4.1. Diversity of Needs & Priorities
There is a diversity of questions raised by scientists, policy makers and stakeholders in response to a rapidly changing sea ice regime [3
]. The suite of science and policy questions confirm the socio-economic potential of sea ice services in their role as a decision support tool for diverse stakeholders. However, the focus of interest can be vastly different depending on the operational context of stakeholder groups. For those working on development planning policies, the focus is on whether and how increased access enables increased development, and the strategic and security dimensions of such changes. For those operating in Arctic waters the questions focus on how increasing access will impact activities and what information is needed to keep operations safe and sustainable. For Arctic communities, the questions are on the one hand about the social and ecological impacts from a changing ice regime on marine resources and local communities. On the other hand, communities too want to benefit from emergent economic opportunities and steer development toward desired futures. These diverging interests inform observation, monitoring and forecast needs, and also necessitate long-view targeted strategies and observational needs in the region.
The scoping workshop underlined the fact that the focus of scientific activities is driven not only by research needs, but the specific mandates of research institutes and domestic interests of a nation state. For example, the Norwegian and Danish meteorological institutes each have specific geographical regions under their jurisdiction for the provision of metocean monitoring and forecast products. For the SALIENSEAS project for example, this means that co-production activities, aimed at improving user-provider interaction, are likely to focus on different geographical contexts, communication challenges and user needs. This adds a layer of tension to the performance paradox, creating a gap between what is needed by users (international harmonization of data and services) and what is feasible for research institutes. For end-users, the parameters of salient, tailored products are highly sector-dependent. For example, a recurring theme in the Greenlandic context emphasized the importance of appropriately scaled products produced at high enough resolutions to be salient for local users, such as fishing vessel operators. However, for those actors who are involved with long-range planning of operations months and years in advance, lower-resolution projections are often sufficient. While some products need to have a short lead time in order to fit the decision processes of end-users, other forecasts are needed on extended time scales [3
]. On the one hand, tailored and context specific collaborations between metservice partners and end-users is necessary through regular consultations to improve both the development and evaluation of forecast products and to strengthen the overall value chain of metocean communication for the European Arctic. On the other hand, this brings into prominence tensions stemming from the issues of inclusion and participation: whose questions and needs are met, and with what outcomes for SISS and ultimately, multi-scale equity in sustainable Arctic futures? Our survey of stakeholder questions, strategies and information needs revealed differences between groups of actors, but it also highlighted existing synergies and shared goals. The prevention and mitigation of environmental degradation was a common objective, as was the mutually beneficial relationship between maritime sectors and local communities, climate service providers and users.
These are some of the central issues that make up the problem definitions in the design of our sea ice services framework. In phase 2 of the framework development, we considered the interplay between paradoxes of the user-provider interface and likely future developments in the sea ice SES by 2035. Here, we turn to the role of socio-economic scenarios in making explicit what tactics ice services need to adopt in order to work through these paradoxes toward responsible innovation, while supporting long-term stakeholder strategies and SISS monitoring needs.
4.3. A Sea Ice Services Framework toward Responsible Innovation
We now turn to the synthesis of our findings about sea ice social-ecological systems, SISS, and relevant information needs in a design schematic of sea ice services. Central to our framework are the tenets of responsible innovation and a coproduced sea ice services hierarchy that address user needs while working through paradoxical conditions.
presents this design schematic for an enhanced user-producer interface. Three components: scientific research questions, SISS, and stakeholder-desired outcomes anchor a framework in which problem definitions and long-view strategies must be parsed out to inform the planning of sea ice services. An ice-diminished Arctic Ocean drives problem definitions and research questions about the informational needs of researchers. The SISS perspective makes explicit ways in which diminishing sea ice creates risks and opportunities due to shifting sea ice service capacities. For example, land-fast ice stability supports users for whom the ice edge serves as a platform for activities. Trends in open-water timing informs users for whom ice serves as a regulator of transportation corridors. The same is true on a shorter time scale for ice hazard alerts. Ice-associated primary production influences biodiversity and the health of important marine species; for instance, tracking the available energy from lower trophic levels to inform stakeholders on the health of subsistence species. These perspectives inform long-term observing and monitoring needs. Stakeholder-desired outcomes add a normative dimension to managing risks for positive outcomes and increased equity in sustainability. Responsible innovation as the institutional space that governs development in sea ice SES, runs in parallel with the creation of long-term strategies. These strategies provide a space for the prioritization of policies and approaches to resolve outlined issues and problems, focusing on ways in which sea ice observation, monitoring, and services can aid this process.
Four paradoxes emerge as seemingly irresolvable tensions in the sea ice services user-provider interface. As detailed in Section 1.2
, experts face the paradoxes of performing. These are dilemmas that are embedded in the dual requirement of simultaneously expertise- and user-driven innovation. The paradox of SISS demands that sea ice services are oriented toward diverse, often conflicting values and functions accrued to sea ice users. The paradox of desired futures pressures experts to understand and balance trade-offs that arise when the consequences of the same solution benefit some, while disadvantaging others. Finally, the paradox of responsible innovation, that no one actor is in complete control but all are impacted, exposes areas of institutional and regulatory vacuum. In response to the above demands and tensions, sea ice services must adopt tactical actions that can support the diversity of long-term strategies.
