Attn. Charlotte Ballard

Environmental Governance Group

Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development

Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University

Heidelberglaan 2
3584 CS Utrecht
The Netherlands



Hebinck, A., J. M. Vervoort, P. Hebinck, L. Rutting, and F. Galli. 2018. Imagining transformative futures: participatory foresight for food systems change. Ecology and Society 23(2):16.


Transformations inherently involve systems change and because of the political nature of change, are subject to contestation. A potentially effective strategy to further transformative change that builds on interdisciplinary, multiactor, and multiscale-practices and values is the use of foresight. Foresight covers a wide range of methods to systematically investigate the future. Foresight exercises offer collaborative spaces and have the potential to conceptualize and even initiate transformative change. But there is no clear understanding of the possibilities and limitations of foresight in this regard. This explorative paper builds on foresight and sociology and interrogates the role of foresight in transformative change, building on four cases...

Vervoort & Gupta's paper "Anticipating climate futures in a 1.5°C era: the link between foresight and governance" has been published in the journal Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (COSUST).

You can download the PDF here.


  • The 1.5 °C target calls for imagining and governing uncertain climate futures.

  • Anticipatory climate governance becomes central, including the role of foresight.

  • We review the disconnect between foresight and governance research.

  • Governing foresight, and foresight as governance, both need critical attention.

  • We offer a conceptual framework for analyzing foresight in anticipatory governance.

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