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Table 1.

Overview of Methodological Approaches for the Construction of Visions of the Future.

Future ScenariosUtopias
Approach Analyze drivers for change in the past and present to achieve plausible descriptions of future scenarios by creating new compositions of impact factors in different variations. Create a utopian image of a desired future, liberated from trends and what is considered realistic, encouraging social fantasy and motivation. 
Objective Elaborate a variety of possible futures to visualize and assess the spectrum of possibilities in negotiation and decision making. Quantitative: Analyze future trends, dynamics, and (theoretical) possibilities. Participatory/qualitative: Stimulate creative thinking, facilitate learning. 

Liberate creativity and invention of desirable futures, creating spaces for dialogue and reflection on a desirable world.

Achieve a transition from critique to collective action.

 
Feasibility All consistent combinations of the constitutive factors/drivers are theoretically possible, but often only a few are feasible, which is derived from analysis of the present and/or the past. Being projections, the degree of possible transformation may be limited. Not considered feasible from current point of view since they exist beyond current barriers, but at the same time they create “the possible” by making visible intangible factors for transformation. Feasibility is not the guiding logic. 
Criticism Insufficient strategies for dealing with the unknown, lack of creativity, and little transparency about assumptions underlying the scenario construction. Risk of being extensions of the present. Utopian fantasies are too optimistic and underestimate the power of conventional strategies to create change. Useless because they are impossible to realize. 
Examples Millennium Ecosystem Assessment [27]; Global assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services [28  Mainly used by local communities as, for example, Ludwigshafen, Germany, or the Fri&Fro Community, Denmark [36] 
References Carpenter et al. [26]; Reed et al. [25]; Johnson et al. [29]; Oteros-Rozas et al. [30]; Bennett & Zurek [31]; Börjeson et al. [32]; Raskin [33]; Peterson et al. [34]; Heugens & Van Oosterhout [35] Burow [37]; Dürnberger [23]; Jungk & Müllert [38]; Kuhnt & Müllert [39]; Vidal [36] 
Future ScenariosUtopias
Approach Analyze drivers for change in the past and present to achieve plausible descriptions of future scenarios by creating new compositions of impact factors in different variations. Create a utopian image of a desired future, liberated from trends and what is considered realistic, encouraging social fantasy and motivation. 
Objective Elaborate a variety of possible futures to visualize and assess the spectrum of possibilities in negotiation and decision making. Quantitative: Analyze future trends, dynamics, and (theoretical) possibilities. Participatory/qualitative: Stimulate creative thinking, facilitate learning. 

Liberate creativity and invention of desirable futures, creating spaces for dialogue and reflection on a desirable world.

Achieve a transition from critique to collective action.

 
Feasibility All consistent combinations of the constitutive factors/drivers are theoretically possible, but often only a few are feasible, which is derived from analysis of the present and/or the past. Being projections, the degree of possible transformation may be limited. Not considered feasible from current point of view since they exist beyond current barriers, but at the same time they create “the possible” by making visible intangible factors for transformation. Feasibility is not the guiding logic. 
Criticism Insufficient strategies for dealing with the unknown, lack of creativity, and little transparency about assumptions underlying the scenario construction. Risk of being extensions of the present. Utopian fantasies are too optimistic and underestimate the power of conventional strategies to create change. Useless because they are impossible to realize. 
Examples Millennium Ecosystem Assessment [27]; Global assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services [28  Mainly used by local communities as, for example, Ludwigshafen, Germany, or the Fri&Fro Community, Denmark [36] 
References Carpenter et al. [26]; Reed et al. [25]; Johnson et al. [29]; Oteros-Rozas et al. [30]; Bennett & Zurek [31]; Börjeson et al. [32]; Raskin [33]; Peterson et al. [34]; Heugens & Van Oosterhout [35] Burow [37]; Dürnberger [23]; Jungk & Müllert [38]; Kuhnt & Müllert [39]; Vidal [36] 
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