D5.3: Final report on CINA workshops for ecosystem service governance innovations: Lessons learned

Ewert J. Aukes*, Peter Stegmaier, Christian Schleyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

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Constructive Innovation Assessment (CINA) is one of the core methods used in InnoForESt to support the governance innovation processes concerning forest ecosystem services. Its uses are both practical and scientific. It was the task of CINA to systematically transfer this knowledge into the innovation process itself. For this purpose, narrative, sometimes rather tabular, scenarios were developed that combine stakeholder interests, the innovation options and the governance situation.
The aim was to formulate realistic and context-based innovation options including the key tensions an innovation has to deal with. But it couldn’t stop there, because the stakeholders are the linchpin of all our efforts: they have to be able and willing to do something with the ideas. So, we set up the innovation work in such a way that the scenarios were developed, stabilised or modified, and sometimes even sorted out (terminated) together with the stakeholders at important points in time, in the context of intensive workshops that were spread over the entire duration of the project. We refer to this entire procedure as the CINA process.
Working with the CINA approach is not an end in itself , but is closely linked to the respective situation in the region and the ability to involve stakeholders in such a way that practical work on an innovation is possible. CINA stands and falls with it.
Our review of the documents collected from the project showed that the following topics were decisive for the feasibility and quality of the CINA work:
1. The implementation and social embedding of an innovation: context matters
2. Scenarios: the core tool of CINA
3. Process approach and CINA workshop types: different formats are useful at different points of development
4. Links to the entire innovation process: concerted action helps to link CINA into the innovation
5. Preparatory research: strategic intelligence provides the basis
6. Scenario work: clear outlines of alternatives in context are the key working device
7. Prototype development: best understood as scenario work on another (practical) level
8. Inclusion of aspects and actors: a balancing act, for the right mixture and level of innovativeness
9. Stakeholder involvement, motivation and workshop productivity: commitment must be stimulated
10. Workshop moderation: being constructive in terms of content and group dynamics
11. Franchise approach: passing on requires being there.
On the one hand, this means that the CINA process must be imagined as being directly interwoven with what is happening around the forest ecosystem governance of a region. Everyone involved must understand that participating in the InnoForESt project is not just a series of workshops that are treated as purely compulsory exercises. On the other hand, we have learned that for the partners in the regions, participating in the InnoForESt project is also a practical challenge: to remain confident and true to oneself and one's own competencies, but at the same time have to be open to trying something different. For them, CINA is not only part of a broader process, but also a method . This method seems
bulky at first, but in the course of dealing with it it gains more momentum and appeal.
The effort involved in introducing and supporting CINA is immense. If one does not want to return to a simple, linear illusion of innovation that can be controlled, then it is worth investing in assistance work with regional partners. All sides learn from it.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEberswalde
Commissioning bodyEuropean Commission
Number of pages49
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2020


  • Forest Ecosystem Services
  • Constructive Innovation Assessment (CINA)
  • Governance Innovation


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