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Data-driven Transitions: a co-created methodology

Team Wed, 03 January 2024
[PUBLICATION: WHITE PAPER]

Civic administration is complex, and new complexities unfold with every passing year. The shaping of societies in a warming world, with economies fit for the 21st century, requires new kinds of processes and institutions.
This white paper presents a scenario methodology to make it easier to work with these processes, including a supporting framework and platform. 
 
The new processes include climate action plans and investment strategies, climate budgets, green financing, and future energy frameworks. It also includes regional institutions like the EU Mission for 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities, as well as global reporting processes like Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 
 

This white paper presents a scenario methodology to make it easier to work with these processes, including a supporting framework and platform. The approach is iterative, outcome-focused, and works alongside an administration’s existing initiatives. It has been developed in partnership with local, regional, and national authorities across Europe. 

Many of the ideas influencing decisions – like Doughnut Economics, Planetary Boundaries or Circular Economies – come down to resources. These resources must be carefully managed to deliver a just transition, agreed between stakeholders as diverse as society itself. Different scenarios must be explored to understand how shifts in resource use, energy, and finance will impact the ability of citizens to fulfil their needs. 

The core of the methodology is based on outcomes. It shows that reaching a particular outcome requires identifying specific levers for change, influenced by city attributes, and altered by interventions resulting from formal decisions. However, relying on perfect data to make those decisions slows progress. As a result, administrations are developing methods where data that is “good enough” can still be used. Even imperfect data can provide a sufficient foundation for good decision-making, when combined with models, mathematics, and – crucially – an iterative mindset. 

This co-created methodology combines the precision of physics with the nuances of behavioural and economic science. It gives officials tools to identify, assess, and advocate for different scenarios. These scenarios are then refined repeatedly, helping administrations achieve their objectives with urgency, agility, efficacy, and full accountability. 

 

Download White paper: Data-driven Transitions