Collaborative processes for exploring rural futures The exploring futures platform EFP.pdf (5.62 MB)

Collaborative processes for exploring rural futures: the Exploring Futures Platform

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 17:50 authored by Denise Bewsell, Alec MackayAlec Mackay, Robyn DynesRobyn Dynes, Oscar Montes, Margaret Brown, William Kaye-Blake
Collaborative approaches, to help agriculture and rural communities work through the range of complex issues they are facing, are becoming more common. In this paper the Exploring Futures Platform (EFP) process is outlined. The EFP was developed for pastoral agriculture communities to help participants jointly define challenges, and start working towards joint management of solutions for the future. The EFP is based on six factors, derived from the literature that ensure successful integration of systems thinking. These factors: transformational engagement; inclusion of a diversity of views; delivery of real time local data; building an understanding of the system; a focus on the future; and reflection and action, were used in two case studies to describe and then critique the EFP process. The results provide evidence that the EFP is a robust process that enabled the start of a transformational engagement process, included a diversity of views, delivered real time local data, built an understanding of the system, helped participants focus on the future and enabled reflection and interaction. The lessons that have emerged from the case studies using the EFP were to: consider how researchers shape the discussion; make the roles of participants and researchers clear; ensure that the expectations of data and possible analysis presented are managed appropriately; highlight the value of detailed information on each case study region; identify, and make explicit, the mandate for action from participants; build on local knowledge and link into local networks; and ensure people continue to focus on the future.


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Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited


  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No


Taylor & Francis

Journal title

Rural Society




Bewsell, D., Mackay, A., Kaye-Blake, W., Dynes, R., Montes, O., Brown, M. (2017). Collaborative processes for exploring rural futures: the Exploring Futures Platform. Rural Society, 26(1), 48-68. doi:10.1080/10371656.2017.1283734

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