This book reports on the explorative search of a new scenario method for the development of transition scenarios. This type of scenario has already been practiced on an experimental basis, but as yet there was no solid conceptual and methodological basis. Nevertheless, this type of scenario development is becoming increasingly important in light of reaching future sustainability. The rationale behind transition scenarios is that we are facing persistent societal problems of high complexity and uncertainty. For anticipating these developments and influencing future sustainability, we have to be aware of the need for a more radical type of change process that differs significantly from the trend-based ones envisioned in the more conventional scenario approaches. This is because sustainability suggests that prospects for disruption, discontinuities, surprises and shocks are increasingly in evidence. Subsequently, the claim is made that new and better scenario approaches need to be developed that can merge in with this new perspective on foresight. Against the background of these developments, this book introduces a new scenario method (TRANSCE) for visualizing transformative change patterns towards sustainability. TRANSCE builds on existing scenario methods but adds new elements. Through this integration it provides a new concept for scientific research and a method for scenario practice in the context of sustainability. By taking discontinuities as a starting point, TRANSCE offers a generic method to create and visualize desirable and inspiring images of sustainable future systems accompanied by guiding pathways of structural change. With this method we aspire to combine the best of several worlds and to develop scenarios that possess and balance multiple features: long-term and short-term, realistic and desirable, process and content and explorative and normative. Contrary to the conventional scenarios, the design objective of TRANSCE does not lie in being plausible or realistic. Instead, it lies in trying to inform! and inspire sustainability-oriented short-term action by generating a sense of urgency and fuelling a mindset change. This book offers insight into five years of development of theory and practice of transition scenarios as a new type of scenario method in sustainability-oriented foresight activities. It is highly relevant for science and policy related to transformative change and sustainable development.

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J.E. Jurriaanse Stichting
J. Rotmans (Jan)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT)

Sondeijker, S. (2009, December 9). Imagining Sustainability: Methodological building blocks for transition scenarios. Retrieved from