A number of innovative research designs have been proposed to study the relationship between mankind, culture, nature and the fragile relationship between them, including place-based research methodologies, walking, gopro and geo-catching techniques and creative, arts-based research projects. So far, participatory research designs have seldom been adapted for use in the creation of future narratives or to create a positive and active attitude towards storylines of change or what sort of ecological perspective might become reality. The non-profit and private sector have a longer tradition in using the method of ‘futuring’ and ‘trendwatching’ to support change processes, anticipate on potential futures, embrace opportunities for social innovation and engage in persuasive communication. However, academics have been slow in adopting such approaches in their methodological repertoire. In this project, we will (a) explore the academic potential and evaluate the merit of ‘futuring’ as an approach to study sustainable development processes and (b) integrate creative participatory research practices into futuring approaches to improve its activating potential. The topical area we chose for implementing the futuring approach is the societal challenge related to sustainable development processes.
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