Case Study: Agriculture – Adaptation to Climate Change
Innovative Solution Sets Workshop
“It was an amazing group, and an amazing conversation. People shared their own points which were similar to mine and different from mine. My brain is going crazy.”
Given the projected impacts of climate change on the agricultural system, the client needed to leverage the agricultural intellectual capital of diverse stakeholders to arrive at an effective, low-cost climate change adaptation solution in a Canadian context.
The innovative solutions required to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change on agricultural production and water and energy management systems needed to embrace a complex adaptive systems approach.
The Collaborative Transformation™ team designed a 2 day workshop for representatives from various public and private sector disciplines and regions of Canada. Participants were chosen based on their unique perspectives and comfort with innovative approaches. The intention question used to guide the discussion on actions required to achieve the necessary outcomes was:
“What do we need to do to address the impacts of climate change on agriculture in Canada?”
Participants discussed what each stakeholder of the Canadian agricultural system could do to implement innovative ways to adapt to climate change given four different possible futures (Foresight scenarios). Discussions were guided using an experimental technique based on a simplification of the Russian algorithm for innovation (TRIZ), which identifies and explores contradictions within the system as catalysts for innovation.
Starting from the Foresight scenarios, participants identified ideal future outcomes and the innovations required to address four possible futures each leading to a very different kind of Canada by the year 2030. Participants identified adaptation strategies for the Canadian agriculture system based on policy changes, technology improvements, market changes and social value changes. These solutions were prioritised based on investment, timeliness, applicability, regional breadth and stakeholder impact. Participants also identified strong linkages that existed among the various stakeholders and highlighted the pivotal role of communities and municipal governments in many solutions.