Forests in Sweden are mostly cultivated by individuals or privately held organizations. In a multidisciplinary team we identified how a series of different stakeholders can cooperate in order to ensure the future of forestry.
Forest in Sweden is a national treasure. Wood is one of the most exported goods of the country, forests cover over 50% of the land area and it is growing faster than it can be cut down. The forestry industry is of public concern, consisting of a series of many different stakeholders, many of which are Individual forest owners. In the last years the forestry culture was affected by a cultural shift that left many owners stranded with a forest they have inherited by their parents, yet do not know what to do with it. We developed a certificate system, named the „Swedish Forest Label“, which helps individual forest owners cultivate and administer their land, while supporting the local economy.
Knowledge is key
During the process of our research on the forestry situation we discovered very quickly that unifying knowledge is key. Many different stakeholders hold fragments of valuable knowledge that only finds fruitfulness when being shared.
Considering different needs
Combining and sharing knowledge can lead to catering different needs of different stakeholders. Instead of disappearing pieces of wisdom, sharing accommodates initiative and goodwill. This ultimately leads to a healthier forest and environmental awareness.
To better understand the interests of forest owners and specialized entrepreneurs in the forestry sector, we went on a field trip in a northern region of Sweden. Besides talking to forest owner, we observed the forestry industry on site.
In a workshop we brought together the many different stakeholders to think about possible solution of the shift in forest cultivation. Among the participants were forest owners, forestry entrepreneurs, parties of the forest agency, and forestry equipment producers. Their ideas offered an instrumental insight into a complex system of social, economical, and ecological influences.
To get a scope of the industry we developed the Tree-Lifecycle, in reference to a product lifecycle and the design method A-Day-In-The-Life. The lifecycle helped us understand the ample path a tree completes until it gives the wood to make a chair to sit on, for example.
Blueprint and prototypes
A service blueprint helped us identify weaknesses in our first drafts of concepts. We used visual chart analysis and lo-fi prototypes to communicate our ideas to stakeholders and so received valuable feedback.
As a final outcome we created short movies to visualize our development process and to clarify our results. We envisioned knowledge as clouds that rain down on trees and help them grow, while the clouds are formed by the thoughts, caretaking, and knowledge of a variety of different people.
I very much liked this project due to the complexity of the topic. It felt rewarding to talk to people, study complex processes, and thus slowly begin to understand what Swedish forestry actually means. I enjoyed working in a great team, where everyone could participate and give input. And in the end it felt satisfying to give the forest owners a vision for their future.