Opportunities, Barriers, Policy and Practice
Edited by Shane Fudge, Michael Peters, Steven M. Hoffman and Walter Wehrmeyer
Chapter 4: Scenarios as tools for initiating behaviour change in food consumption
Over the last few decades, considerable changes in food consumption have taken place. The food system is a complex socio-ecological system surrounded by unpredictable events and uncertainties, especially on long-term horizons such as 25–50 years ahead. In order to deal with these uncertainties, complexities and long-term challenges as well as to influence developments proactively, scenario planning is increasingly applied in both policy making and knowledge brokerage. Scenarios can reveal uncertainties, can help prepare for unexpected changes and highlight crucial decisions to be taken today. Scenarios can offer a clearer picture of the present and visions for the future and can help to identify key driving forces and barriers for changing behaviour and their trends as well as assess potential outcomes of different policy paths. The intention of this chapter is to provide background information and a short summary on the use of scenarios in evidence-based policy making in general as well as in the context of changing behaviour towards sustainable food consumption. Moreover, it compiles and briefly reviews recent examples of scenario building approaches in the sustainable food domain. The potential roles and applications of different types of scenarios such as visioning exercises, backcasting or quantitative models and their benefit for policy making are discussed. The chapter is built on a discussion paper that was prepared for the ‘Policy Meets Research’ Workshop on sustainable food consumption within the European Union (EU)FP 7 CORPUS project that-took place in Vienna in 2011 and 2012 (http://www.scpknowledge. eu).
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