“Approaches to Participatory Energy Foresight at EU Level”
30th April 2009, Athens
The aim of the EFONET Workshop on “Approaches to Participatory Energy Foresight at EU Level” held on April 30th 2009 at the National Technical University of Athens was twofold:
1. to learn about current practice in participatory energy planning and foresight, and
2. to discuss the potential for participatory approaches in European level energy foresight.
The workshop consisted of five presentations on participatory approaches followed by a working group session and a final discussion (see agenda below). Presentations can be downloaded from www.efonet.org.
Important issues stressed on the workshop were:
Wide range of concepts for participation
There is a wide range of potential stakeholders in a participatory foresight process ranging from individual decision makers, professionals, experts, societal group representatives up to the broad public. Both technocratic (based on experts’ and professional stakeholders’ knowledge and opinions) and democratic approaches (based on a wider public) are possible. Depending on the foresight exercise’s scope and objective, an appropriate selection of “participants” is crucial.
Participation may improve foresight processes threefold
Participatory elements may improve foresight processes in many ways:
First, participation of relevant groups or individuals may help in the identification of issues that truly matter, i.e. in defining more closely the objectives of the foresight exercise, the questions to be answered and decisions to be supported.
Second, participatory elements may strengthen the quality of the content of the analysis, i.e. concerning expertise, data, assumptions, tools, scenario-building, conclusions etc.
Finally, participation may contribute in building ownership of findings among audiences who are supposed to follow up with action, i.e. use foresight results in decision making, act on recommendations etc.
Broad range of participatory methods
A broad range of participatory methods is available and operational, based on practical experience in foresight, (regional) planning and decision support, however mostly at national or regional levels. A selection of participatory methods is explained in Prof. Maria Giaoutzi’s workshop presentation. More information on both participatory and non-participatory foresight methods can e.g. be accessed at the JRC’s ForLearn website (http://forlearn.jrc.ec.europa.eu)
or the UK Horizon Scanning Centre’s website (http://hsctoolkit.tribalctad.co.uk).
Balanced embedding of participatory elements into foresight process
When designing a foresight process with participatory elements it is crucial to have a transparent and well balanced set-up allowing for an appropriate mix of participatory work and desk analysis by the project team.
Barriers to participatory approaches
Generally, participatory approaches are more costly and time consuming compared to pure desk research, this is especially the case on European level if participants from many different backgrounds and countries need to be involved. In addition, multinational exercises face language and cultural barriers. Choosing English as a lingua franca limits the choice of participants and reduces the quality of results even in expert circles which are used to work internationally. Furthermore, depending on the participatory approaches, it appears to be a challenge to motivate potential participants to invest their time – apart from professional industry/ NGO/ civil society stakeholders whose primary job it is to offer their expertise and opinions to the public or decision makers.
Experience with European level participatory energy foresight yet to be gained
While some forms of involvement of professional stakeholders in EU level foresight & decision making processes are being practiced, there is still little experience with broader audiences.
Ideas developed in working groups during the workshop imply that a variety of participatory approaches in European level energy foresight appear possible and useful. The example exercise’s objectives and scope, however, should determine the range of (public/stakeholder) participation.
The results of the workshop will be further evaluated:
Combined with the results of the EFONET workshop “Integration of quantitative and qualitative methodologies” (planned for Berlin, autumn 2009), the outcomes of both workshops will be processed in an EFONET evaluation paper / policy brief: “Starting points for new methods in trans-national European energy Foresight” (due spring 2010).
Timon Wehnert / Wolfram Jörß
Institute for Futures Studies and Technology
Institut für Zukunftsstudien und
Tel.: +49 30 803088 13 / 17
Fax.: +49 30 803088 88
e-mail.: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Maria Giaoutzi / Anastasia Stratigea
National Technical University of Athens
School of Rural and Surveying Engineering;
Dept. of Geography and Regional Planning
Herroon Polytechniou Str. 9
Athens 157 80
tel. +30 210 772 2749 / +30 210 772 2672
fax +30 210 772 2750
email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Energy Foresight Network EFONET is
funded by the European Commission under the 7th
“Approaches to Participatory Energy Foresight at EU Level”
National Technical University of Athens, Greece
Multimedia Building, Zographou Campus, Herroon Polytechniou Str. 9, 15780 Athens
30 April 2009
9.00 Welcome and Introduction
Timon Wehnert, IZT
Session 1: Status Quo and potentials of participatory foresight
9:30 Working Session: perceptions of participatory foresight
9:50 Participatory Foresight Methodologies: Strengths and
Maria Giaoutzi, NTUA
10.20 Participatory Governance in the Energy Decision Making Process
Helene Connor, HELIO International
10.50 Coffee Break
11.10 Forecasting vs. Backcasting in the Energy Sector: Participatory aspects
Anastasia Stratigea, NTUA
The backcasting approach in European Projects: the POSSUM experience
Maria Giaoutzi, NTUA
11.40 Experiences from Belgium foresight – the SEPIA project
Erik Laes, SCK/CEN
12.10 Wrap-up of session 1
Session 2: Matching Potentials of Participatory Foresight Approaches
with EU Foresight Objectives.
14.00 Working groups:
Potentials for participatory approaches – contribution to objectives of EU energy foresight
15.40 Coffee Break
16.00 Presentation of Working Group Results in Plenary
16.20 Final Discussion
16:50 Résumé of the 2nd day
Wolfram Jörß, IZT
17:00 End of Workshop
List of Participants
No First Name Last Name Institution
1 Fouad Al Mansour IJS, Slovenia
2 Maria Belova Institute for Energy and Finance Foundation, Russia
3 Oihana Blanco Bask Innovation Agency
4 Nerea Blazquez Bask Innovation Agency
5 Bertrand Chateau Enerdata, France
6 Hélène Connor HELIO International
7 Haris Doukas National Technical University Athens (NTUA)
8 Ugo Farinelli AIEE / ISIS, Italy
9 Alexandros Filippidis Ea Energy Analyses, Denmark
10 Maria Giaoutzi National Technical University Athens (NTUA)
11 Elias Grammatikogiannis National Technical University Athens (NTUA)
12 Miklos Gyoerffi STOA / European Parliament
13 Wolfram Joerss IZT - Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment, Germany
14 Krzysztof Kapusta Central Mining Institute (GIG), Poland
15 Chara Karakosta National Technical University Athens (NTUA)
16 István Krómer VEIKI, Hungary
17 Erik Laes SCK/CEN, Belgium - Sustainability and nuclear development
18 Edurne Magro Montero Inasmet Tecnalia, Spain
19 Iwona Nowicka Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education
20 Christian Panzer Vienna University of Technology
21 Ioannis Psarras National Technical University Athens (NTUA)
22 Pura Ribas Mateos CIEMAT, Spain
23 Andrea Ricci ISIS, Italy
24 Anastasia Stratigea National Technical University Athens (NTUA)
25 Alexander van de Putte PFC Energy, Switzerland
26 Victor van Rij Ministry for Education, Culture and Science, Netherlands
27 Timon Wehnert IZT - Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment, Germany
Informatics and Regional Development Delphi, 1984