In this report, we created a portfolio of most commonly employed futuring techniques that we hope can support research on how preferred Circular Economy (CE) futures can be envisioned and studied. We conducted a review of Techniques of Futuring (ToFs), particularly searching for existing reviews on the topic. Our goal was to summarise all the work that has been already done in the field so far in a comprehensible way and generate a report that enables practitioners and researchers to tackle the challenging task of imagining the future in a systematic and organised manner. The report will also support the task of applying futuring techniques in the context of the CE under the ExPliCit project.
Specifically, we have curated a portfolio of techniques and categorized them based on four key attributes:
their capacity to envision futures in line with or beyond the business as usual
the utilization of qualitative or quantitative methods
their objective in terms of adapting to or transforming the future
the audience involved in their application encompassing both expert-driven techniques and those that engage the general population.
The review and analysis of these 43 techniques provide a robust foundation for understanding the ability of ToFs to explore plausible circular futures, which forms the fundamental basis of this report. Overall, we confirm that ToFs are valuable tools for enabling new visions of circularity in the future. While some techniques are focused on exploring different possibilities, others actively and purposefully facilitate a reimagining of how the future is envisioned and brought to life.