Development of a Process to Turn Plausible Scenarios into On-Ground Action

By James Fisher, David Beurle and Michael O’Connor.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Scenario planning is a method that is often used to examine plausible futures. Scenarios and strategies abound but their use tends to be limited to the core of people involved in developing or sponsoring them. There appears to be some difficulty in translating scenarios into wide-spread action ‘on the ground’. Among the potential reasons for low levels of scenario use are problems of scenario scale, visualisation and exploration. Our aim was to examine whether a change of scenario scales and a novel system for visualising and exploring plausible futures could better engage people in their own futures. We describe the modified scenario-workshop process that we have developed, and report on examples where components of the process have been used in practice.

Keywords: Scenario Game, Scenario Planning, Futuring, Community Engagement

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp.295-304. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.215MB).

Dr. James Fisher

Principal, Désirée Futures, York, WA, Australia

James Fisher is Principal of Desiree Futures, a private research and consultancy company that focuses on rural communities and industries. He has undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications from The University of Western Australia, and 20 years of experience in agricultural research, systems modelling and scenario planning. He is a resident of the wheatbelt region of Western Australia and has a passionate interest in the development of this area.

David Beurle

Managing Director, Innovative Leadership Australia, Drummoyne, NSW, Australia

David Beurle is Managing Director of Innovative Leadership Australia (, an internationally award-winning company with extensive experience in community and regional economic development. He holds a degree in Agricultural Science from Sydney University and his current work focus includes industry and regional scenario planning and community visioning across North America and Australia. His professional experience has included over 10 years working on Natural Resource Management in the rangeland area of Western Australia, international trade development and rural revitalisation. He has served as a Director on the Board of the Western Australian Community Foundation.

Dr. Michael O’Connor

Research Scientist, Sustainable Ecosystems, CSIRO, Floreat, WA, Australia

Michael O’Connor is research scientist at CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems with a PhD from Curtin University. He has skills in futures research, computer programming and GIS. He is a member of CSIRO’s agricultural landscapes research team that is working at the interface of agriculture and the environment to improve ecological integrity and economic performance of farms and rural enterprises. His recent research has investigated alternative transport fuels, biodiversity in agricultural landscapes, scenario planning and regional prospects.


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