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Report of a joint foresight workshop organised by EKLIPSE, EPBRS and BiodivERsA

Member: Estelle BALIAN

Date: 09.02.2017



EKLIPSE, EPBRS and BiodivERsA jointly organised a foresight workshop in Brussels on 6-7 December 2016 on « Social Innovation and Nature-Based Solutions: What research is needed to face future societal challenges and emerging issues? »

The aim of this participatory workshop was to explore how nature-based solutions (NBS) can be a response to, or a catalyst for, social innovation to address emerging issues in relation to:

  • human well-being and health,
  • governance strategies,
  • land planning and management, and
  • restoration.

The aim of the workshop was for the identified emerging issues and research priorities to feed into current and future debates and reflections on research and innovation policy and priorities at EU level.


We would like to invite workshop participants to provide edits and comments on the workshop draft report through this discussion forum to allow for more interaction (please note the draft report is not in a final format to allow for easier text editing).

1- If you would like to provide text editing and suggestions, you will find here a draft report and its annexes as a google shared documents open for text editing:



2- We would also be happy to collect your general comments on the report and workshop and especially:

  • How do you evaluate the report? How is it reflecting the discussions in the workshop? What could be improved?
  • After 2 months, what are the main perceptions/feelings remaining about the workshop?
  • What would you advice to change/improve? to keep?
  • What specific communication tools and by-products would you like us to develop based on this report and the workshop outputs?


Please edit and comment by March 5th 2017


Based on the edits and comments received, we will finalise this report and format it with the help of an infographist and we will explore which specific communication tools could be generated to best reach out to target users and especially research policy and funding agencies.


Last edited: 10.02.2017 14:31 (GMT) - by Estelle BALIAN

Member: Estelle BALIAN

Date: 15.02.2017 10:11 (GMT)

Some of the discussion outputs demonstrated that for participants there was still some misunderstanding and confusion about what Nature-based solutions are and are not. In particular, current definitions of IUCN and the European Commission highlight that there should be benefits for Nature in order to be an NBS. Solutions that are only inspired by Nature (e.g. Biomimicry) but that do not provide benefits for Nature would not qualify as NBS.

Member: Estelle BALIAN

Date: 15.02.2017 10:14 (GMT)

One key challenge of this workshop was trying to link up Nature-based solutions and Social Innovation, but it had been very difficult to attract social scientists to the workshop so some participants challenged the validity of the discussion results considering the expertise in the audience was biased towards natural sciences. However more than 100 invitations had been sent to relevant communities and networks of social scientists. How could we engage better with social scientists and attract them to participate to such events?

Member: Petr Petrik

Date: 06.03.2017 05:57 (GMT)

I think, the communication barriers between social and natural scientists is slowly breaking. We are now carrying out an interesting communication platform (www.nasekrajina.eu) where we meet to the issue of landscape and its sustainable management. Currently we are solving common project with sociologists on perception of forest management and it is very interesting to see the difference in approaches both groups of scientists. There are plenty of information around us. To share the simple information, I would recommend to invite artists to be able to communicate in a non-traditional way. I am convinced, this way should help us in engagement also in scientific community.

Member: Estelle BALIAN

Date: 09.03.2017 08:25 (GMT)

Dear Petr,
I really like your suggestion to invite artists as well to help find new ways to communicate. I hope that we can also find a way to attract more social scientists to our meetings. EKLIPSE is planning to attend several conferences and events in various fields so at least we can present our work....

Member: Petr Petrik

Date: 06.03.2017 22:40 (GMT)

Dear Colleagues,

I really appreciate your work to sum up the results of the session into these two documents. I have added some small remarks and try to answer your questions.

1. I think the report is reflecting the discussions in the workshop very well, however, the outputs should be more informative including also piece of art made by participants, e.g. in the form of posters and considering some statistical tools.

2. After 2 months I feel that the idea of workshop is still alive as we are just discuss NBS in EKLIPSE calls.

3. For further meeting, I would recommend to invite artists and journalists to be able to communicate in a non-traditional way and for wider public. What about short press release immediately after meeting?

4. I would like to have some cartoons on NBS and SI similarly like EPBRS-organised meeting Positive vision for biodiversity.

Good luck!
Petr Petrik, EKLIPSE Knowledge Coordination Body

Last edited: 06.03.2017 22:41 (GMT) - by Petr Petrik

Member: Estelle BALIAN

Date: 09.03.2017 08:28 (GMT)

Dear Petr,
Thanks a lot for your very useful feedback. I totally agree about including photos of posters, it was our intention for the finalized version that will also have a nicer layout. We will also take your suggestion in consideration and approach artists and journalists for next meetings.
Indeed maybe a cartoon contest on NBS could be a good idea but not sure cartoonists would understand the concept so it would have to be a common endeavor between experts and artists...Something DG Research and Innovation could think of as a way to raise awareness and promote NBS?
Many thanks!

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