How people feel their engagement can have efficacy for a bio-based society

Susanne Sleenhoff, Patricia Osseweijer

Up till now, the transition to a bio-based economy mainly involves expert stakeholders. However, the actions required are of a collective scale necessitating public engagement for support and action. Such engagement is only successful if members of the public believe their participation holds efficacy. This belief is closely linked to their personal representation of the issue. We report findings from our Q methodology workshop that explored public’s efficacy beliefs on their perceived ways for engagement with a bio-based economy. Participants were provided with stakeholders’ visual representations depicting a concourse of the transition to a bio-based economy for Q sorting. We found five efficacy beliefs that differ in scale on which participants consider themselves capable for action. These results indicate that members of the public foresee distinct and shared ways and levels in how they can engage with the transition to a bio-based society that do not always concur with stakeholders’ views.

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