Abstract for: Vision modeling and assessment using system dynamics

Scenario analysis is a widely used approach to support decision-making under complexity. Exploratory scenarios start from the present and analyze various possible future developments, while backcasting scenarios start from a desirable future system state to explore potential pathways towards that vision. In this contribution, a vision assessment scenario is suggested as a preceding step of detailed exploratory and backcasting scenario studies. Vision assessment scenarios focus on the generation of target knowledge by investigating the dynamic coherence and desirability of future system designs. Methodological frameworks are currently lacking for the development of quantitative vision models that take an integrated approach and promote the involvement of stakeholders. This conference contribution presents the VDA framework that builds upon system dynamics modeling for vision assessment. The framework was applied to assess visionary renewable energy systems in Germany. In the end, a fully renewable energy system with balanced shares of energy production technologies turned out to be a coherent vision with promising sustainability benefits. Our work shows that vision modeling leads to simpler models, as aspects pertaining to the implementation of visions are not included. Thereby, the development of vision models supports stakeholder engagement, as models remain more understandable for non-modelers.