D3 Professional conference proceedings
Collision Points among Bioeconomy Worlds, Toward Year 2125




List of Authors: Nicolas A. Balcom-Raleigh, Amos Taylor, Markku Wilenius
Publication year: 2018
Book title *: FTA2018 - Future in the making

Abstract


The bioeconomy is proposed as a next phase of development based on renewable biological sources, replacing an age of fossil resource dependency. Because the bioeconomy is comprised of technologies, products and services related to and sourced from lifeforms, its emergence as a socio-technical and socio-economic regime will necessarily entail a reconfiguration of humanity’s relationship to nature, thus completely changing dominant values and frameworks for decision-making and policymaking. Meanwhile assumptions and frames of reference used in bioeconomy strategy, vision, and policy discourses largely go unquestioned, leaving future views of its development open to ethical pitfalls. This paper presents preliminary insights generated from a research project called Bioeconomy and Justice linking philosophy of ethics and futures studies. The overall aim of the research project is to identify ethical questions for decision makers concerning the bioeconomy in relation to three-time horizons--the years 2025, 2075, and 2125. A key objective of the futures studies team is to identify high-impact future contexts appearing on these three time horizons which will require difficult ethical choices by elected officials, industry leaders, scientists, entrepreneurs, consumers, and policymakers. To meet this objective, potential blind-spots and unknown futures of the bioeconomy are identified using a mix of futures studies methods, including Horizon Scanning, Evidence-based Narratives, and Worldmaking as Scenarios (see Vervoort et al. 2015). Based on material generated through these methods, a set of ‘world archetypes’ are produced and used to map ‘collision points’ among competing interests, worldviews, value systems, as well as relationships among humanity, technology and nature. These collision points are then analysed to determine future contexts of high-uncertainty with troubled ethical groundings. This paper presents some of these seeds for ethical re-evaluation as an entry point for anticipating what types of policy interventions may be required both in the present and in various possible futures. By analysing these seeds for near and 107-year futures of the bioeconomy, this paper contributes new insights into potential impacts on future society and its governance. Bioeconomy and Justice is a project funded by the Academy of Finland.





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Last updated on 2019-17-01 at 18:58