This paper presents the results of a participatory vision development process in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) in Germany. The vision development was part of a scientific research project that accompanied the development of a sustainable strategy for NRW at state level. The Sustainability Strategy NRW was adopted in July 2016 and contains parts of the vision developed in the research project.
The vision was developed in iterative steps in three consecutive dialogue rounds with different stakeholders from science and practice. The paper presents the methodological approach and the results of the vision formulation process. The lessons learnt from the vision development - from both practical and theoretical perspectives of transition management - are discussed and the relevance of setting ambitious targets for sustainable development as part of a state strategy is explored.
The project demonstrated that a participatory approach for vision development is time and resource consuming, but worth the effort as it improves the quality and acceptance for a vision. Furthermore, it demonstrated that transformative science contributes valuable inputs for sustainability transitions and for facilitating participatory vision development.
The paper "Vision Development towards a Sustainable North Rhine-Westphalia 2030 in a Science-Practice-Dialogue" by Miriam Müller and Oscar Reutter was published in Sustainability, volume 9, issue 7. It is available for free download.