The tactics which sea ice service providers may adopt in response to user needs and paradoxical pressures can be organized along a few main themes. The first tactic is the institutionalizing of the regular exchange of ideas between providers and users of services, by making coproduction a formal component of product development in perpetuity. As coproduction becomes a structured component of product development and evaluation, it enhances not only the user-friendliness of information but also makes possible long-term partnerships and mutual anticipation of needed changes. Second, the continued prioritization of products and services maximized to the benefit of diverse user groups will continue to play a crucial role in meeting functional requirements of enhanced decision support. Third, sea ice service providers will continue to confront contradictory demands for services and solutions, having to increasingly adopt working through [16
] routines and methods in paradoxical thinking (see Section 1.2
). Lastly, the four dimensions of responsible innovation (inclusion, reflexivity, anticipation, and responsiveness) [26
], when integrated into organizational culture and practices, aid the previous three tactics while strengthening the stewardship of sustainable outcomes for diverse stakeholders.
At the bottom of the design hierarchy is the coproduction implementation space, where socio-economic scenarios aid the realization of the four tactics discussed. The scenario results inform areas for innovation and service enhancements that are mutually beneficial for all stakeholders toward sustainable futures. Here, we briefly reflect on the potential of participatory scenarios to support the user-provider interface, with lessons learned especially configured to supporting the tactic of responsible innovation.
: Participatory scenario processes produce a prioritized set of agreed-upon key factors that are likely to shape stakeholders’ informational needs into the future as they adapt to changes. These drivers encompass diverse perspectives about expected developments and uncertainties, as well they inform service providers about what indicators to track to keep abreast of changes. As participants assign plausibilities to the various trajectories, or likely future state of each key factor, they inform priorities for the planning of research activities, or signal when diplomatic activities are desirable to affect policy change. For example, the future projection ‘Status Quo: occasional bullying’ for key factor ‘Geopolitical Stability’ foresees a still largely peaceful Arctic region in 2035, but the equilibrium is punctuated by displays of non-military aggression. As a result, the international coordination of data centers and cyber security, and the security of information infrastructures will play an especially important role in the resilience of Arctic communities and industries. Furthermore, although stakeholder participation can exacerbate tensions from the paradoxes of performing [16
], the scenario process also makes explicit the types of developments that will be likely needed to produce high-impact research in the coming years.
: Through deliberations of a focal question and shared goals among stakeholders, participants confront their own as well as each other’s aims, ideas, underlying assumptions, uncertainties and limitations. Additionally, connections between research practices and governance, as well as institutional capacities are deliberated among participants. These lines of reflexive inquiry can serve as a vehicle for getting participants to think outside a single worldview, broaden their scope of analysis and find common grounds for shared futures. These are traits that facilitate a working through the paradox paradigm. Additionally, scenarios reveal important power dynamics among the participants and the stakeholder groups they represent. For example, the key factor ‘Regulations and policies affecting Arctic operation’ was represented in the 2035 robust bundle by the future projection ‘Economic and commercial uses dominate’. This projection describes a future in which industry essentially writes the codes and standards that manage risks and oversee operations, and where environmental considerations take a backseat to economic efficiency. Related to this development, the key factor ‘sustainable and resilient local communities’ is projected to trend toward ‘Expat Haven’, with communities grappling with major demographic changes due to the influx of people. This dynamic has in impact on the demands placed on, and investments made in local infrastructure and services. One way in which sea ice services could support communities adapting to changes, for example, is through intensifying the dialogue between the research and operational forecaster communities. Operational forecasters, the staff who produce forecast products, can help to establish strategic collaborations with specific user groups, such as communities grappling with pressures on their economic and cultural capital, and help to target development strategies that best provide decision support [52
: Inclusive, participatory knowledge production paradigms are foundational to responsible innovation [26
]. The long-term sustainability of Arctic communities and sectors are tied to inclusive, collaborative learning about the dynamics of sea ice SES, and the trajectory of innovations that shape their futures. It is important then to engage with a diverse array of stakeholder expertise, and to consider broad decision spaces beyond any single product or service. Participatory scenario processes meet these criteria. In the context of sea ice services coproduction, the makeup of workshop participants determines the extent to which the deliberations and the workshop results have the potential to alleviate paradoxical tensions in the user-provider interface. As a result, the scenario output speaks to a wide range of socio-economic drivers of change from the perspective of diverse stakeholders.
: Responsiveness in responsible innovation speaks to the capacity to change course in response to new knowledge, perspectives, as well as changing public values and circumstances [26
]. In this sense, innovation has to consider and respond to the requirements of both the product (in this case sea ice services) and the process itself, such as monitoring the success of anticipation, reflexivity, and inclusion. In our case, we intended to be responsive to stakeholders through iterative designs in our collaborations, integrating new knowledge and perspectives into subsequent processes. The scenario process supported this objective. Through the use of socio-economic scenarios, we increased the anticipatory relevance of project outputs, by considering the temporal longevity of deliverables. In other words, designing resilient products that can stand the tests of time in rapidly changing decision environments is one way that service providers can demonstrate responsiveness. In another example, we used the socio-economic scenarios as a backdrop to develop the serious game Icewise. The game incorporates a new seasonal sea ice forecast product, developed by project partners, into a gaming environment. In its final phase, our project will engage potential users of this new forecast in simulation-gaming exercises. In doing so, we aim to test, and ultimately co-model with participants, the usefulness of newly developed [53
] reliability estimates for seasonal sea ice forecasts. Through this game, the developers of this service gain insights about ways in which their product can be further enhanced to meet expected challenges until 2035.