Roles of the EUFORIE partners

Remaining in the metaphor of the use of quantitative and qualitative science in medicine, we have to accept the co-existence of non-equivalent approaches to the generation of useful information. This is what EUFORIE does combining four different approaches adopted by the different partners:

1. Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC), University of Turku, Finland

The proposed approach generates assessments based on a decomposition analysis of input/output ratios. The Advanced Sustainability Analysis (ASA) approach looks at the characteristics of the whole system, but it is also capable of looking inside the whole at the different factors that are determining the overall characteristics. In the metaphor of the use of science in medicine this approach can be compared to the generation of information through X-rays – keeping the picture of the whole, but being capable of looking at the characteristics of internal pieces. This approach gives useful information in relation to econometric analysis and analysis of trends.

2. Parthenope University of Naples, Italy

The proposed approach generates assessments based on quantitative indicators reflecting specific protocols of accounting. In the metaphor of the use of science in medicine, this approach can be compared to the generation of information through blood tests. Standard methodologies of quantitative analysis include Energy analysis, exergy analysis, emergy analysis, Material Flow Accounting, Environmental Impact Assessment, and Life Cycle Assessment. This approach provides the information required by a multicriteria analysis generating a set of indicators that can be chosen “à la carte” depending on the research question.

3. Universitat Autonoma Barcelona (UAB), Spain

The proposed approach generates assessments based on an analysis of the metabolic pattern of societal-ecological systems. The Multi-Scale Assessment Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism (MUSIASEM) looks at the characteristics of the whole system, but at the same time it identifies its structural functional elements across different levels of organization. In the metaphor of the use of science in medicine this approach can be compared to the generation of information through NMR – keeping the picture of the whole, while looking at the characteristics of functional organs inside the body. This approach gives useful information in relation to biophysical analysis and in particular on the dynamic interface exchanging flows between socio-economic process and ecological processes.

4. Sustainable European Research Institute (SERI), Germany

The proposed approach generates assessments based on a socio-economic analysis of policies based on the acceptance of pluralism and multi-scale awareness. In the metaphor of the use of science in medicine, this approach can be compared to the generation of information of the social and personal interactions of the patient with its context, as done in psychology. This approach gives useful information in relation to the use of science for governance.


In conclusion, we can say that within EUFORIE, each one of the proposed approaches provides its own insight on “efficiency” in relation to the different issues analyzed at different levels (firms, cities, countries, economic macro-regions). However, due to the complexity of the topic we cannot expect that depending on the chosen framing and the chosen level of analysis, the indications or the representations generated by the different approaches will always coincide. Yet, the heterogeneity of insights determined by the diversity of narratives is essential to provide the information and knowledge required for a sound discussion of policy options.