Unit of Spatial Planning


Regional Development - SPReD

g en



EFONET Workshop

“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

Technologiebewertung (IZT)

Schopenhauerstr. 26

14129 Berlin


Tel.: +49 30 803088 13 / 17

Fax.: +49 30 803088 88

e-mail.: t.wehnert@izt.de / w.joerss@izt.de



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

giaoutsi@mail.ntua.gr / stratige@mail.ntua.gr



The Energy Foresight Network EFONET is

funded by the European Commission under the 7th

framework program


EFONET Workshop

“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

10.10 Discussion

10.20 Participatory Governance in the Energy Decision Making Process

Helene Connor, HELIO International

10.40 Discussion

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

11.30 Discussion

11.40 Experiences from Belgium foresight – the SEPIA project

Erik Laes, SCK/CEN

12.00 Discussion

12.10 Wrap-up of session 1

13.00 Lunch

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