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Brainstorming transformative solutions – Sustainable Puerto Rico in 2080, a focus on energy and food security – Stephen Balogh, PhD

May 18, 2017

Puerto Rico Coffee Field Image

“I was inspired by the UREx SRN Scenario Workshop we had in San Juan this past February 3rd to ruminate about the future of energy and food in Puerto Rico.  I chose to take a decidedly qualitative approach to do so and have been working on a narrative for a future scenario.

I’ve tried to paint a picture of a resilient and adaptive Puerto Rico – I tried not to rely on any science fiction to create this future, and tried to keep it as plausible as possible. Set in the year 2080, the narrative describes a series of hypothetical (but possible) events, a set of proactive governance actions and policies, and citizen responses to those events and interventions. The narrative is based on expert-opinion and extrapolation of trends in energy markets, technology, and policy development, as well as recent events in Puerto Rico. It’s not necessarily what I think will happen, on the other hand I don’t believe that is it too utopian or naïve. A great number of details were left out. To be sure, the essay reflects my ideas and does not represent any official statements or views on the issue.”

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Reflections on the San Juan Futures Scenario Workshop / Reflexiones sobre el Taller de Escenarios Futuros de San Juan

February 28, 2017

Tischas reflections on San Jaun Futures Workshop fourth Image

On February 3rd, we held our first UREx SRN Scenarios Workshop in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Joining the San Juan City Team and the Scenarios Working Group were about 45 practitioners, including municipal planners, infrastructure and emergency managers, community and NGO leaders, academics, and designers (Fig. 1). I had no idea what to expect. To be perfectly honest, I was nervous about how we were going to manage such a diverse group of stakeholders and still get substantive work in co-producing future scenarios. To my surprise, not only did participants stayed engaged all the way to the end of the event, but they had a lot of fun with it! I know that many of you are also wondering what to expect of the scenario workshops in your respective cities, so I thought I share some reflections and suggestions to consider when designing these futures with our practitioners. I have yet to see the details of the scenarios that were produced from the different working tables (other than from the one table that I was working with), therefore my overall reflections here are only based on the various moments I observed (‘aha!’ moments if you will) that indicated to me that the workshop had an effect on the thinking and relationships of the stakeholders.

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