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Ecological Transition 2050 Scenarios for Grand Genève (Great Geneva region)

A one-day Workshop for 50 elected officials, governmental administrative & technical staff, civil society representatives

Methods : Three Horizons Method, Backcasting, aspects of Futures Literacy and Scenarios, together with environmental research


For the Competence Centre in Sustainability (CCD) of the University of Lausanne (CH), we designed and co-facilitated a day workshop on ecological transition of the Grand Genève (Great Geneva region) by 2050.

This workshop represented one step in the Grand Genève's plans for ecological transition, which led to an action plan in 2023.

The Grand Genève area includes the City and Canton of Geneva, neighbouring France with the French Genevan Metropolitan Area, and the District of Nyon in the Canton of Vaud.

In collaboration with the CCD, we designed a "Workshop on dilemmas and trajectories to a sustainable future in 2050" for about 50 elected officials, technicians and civil society (Agglomeration Forum) of the Grand Genève area.

We included contributions from Three Horizons Method, Backcasting, aspects of Futures Literacy and Scenarios together with environmental research on dilemmas.

The 50 participants developed strategies and measures for the ecological transition of the Greater Geneva area. The workshop was divided into three successive steps according to the Three Horizons Method: the present (Horizon 1), the future in 2050 (Horizon 3) and the transitional path in between (Horizon 2).

In the first step, participants were confronted with the main current problems and dilemmas on the way to an ecological transition. For example, how to reconcile the International Geneva and its airport with a climate-neutral future? Identifying the root causes of these dilemmas made it possible to explore original solutions to the conflicts identified.

The second step sent participants into a speculative future of 2050, where sustainability has been achieved in the Grand Genève area. How was this possible? Participants were asked to imagine the corresponding steps from the future to the present through a backcasting exercise.

Finally, in a third step, participants were asked to bring together their findings from the previous steps (i.e. from the present to the future and from the future to the present) into a coherent trajectory, i.e. a sustainability strategy and action plan.


The ecological transition approach as described by the Grand Genève area on its website (in French):

In order to reach agreement on a cross-border ecological transition strategy that responds to the climate emergency, consultation between elected representatives, technicians and civil society has been initiated to devise a shared definition of ecological transition adapted to the territory. This shared definition will make it possible to set common objectives, such as aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050, establishing priorities and principles for action (accelerate, slow down, massify, collaborate, innovate, evaluate, etc.), and committing dedicated financial tools and monitoring indicators.


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