Developing Policy Pathways

Hyysalo, S., Lukkarinen, J., Kivimaa, P., Lovio, R., Temmes, A., Hildén, M., Marttila, T., Auvinen, K., Perikangas, S., Pyhälammi, A., Peljo, J., Savolainen, K., Hakkarainen, L., Rask, M., Matschoss, K., Huomo, T., Berg, A., and Pantsar, M. (2019) Developing Policy Pathways: Redesigning Transition Arenas for Mid-Range Planning. Sustainability 11 (3): 603.

Available here:  https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030603


ABSTRACT: Sustainability transitions require new policy pathways that significantly reduce the environmental impacts caused by, for example, energy production, mobility and food production. Transition management (TM) is one of the approaches aiming at the creation of new ways to govern transitions. It uses transitions arenas (TA) as a key process and platform where new policy pathways are created in collaboration with multiple (frontrunner) stakeholders. TM’s ambitious and demanding agenda is not easy to implement. There is a continued need for testing and developing new ways of carrying out its key processes. We redesigned the TA process in the context of energy system change in Finland by 2030, focusing on interim goals, mid-range change pathways and developing a new notation system that allows participants to directly create the pathways. The resulting renewed TA process results in more specific and detailed mid-range pathways that provide more concreteness to how to implement long-term transition goals. It helps to bridge long-term national visions/strategies and low carbon experiments that are already running. The Finnish TA work created eight ambitious change pathways, pointing towards new and revised policy goals for Finland and identifying specific policy actions. Evaluation of the TA, 6–9 months after its completion underscores that an effective TA needs to be embedded by design in the particular political context that it seeks to influence. It is too early to say to what degree the pathways will be followed in practice but there are positive signs already.

Keywords: transition management, transition arena, sustainability transitions, pathway, codesign, energy policy, mid-range planning