes diverse philosophical approaches and methods. Futures-thinking draws on a range of disciplines to acknowledge and address the psychological and other barriers to thinking openly and creatively about future possibilities and their implications for planning over multiple timeframes. A key component of most approaches to futures-thinking is the development of scenarios (internally consistent narratives designed to explore future uncertainties), which have proved to be particularly useful in ecosystem studies because they allow researchers and managers to explore the interactions among social, technological, ecological, economic, political and other factors influencing possible future human needs and the capacity of ecosystems to meet some of those needs.

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