Combining analytic and experiential communication in participatory scenario development

J.M. Vervoort, K. Kok, P.J. Beers, R.J.A. van Lammeren, R. Janssen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the need to combine analytic understanding and experiential engagement in communication on social–ecological systems futures. Humans use two distinct mental modes to deal with salient information: analytic processing and experiential processing. Tools combining both modes of processing can help societal actors seeking to stimulate active and informed environmental governance to facilitate both understanding of and engagement with social–ecological systems. In this paper, we combine two tools, each geared to one mode of communication. The System Perspectives Scope is a tool aimed at eliciting and sharing analytic perspectives on social–ecological systems change. ScenarioCommunities facilitates the communication of perspectives on the future in an engaging experiential mode. We applied these two tools in two scenario workshops in Oxfordshire. Each workshop featured the tools in a different order to compare the effects across tools. The System Perspectives Scope was able to elicit participants’ analytic perspectives and let them reflect on the systems they described. ScenarioCommunities communicated animated scenario storyline segments in a vivid and engaging experiential mode. This stimulated participants to create individual, experiential perspectives on the scenarios. The workshop that started with experiential engagement yielded reinforcing effects of the first tool on the second. This study shows that analytic and experiential communication can be used to generate both understanding of and engagement with social–ecological systems change. The study also indicates that the social–ecological systems frame used to develop these tools entails that they offer complementary advantages when compared to tools used in participatory landscape ecology and participatory modeling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-213
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • social-ecological systems
  • landscape visualization
  • implementation
  • perceptions
  • perspective
  • framework
  • sciences
  • futures
  • realism
  • design


Dive into the research topics of 'Combining analytic and experiential communication in participatory scenario development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this