A strategic analysis of how biodiversity has matured as an issue over time
Biodiversity is a critical priority for theAustralian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). While CSIRO is full of globally leading specialists, there is value in getting these experts to develop a shared understanding of the biodiversity storyline. CSIRO commissioned Futureye to analyse the history of ideas surrounding biodiversity in order to get across a vast range of information in this space quickly and to inform the organisation’s public position on the issue.
Futureye’s social maturation curve model was used to analyse, track and evaluate the social progression of biodiversity over time.
As such, the model was used as:
- A collaboration tool: to enable issues specialists to see how their individual roles fit into the whole and build a shared view of critical components of history;
- A communication tool: to visually represent the development of biodiversity for future presentations and explanations to others who are not as knowledgeable about it; and
- A trend analysis and forecasting aid: it was used to track/monitor the evolution of biodiversity to anticipate the next phase of issues from a public-policy perspective.
- Futureye applied this multi-phased social maturation curve model to the concept of biodiversity. To do this, Futureye:
- Facilitated a workshop to clarify the focus of the curve as “the evolution of concern and action around biodiversity globally;”
- Reviewed leading scientific literature and mainstream media perspectives on biodiversity;
- Interviewed 10 experts with backgrounds ranging from economics and community development to taxonomy and marine biology;
- Collated insights and background research into a timeline to track the history of biodiversity;
- Analysed the timeline based on key events and turning points to delineate the phases of social maturation; and
- Delivered a presentation with strategic insights from the project for the CSIRO Chief Executive as well as CSIRO’s head of biodiversity.
As part of the project, CSIRO furthered its understanding of unique opportunity to shift biodiversity to be higher on the political radar and position it as a nationally and globally significant issue. As part of the Futureye and CSIRO Social Maturation Curve exercise, both organisations recognised:
- The community-at-large does not understand the implications of biodiversity loss,
- This issue is not high on the political radar, and
- There is no commitment to pursue a different path than the current trajectory.
"Futureye is now working with CSIRO to publish the social maturation curve methodology as well as the insights gained from the exercise in peer-reviewed journals."
Dr Mark Lonsdale
Chief, Ecosystem Sciences, CSIRO