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Deliberative visioning is a future-oriented model of deliberation, including the inclusive deliberation over desired futures and the backcasting pathways to achieving this common goal. Deliberative visioning specifically helps address polarization by crafting a shared, motivational, and positive narrative of the future between citizens. It is by its nature an inclusive and participatory process that motivates collective action for long-term goals. It also makes for more legitimate and informed policy decisions that align with citizen priorities and values.

Introducing art-based methods to this deliberation makes the pathways to equitable and just transition more accessible, concrete and ‘emotionable’ to participants. Arts-based methods range between the representational- exemplified in the use of personas, to the non-representational -exemplified in the use of characters in perplexed contexts which engage the imagination with emotion.

In the TANDEM context we use the form of pretext drama to offer a space for co-creation of possible worlds and collective reflection to make sense of the perplexity, using for example symbols and metaphors.

Photos taken by Lasse Kantola, SDO Theatrum Olga, Lahti, Finland. Arts-based product done by Onni Ihalainen. Photos are from the multi-perspective arts-based process where idea was to find a way to sense differently and combine imagination with observation of the familiar environment.

Application in TANDEM

TANDEM will develop justice narratives that will build empathy towards wider environmental and societal concerns. It will produce a replicable art-based approach for cocreating justice narratives from ‘narrative templates’ that communicate and invite participation with data and facts that relate to the transition to carbon neutrality, by curating facts in data in ways that:

  • Are easy to understand and is articulated in citizen-driven way.
  • Can be personalized and adapted to different scales to reflect nuances of local individual and community context and shared interests.
  • Support empathy building towards not just issues related to transition to carbon neutrality but to other stakeholders in this process, including the environment, future generations, the non-human stakeholders and towards typically marginalized groups.


The project will create present human and non-human personas as well as future human and non-human personas. These personas tell stories of how things were before, are now and might be in the future, drawing on available evidence. This will organize collective reflection by questioning taken-for-granted assumptions and existing practice and processes.


Adams, J. and Owens, A. (2015), Creativity and Democracy in Education: the practice and politics of education through the Arts, Oxford, Routledge & Taylor Francis Group & (Pernaa, 2017)

Baxter S & Fraser K. (1994). Visioning as a tool for implementing sustainable development. 2020 Vision — Tweed Forum, Scotland.

Hendersson H & Wamsler C. (2020). New stories for a more conscious, sustainable society: claiming authorship of the climate story. Climatic Change. 158. 10.1007/s10584-019-02599-z.

McCall B, Shallcross L, Wilson M, Fuller C, Hayward A (2019). Storytelling as a research tool and intervention around public health perceptions and behaviour: a protocol for a systematic narrative review, vol 9, doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030597

Pässilä A & Owens A. (2020). Sensible Sensitivity: Arts Pedagogy in Management Development.

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