K9. Environmental modelling with stakeholders: beyond the soft system methodology

Approaches to problems relating to the Environment-Society interface increasingly rely on the use of participatory techniques. Many of them are inherited from the Soft System Methodology (SSM) developed since 1966 (Checkland Systems Thinking, Systems Practice, John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 1981).

Since then and despite many publications attesting of a very common use of SSM and derivatives to address these problems, there remain many barriers to an efficient cooperation between science and society. Moreover, the recurring publication of new methodologies inherited from the SSM seem to indicate a limited effectiveness of this family of techniques.

This session will aim to discuss the fundamental weaknesses of approaches inherited from the SSM and to identify alternative methodologies which can improve stakeholder involvement in the development and use of models for environmental policy.