The FLIARA project is dedicated to uncovering the potential of women in driving sustainable transformations in agriculture and rural areas. Across nine countries: Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden, Italy, and Spain, FLIARA aims to understand how women can contribute to diverse forms of innovation that foster sustainable farm and rural futures.
In the realm of futures research, it is important to acknowledge the inherent uncertainty and unpredictability of the future. Unlike the past, we lack concrete data about what lies ahead. Theories and models used to comprehend historical events may not necessarily apply to future scenarios. Therefore, academic futures research focuses on designing, planning, and evaluating alternative futures rather than attempting to predict or prescribe a singular future.
Various manifestations of alternative futures serve as valuable tools in this endeavour. Scenario analysis explores different paths leading from the present to potential futures, offering insights into different trajectories. However, it is crucial to guard against simply extrapolating the present into the future without considering transformative changes. Futures images, on the other hand, detach from the present and present alternative future states at a specific moment in time. By avoiding replication of the existing, these images encourage creative thinking and envisioning new possibilities. Additionally, visions provide normative depictions of future states, such as sustainable or high-tech futures, and can be connected to the present through backcasting. Backcasting illuminates alternative pathways to realise the vision.
Within the FLIARA project, the focus is on creating visions that address sustainability challenges and highlight the contributions of women in shaping farm and rural futures. These visions are being developed by identifying and assembling elements that effectively tackle sustainability problems. In this sense, FLIARA aims to provide insights and guidance for fostering gender-inclusive innovations that propel the journey towards sustainable farm and rural communities by envisioning these futures.
As the FLIARA project progresses, the exploration of alternative futures and the integration of women’s perspectives will serve as a catalyst for transformative change. FLIARA seeks to promote a more equitable, sustainable, and profitable future for agriculture and rural areas by recognising the potential of female-led innovations.
Keep an eye out for the exciting visions and possibilities that arise from this ground-breaking activity.