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Using a foresight approach, leaders of manufacturing SMEs - and those who accompany them - will be called upon to imagine and implement plausible transition trajectories and collectively equip themselves with a stimulating long-term vision that allows them to identify business opportunities and favorably orient short-term decisions towards a plausible transition trajectory.

Description and objective

To bring together the leaders of manufacturing SMEs - and those who support them - to create a forum for exchange and reflection, with the aim of raising collective awareness of the needs and opportunities for change in their sector; to develop a transformative vision that will enable them to identify business opportunities and steer short-term decisions towards a plausible transition pathway; and to keep abreast of best practices in Quebec and beyond, through strategic intelligence. This component aims to experiment with foresight and strategic intelligence approaches to enable SMEs and the business ecosystem to mobilize and move towards a plausible transition pathway. As part of this action-research project, we will evaluate how these combined approaches can enable collective appropriation of the anticipation of the future to give manufacturing SMEs and those who support them the power to act in the short term towards the ultimate achievement of carbon neutrality.

Achievements - Foresight and transition pathways


Literature review


Découverte de
la prospective


Foresight cell meetings

Achievements - Monitoring and Business Intelligence


Monthly business intelligence bulletins


Articles indexed
by watch


organizations that have implemented
climate listed


receive monthly watch bulletins


synthesis workshop


Foresight aims to anticipate major systemic changes, or profound societal transformations, as is the case with the transition of today's economic model towards a low-carbon economy. Foresight is a method of analysis and reflection designed to inform present decisions by anticipating and preparing for the future.

Transition Pathways

Transition pathways, on the other hand, link our current situation to the one we want to achieve. They aim to build a path towards desirable futures. A pathway has a clear beginning and end, as well as intermediate stages that will be refined over time as we learn more.

Key findings

The choice of challenge addressed a highly topical issue for manufacturers: supply chain breakdowns. However, the first prospective cell approach tested was concluded more quickly than expected :

• The main obstacles were the time required on the part of the participants, and the fact that the theoretical underpinnings of the approach were too far removed from the operational reality of manufacturing SMEs.

• The objective remains to identify ways of mobilizing manufacturing SMEs and those who support them to develop and hone skills linked to anticipating possible and desirable future scenarios.

• For the future, we plan to test other, shorter and more concrete foresight workshop formats with the support of the Chemins de transition team, which has gathered the knowledge of over 1,000 stakeholders around three key transition challenges for Quebec: the digital challenge, the food challenge and the territory challenge.

Transition Pathways &

The watch is aligned with the climate actions of businesses, highlighting Quebec manufacturing SMEs without excluding inspiring examples from non-manufacturing companies. To segment the abundant information generated by the watch, the Phar team mapped the businesses identified according to their climate actions. The results reveal that the 5 climate actions most often cited in the last seven months' watch are in line with the actions revealed in the Business Transition Barometer: Sustainable Development Approach, Circular Economy, GHG Management, Energy Management and Responsible Sourcing. 

The watch summary workshop highlighted the similarities between what the watch revealed and what's happening in the field: 
◦ Entrepreneurs' primary concern for cash flow
◦ The importance of entrepreneurial values in decision-
◦ The importance of the circular economy
◦ The need for support

And elements not yet spotted through the watch so far: resistance to change in the field, the complexity of making the link between action and impact, the presence of sustainable development committees.

Monitoring and
Business Intelligence

In collaboration with

«More than 1,000 scientists, professionals and citizens have contributed to defining the vision of desirable futures for the Quebec economy and society and developing "transition paths" that could lead us there. The Québec Net Positif project will provide us with opportunities to share the results of our work and provide content and formats adapted to the contexts and needs of SMEs. »

– Mélanie McDonald, Executive Director, Chemins de Transition

« We combine strategic intelligence, expert analysis and collective intelligence and are pleased to put our innovative technological tools, our curiosity and our ability to channel the collective intelligence of our large network to help SMEs transition to a prosperous and sustainable economy. »

– Caroline Bouchard, Co-founder, Phar

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