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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 496818
Title Scenarios and the art of worldmaking
Author(s) Vervoort, Joost M.; Bendor, Roy; Kelliher, Aisling; Strik, Oscar; Helfgott, A.E.R.
Source Futures 74 (2015). - ISSN 0016-3287 - p. 62 - 70.
Department(s) Soil Geography and Landscape
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2015
Keyword(s) Agency - Deconstruction - Imagination - Pluralism - Scenarios - Worlds

In this exploratory paper we propose 'worldmaking' as a framework for pluralistic, imaginative scenario development. Our points of departure are the need in scenario practice to embrace uncertainty, discomfort and knowledge gaps, and the connected need to capture and make productive fundamental plurality among understandings of the future. To help respond to these needs, we introduce what Nelson Goodman calls worldmaking. It holds that there is no singular, objective world (or "real reality"), and instead that worlds are multiple, constructed through creative processes instead of given, and always in the process of becoming. We then explore how worldmaking can operationalise discordant pluralism in scenario practice by allowing participants to approach not only the future but also the present in a constructivist and pluralistic fashion; and by extending pluralism to ontological domains. Building on this, we investigate how scenario worldmaking could lead to more imaginative scenarios: worldmaking is framed as a fully creative process which gives participants ontological agency, and it helps make contrasts, tensions and complementarities between worlds productive. We go on to propose questions that can be used to operationalize scenario worldmaking, and conclude with the expected potential and limitations the approach, as well as suggestions for practical experimentation.

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