Citizen Visions on Science, Technology and Innovation

With the help of a team of experts, future visions of citizens were turned into tangible recommendations for the EU-parliament.

CIVISTI is an EU-wide collaboration which aims to evaluate relevant topics and priorities, offering different perspectives on pressing social issues. The results show that both citizens and experts are strongly in favour of sustainable solutions for the future, such as attractive public transport or the development of eco-cities.

Through CIVISTI, a new qualitative foresight-method was developed and tested in seven EU-countries. ITA conducted this process in Austria. Every country involved 25 citizens, male and female, that were selected by predefined criteria. They developed visions on a future in 30-40 years from now, discussing their hopes and fears on a personal, a social and a European level.

The visions of the participants differed greatly, but showed that overall Austrian citizens imagine technical, social and organisational innovations to interact. Among the spelled out examples were “our personal-electronic-simultaneous-translator”, or, on a more philosophical level, “dying with dignity – end-of-life-care within the family”.

The collected catalogue of visions was then presented to experts and stakeholders from the areas of technology foresight and technology policy. They formulated recommendations which will be presented within the scope of the upcoming EU-framework programme Horizon 2020. The involved citizens again discussed and prioritised the recommendations.
Among the most popular recommendations were:

  • attractive public transport
  • decentralisation of the energy supply
  • building eco-cities
  • research for a better integration of people with disabilities

In January 2011 the project team came together with the participants, scientists and members of the European Commission (DG RTD) at a policy workshop in Brussels to present the results and start the discussion.



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  • Sotoudeh, M., & Peissl, W. (2010). Integration of technical universities into the learning networks of sustainable cities. (C. A. Brebbia, Hernández, S., & Tiezzi, E., Eds., C. A. Brebbia, Tran.), The Sustainable City VI. Southampton/Boston: WIT Press.
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Conference Papers/Speeches

Conference Papers/Speeches

  • 25/09/2014 , Wien
    Mahshid Sotoudeh,  Niklas Gudowsky-Blatakes: 
    CIVISTI – Die Bilder von Zukünften für eine Multikulturelle Gesellschaft
    Was bringt die Zukunft? Gesellschaftliche Herausforderungen und das Phänomen Migration
  • 15/03/2013 , Prag
    Walter Peissl,  Mahshid Sotoudeh: 
    CIVISTI method for future studies with strong participative elements
    Technology Assessment and Policy Areas of Great Transitions (1st PACITA Conference), Session XVIII: 'Participation: Practical Cases'
  • 09/01/2013 , Wien
    Mahshid Sotoudeh: 
    CIVISTI − Participatory demand-side foresight
    Research seminar
  • 23/04/2012 , Schloss Seggau, Leibnitz
    Walter Peissl,  Mahshid Sotoudeh,  Niklas Gudowsky-Blatakes: 
    Forward-looking studies for sustainable development; CIVISTI method with strong participative elements
    Tardis 2012, Time and time-frames for sustainability
  • 20/04/2012 , Sofia
    Walter Peissl,  Mahshid Sotoudeh: 
    CIVISTI: Citizens‘ Visions on Science, Technology & Innovation
    PACITA Workshop
  • 12/01/2012 , Graz
    Walter Peissl,  Mahshid Sotoudeh: 
    CIVISTI: Visionen von Bürger/innen zu Wissenschaft, Technologie und Innovation
    Vortragsreihe FH-Joanneum
  • 06/12/2011 , Wien
    Walter Peissl,  Mahshid Sotoudeh: 
    CIVISTI/Visionen und Zukünfte – Visionen von BürgerInnen zu Wissenschaft, Technologie und Innovation
    Industrie-Seminar des Inst. f. Verfahrenstechnik, Umwelttechnik und techn. Biowissenschaften (TU Wien)
  • 12/10/2011 , Wien
    Walter Peissl,  Mahshid Sotoudeh: 
    Visionen von BürgerInnen zu Wissenschaft, Technologie und Innovation
    BM f. Wissenschaft u. Forschung
  • 20/06/2011 , Wien
    Walter Peissl,  Mahshid Sotoudeh: 
    CIVISTI: BürgerInnenbeteiligung in der Planungsphase von EU-Forschungsprogrammen
    TA'11: Partizipation in Technikfragen – Legitime Hoffnung oder bloße Illusion?
  • 08/06/2011 , Vienna
    Mahshid Sotoudeh: 
    CIVISTI Aims, method and results
    Workshop 'Foresight in public research organisations'
  • 15/04/2010 , La Coruna
    Walter Peissl,  Mahshid Sotoudeh: 
    Integration of technical universities into the learning networks of sustainable cities
    6th International Conference on Urban Regeneration and Sustainability
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