Backcasting

Backcasting is an option that involves envisaging alternative futures. It focuses on how desirable futures can be attained and involves working backward, from the desirable future, to the present to determine the feasibility of the idea or project.

"End-points are usually chosen for a time 25 to 50 years in the future.

Backcasting is similar to visioning, however backcasts are not intended to reveal what the future will be, but rather to weigh up a number of possible futures, and decide the implications and preferable options, then to map out steps along the way.

Objectives: Backcasting allows a group of people to weigh up the implications of different future options or policy goals.

Outcomes: Backcasting provides one preferred option from a number of future possibilities, and a series of ways that the desired endpoint can be achieved."

This description comes from: Department of Sustainability and Environment (2005), Book 3: The Engagement Toolkit.Effective Engagement: building relationships with community and other stakeholders, The Community Engagement Network Resource and Regional Services Division Victorian Government Department of Sustainability and Environment. 

Advice

Advice for USING this option

  • "Define future goals and objectives, projecting 25-50 years into the future.
  • Specify the scenario by analysing the technological and physical characteristics of a path that would lead towards the specified goals.
  • Evaluate the scenario in terms of physical, technological and socioeconomic feasibility and policy implications.
  • Brainstorm ways this desired endpoint can be achieved, working backwards to the present."

This advice comes from: Department of Sustainability and Environment (2005), Book 3: The Engagement Toolkit.Effective Engagement: building relationships with community and other stakeholders, The Community Engagement Network Resource and Regional Services Division Victorian Government Department of Sustainability and Environment.

Resource

  • The Engagement Toolkit: Page 12 of this resource provides a detailed description and advice for using this option.

Source

Updated: 7th August 2018 - 11:52pm
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Author
Melbourne.

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