Research Fellow (Foresight)

Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

Stockholm, , SE

Join our international non-profit research organization and help create a sustainable future for all. The SEI Stockholm Centre is a dynamic, expanding workplace that employs around 90 people from 25 different nationalities in an activity-based office in central Stockholm (Garnisonen).

SEI is recruiting a highly motivated Research Fellow with a strong research background in scenario development and foresight methodologies. The successful candidate will initially contribute to two new SEI projects where stakeholder-based scenario processes play a central role, ranging from global to local scales in both industrialised and developing countries.

The successful candidate will be part of a team of international researchers working on the intersection between environment and development in a rapidly changing and increasingly uncertain world.

Your main responsibilities

  • Develop foresight methodologies for application across a range of SEI projects, particularly explorative scenarios, but also forecasting, horizon scanning, and futures visioning;
  • Design and facilitate participatory scenario processes, including workshops;
  • Combine qualitative with quantitative methods for foresight analysis, for example story and simulation approaches, cross-impact balance and other methods;
  • Use foresight exercises to inform and re-think strategies and policies for sustainable development, including robustness analysis/ stress testing and policy innovation processes;
  • Apply these methods to a wide range of thematic contexts, accommodating the insights of a wide range of practitioners and stakeholders across all sectors and global regions;
  • Coordinate and develop SEI’s growing portfolio of foresight-related projects; manage projects, write proposals and help to communicate insights from our work to a range of audiences; and
  • Build capacity – both internally within SEI and externally with our boundary partners – to more robustly consider future dynamics and narratives in the process of exploring, designing and applying solutions for sustainable development

Who you are

We are looking for a person with a strong interest and proven track record in working with stakeholders to explore potential futures. It is not necessary for this person to have a background in the environment or development field.

  • Master’s degree or PhD, with well over 5 years of relevant experience;
  • Solid background in scenario development and experience of facilitating multi-stakeholder and participatory processes;
  • In-depth knowledge and expertise in the theory and practice of foresight methods;
  • Enthusiasm for developing innovative approaches and for involving “new voices” in the creation of future visions and narratives;
  • Familiarity with broader global political, economic, social, cultural and environmental development issues and trends;
  • Written and spoken Swedish is an asset; fluent English is a requirement

To succeed in this role, you can work both in teams and independently in a highly flexible and exciting research environment. You are able to combine theoretical knowledge with practical, people-based skills. As you are part of a team, you find motivation in supporting more junior colleagues. You see problems and solutions at a systemic level and like to incorporate the interconnections between places, actors and topics in your work.

About our scenario work

SEI has a legacy of using scenarios to bridge science and policy for sustainable development, dating back to the Polestar Project back in the early 1990s, through the development of various successful scenario planning tools (for example WEAP and LEAP) to the present day, which sees a number of scenario initiatives with major resource-intensive business sectors in Sweden to explore the context for sustainable transitions in a changing world. We now see growing demands for explorative thinking about potential future developments in society and the natural environment, and a need for more creative thinking about the implications on how we imagine, design and implement measures to bring about a sustainable future for all.

The successful candidate will play a major role in implementing two new SEI projects, described briefly below, in addition to developing new areas of work and helping to deliver other projects.

Mistra Geopolitics

The Mistra Geopolitics Programme is developing an explorative scenario framework to assess the range of options for Swedish stakeholders to respond to the changing geopolitical landscapes associated with the Anthropocene, and to explore competitive opportunities and solutions for these stakeholders to contribute to the societal transformation toward global sustainability.

The programme will construct a framework of external context scenarios in the time frame 2020 to 2050, to explore plausible alternative development pathways allowing for assessment of, among other things, policies and business plans, over a range of futures. The scenarios will serve as points of reference for other research in the programme. The explorative scenarios work is followed by a ”horizon scanning” project identifying emerging issues and opportunities in an 18 to 24 month perspective. We seek to combine public opinion survey data with existing data platforms and decision-support tools developed by our research partners in the Programme.


The overarching goal of the SENSES project is to develop a tailor-made, user-determined Climate Change Scenario Toolkit connecting the new generation of climate community scenarios to selected user and stakeholder groups.

The Toolkit will include a unique collection of user-centred scenario visualization tools, include practical guidelines and manuals, and build on co-production techniques of relevant and useful climate change knowledge for three key user groups: (i) national and international climate policy makers, (ii) regional climate scenario users, and (iii) businesses, particularly those with long term planning horizons. Within SENSES, SEI is leading a regional case study in East Africa, where we are currently planning a stakeholder-driven scenario building process.

How to apply

We continuously review applications and encourage you to apply as soon as possible. The final application deadline is 8 January 2018. As we only accept applications through our system, please apply online using the button below and include:

  • Cover letter highlighting relevant qualifications and experience.
  • Curriculum vitae