Engaging and modelling with stakeholders to solve environmental problems


About this course

Environmental systems are complex involving many actors with a wide range of interests and perceptions. This course aims to enhance students’ understanding and practical abilities of how to actively involve which stakeholders in the scientific process. Stakeholder involvement is imperative to ensure fair representation, and it helps increase our knowledge of human behaviour in different contexts. In addition, students will be able to learn how to facilitate participatory decision-making involving stakeholders, in order to solve wicked problems. Students will learn to use a selection of methods and tools to successfully link science and policy making, by integrating stakeholder knowledge. Fundamental to the course is hands-on experience on how different methods can help to engage stakeholders and interact with them in concrete case studies. Emphasis is on the development and use of future scenarios and (participatory) modelling techniques (Fuzzy Cognitive Maps and Agent-Based Models) to understand stakeholders’ perspectives and behaviour, and how these are translated to collective decision-making. Special attention is paid to facilitation techniques and practical skills in stakeholder engagement. The course provides a meeting ground for students from environmental and social sciences study programs, by combining methods from both fields. In this multidisciplinary context, students learn about transdisciplinary concepts and tools, and apply them in a hands-on setting.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

  • Recognise and describe complex environmental systems and their properties
  • Justify stakeholder engagement and participatory decision-making in solving wicked environmental problems
  • Get familiar with facilitation on multi-stakeholder collaboration processes for building consensus, trust and improve decision-making
  • Assess the value of participatory approaches, in particular related to Story-And-Simulation
  • Assess the advantages of qualitative and quantitative methods and how to link them
  • Apply a variety of participatory methods and tools to involve and work actively with stakeholders

Required prior knowledge

Assumed Knowledge:
ESA22806 Environmental Systems Analysis: Methods and Applications

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.


  • Start date

    10 February 2025

    • Ends
      7 March 2025
    • Term *
      Period 4
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      1 Jun, 00:00 - 12 Jan 2025
These offerings are valid for students of Utrecht University