A1 Journal article (refereed)
Backcasting for desirable futures in Finnish forest-based firms (2021)

Näyhä, A. (2021). Backcasting for desirable futures in Finnish forest-based firms. Foresight, 23(1), 50-72. https://doi.org/10.1108/FS-01-2020-0005

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Näyhä, Annukka

Journal or series: Foresight

ISSN: 1463-6689

eISSN: 1465-9832

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 23

Issue number: 1

Pages range: 50-72

Publisher: Emerald

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/FS-01-2020-0005

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/72616


In Finland, new forest-based sector (FBS) businesses are seen as important for the transition to the circular bioeconomy. The purpose of this study is to explore the transition of Finnish FBS companies to new business models. The aim is to understand how FBS companies define their ideal future states and related business models for the year 2030.

This study uses thematic interviews with managers from various FBS firms and companies from interfacing sectors. In the interviews, the key idea of backcasting was pursued when respondents discussed the desirable future states of their business.

The effort to achieve growth of the business and the appearance of new products characterize the company-specific desirable future states. In these desirable futures, expanded businesses will be based on strong knowledge. Resource efficiency and collaboration create a strong basis for the desirable future state of the whole FBS to create a sustainable and innovative “Wood Valley.”

Research limitations/implications
The key limitations are that the backcasting process has been conducted only through interviews and a participative approach with stakeholder dialogue is lacking in the process. This means that the desirable futures are created by the FBS companies only.

As a practical contribution, the study shows the future-oriented thinking and goals of FBS firms. As a theoretical contribution, it extends research on sustainable business models and discussions on the novel field of corporate foresight.

Keywords: bioeconomy; circular economy; forest sector; forest industry; growth companies; business models; sustainable development; forecasts

Free keywords: backcasting; circular bioeconomy; corporate foresight; Finland; forest-based sector (FBS); sustainable business models

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 13:45