University of Oulu

Simo Sarkki, Mia Pihlajamäki, Baltic herring for food: Shades of grey in how backcasting recommendations work across exploratory scenarios, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 139, 2019, Pages 200-209, ISSN 0040-1625,

Baltic herring for food : shades of grey in how backcasting recommendations work across exploratory scenarios

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Author: Sarkki, Simo1; Pihlajamäki, Mia2,3,4
Organizations: 1Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities, PO Box 1000, 90014, University of Oulu, Finland
2Faculty of Management, University of Tampere, FI-33014 Tampere, Finland
3Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 65, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
4Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Research Group, P.O. Box 4300, 90014, University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-10-02


Scenario methods can be used to cope with future uncertainties by envisioning plausible futures and identifying paths to reach desirable targets. The objective of this paper is to develop novel proposals revealing generalised dynamics on “HOW” the different normative recommendations can work under different exploratory scenarios. Previous literature has focused more on developing methods for integrating normative and exploratory scenarios than on theorising dynamics of the HOW question. We examine this theoretical question via a case study on potential futures of use and governance of Baltic herring catch. The case study: 1) develops recommendations on how the use of Baltic herring as food can be increased based on a participatory backcasting workshop with fisheries experts; 2) identifies four exploratory scenarios on the future of Baltic fisheries governance based on a literature review; 3) assesses how the recommendations work under four alternative plausible futures. We identify and discuss six generalised dynamics answering the HOW question. Together, these stress the need to analyse simultaneously multiple drivers, stakeholders, exploratory scenarios, normative recommendations, and synergies and frictions between recommendations. This work contributes to capacities to cope with future changes and proactively develop practical means to make our world more sustainable.

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Series: Technological forecasting and social change
ISSN: 0040-1625
ISSN-E: 1873-5509
ISSN-L: 0040-1625
Volume: 139
Pages: 200 - 209
DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2018.11.001
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
Funding: This paper is a contribution from the BONUS GOHERR project (Integrated governance of Baltic herring and salmon stocks involving stakeholders), and it has received funding from BONUS (Art 185), funded jointly by the EU and the Academy of Finland. The authors wish to thank all the stakeholders who participated in the workshop as well as the peer-reviewers for their constructive comments.
Copyright information: © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (