Offshore renewables - social impact: two way conversation with the people of Scotland

Findings from a piece of participatory research into the social impacts of offshore wind farms (OWFS) in Scotland. It describes innovative methods used to develop a conceptual framework, based on social values, that enables a better understanding of the social impacts of OWFs.

Appendix 4: Details of Materials for Round 1

The use of materials which enable participants to engage directly with the subject matter is a key element of the dialogue approach. Public participants first created their own individual pictures of the valued and important features of their lives and then converted these into elements on a shared map of a hypothetical coastal location which became the site for the scenarios for the development of different offshore renewable energy technologies.

Round 1 Description of the materials

Baseline and final views posters

Three posters were used to record participants’ views and attitudes on offshore renewables at the start and end of the dialogue event, to see how views change over the day.

How they work:

Participants were given three sticky coloured dots when they arrived and asked to put one on a scale on each posters. The same exercise was repeated at the end of the day, using different coloured dots.

Concentric circles pictures

A3 sheets of paper with a figure (male/female as appropriate) in the centre of three concentric circles How they work:

Each participant was given a blank picture. Participants were invited to imagine that they were the figure in the middle and to draw or write the things that they valued, using the circles to show relative importance of the things.

‘What is important’ markers

Small paper markers that can be put on the map to show the things that people value. Icons were used for common things (e.g. family, health care) and colours differentiated types of things (e.g. economic capacities, community capital, etc.) How they work:

Participants chose the markers they wanted and wrote on them the things they valued from their pictures. The markers were put on the map.

Maps of a hypothetical coastal location

Large map showing a hypothetical coastal location with features such as a small town, port, golf course island. About half of the map was sea.

How they work:

Each small group had its own map on which it put the markers showing the things that participants valued as well as models of the offshore renewable energy technologies and support structures that they were discussing in each scenario.

Scenario ‘pieces’

Cardboard models of elements of the scenarios discussed during the dialogue, e.g. offshore renewable energy technologies, support installations, ships, etc.

How they work:

Before the discussion of each scenario, the facilitator puts the relevant pieces on the map, so that participants can visualise the scenario.

Scenario Factsheets

One-page sheet for each scenario with standard information on one side (e.g. distance from shore, power generation, number of devices, etc.) and photos on the other side.

How they work:

At the start of each scenario session, participants receive a factsheet which they can refer back to during the discussion.



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