The foresight workshop CommonConcept will advance approaches to support inter- and transdisciplinary science via qualitative conceptual models to inform IEA throughout European seas and beyond. In doing so, the organisers aim to create good practice guidelines for coherent conceptual mapping for IEAs, through scoping participant needs, skill sharing, and knowledge transfer. The ultimate goal is advancing understanding of socio-ecological systems and facilitating practical implementation of ecosystem-based marine management.

The workshop will work towards the outline of participation, actions, case studies, ‘strawman’ models, discussion, conclusions, perspectives and modelling guidelines. Although stakeholders will not be able to be included in this FWS, challenges and good practices of stakeholder inclusion will be addressed and the models will later be further refined by each IEA group with relevant ecoregion stakeholders.

By coupling the platforms and networks of EuroMarine and ICES, the workshop will ensure the most relevant people are reached (e.g. ICES, GFCM, NOAA and STECF experts). If the workshop is over-subscribed, the organisers will consider opening up discussion sections during the workshop to observers via web-conferencing.


The key objective of CommonConcept is the development of the good practice guidelines, which themselves will:

  • facilitate a (semi-) standardised application of the co-developed conceptual modelling approach
  • provide a tool for integrating diverse stakeholder knowledge
  • improve integration of social and economic factors within IEAs and ICES Ecosystem Overviews

The workshop will also identify opportunities to leverage the meeting into further funding to advance collaborative IEA work through programmes such as Horizon2020 and INTERREG.


  • A Conceptual Mapping/Modelling Methodology & Common Approaches and Guidelines document
  • A presentation of the workshop's outcomes and results at ICES ASC 2021


The organisers expect that by successfully developing and transferring these objectives and achieving their targeted outcomes, the workshop will:

  • facilitate understanding the different mental conceptions across scientific disciplines and stakeholders
  • help highlight issues relevant to stakeholders
  • facilitate management strategy evaluation
  • underpin trade-off analysis
  • enable meaningful communication between stakeholders, scientists, and managers