Alternative Futures for Forest-Based Nanomaterials: An Application of the Manoa Schools Alternative Futures Method
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World Future Review. 8(3). http://dx/doi.org/10.1177/1946756716659650 25 p.
Forestry and forest products research has entered into a robust research agenda focused on creating nano-sized particles and nanoproducts from wood. As wood-based materials can be sustainably produced, the potential of these renewable products could be limitless and include high-end compostable electronics, paint-on solar panels, and lightweight materials for airplanes and cars. Others warn about potential serious negative health and environmental consequences. Either way, wood-based nanomaterials could disrupt forestry as we know it. This article is a summary and analysis of a collaborative research project exploring the futures of wood-based nanomaterials within the context of the futures of forests and forest management within the United States. We start by describing the history of forestry through the lens of the U.S. Forest Service, then describe nanotechnology in general and wood-based nanocellulose specifically. Next, we outline the Manoa School alternative futures method, and how we used it to design and carry out a "complete futures of x" project. Following the Manoa School approach, we describe four alternative futures for forestry and forest management. We conclude with implications for the future of forestry, forests, and forest-based nanomaterials, as well as a discussion on the implementation of a complete "futures of x" project.
Keywordsnanotechnology; nanomaterials; forestry; forest products; Manoa School
Bengston, David N.; Dator, Jim; Dockry, Michael J.; Yee, Aubrey. 2016. Alternative futures for forest-based nanomaterials: an application of the Manoa School’s alternative futures method. World Future Review. 8(3). http://dx/doi.org/10.1177/1946756716659650 25 p.