1. Introduction 4. Output
2. Aim 5. Material and preparation
3. Input data 6. Exercise instructions


Regional and local entrepreneurs are the best experts to consider the effects of the climate change on business. However, they often lack information concerning the impacts of climate change. The BalticClimate toolkit can provide business with the understanding of the climate change on the regional scale. The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) in cooperation with the Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research (CSPR) have calculated scenarios of the future climate for the Baltic Sea Region. This information should be explained and discussed together with the regional/local entrepreneurs to face the future challenges and generate chances for the business in the area.

The ‘challenges and chances’ workshop is designed to be implemented by municipalities together with local/regional business associations, unions, chambers of commerce, business multipliers etc. — organizations that bring together actors form different fields/branches of business. The different focuses of the participants may bring about innovations and new kinds of cooperation. If required, a workshop concentrating on one single sector of business can also be arranged.  


The purpose of the workshop "Challenges and chances for business" is involve businesses and business multipliers in the region in mitigation and adaptation. The main idea is to provide information about the climate change and to generate new business ideas that support mitigation and/or adaptation to climate change. The main outcome of this workshop is the information about the main challenges and chances for the regional/local business generated by climate change. 

Input data

Future climate in your region 


A list of climate-related challenges and chances arranged according to your perception of the size of challenges and chances and the time frame of their occurrence.

Material and preparation

  • Flipchart papers, Post-it notes and red markers.

  • Prepare a flipchart as in Figure 1 below (can be downloaded from the Related files on the right). If you are working at different spatial areas or with different economic sectors, prepare one paper for each area or sector. Divide the paper into five sections both vertically and horizontally to facilitate its documentation in a table.

  • Horizontal axis: time according to the identified challenges and chances (e.g. now to 2020 or 2050 or 2100).

  • Vertical axis: importance of challenge or chance from high to low.

Figure 1. Grid showing size of challenges and chances and time-frame of their occurrence 

Exercise instructions

The workshop (2 h) includes four components:

1. Introductory lecture (20 minutes)
2. Challenges and chances exercise (10 min individual reflection, 30 min group discussion, 30 min presentation and common discussion)
3. Influencing aspects exercise (focus on adaptation as far as possible) (20 min group discussion, 10 min presentation)
4. Evaluation

1. The workshop starts with an introductory lecture. The focus is on the recent extreme meteorological events and future climate change effects on the regional scale. The idea is to give the audience a picture what has already happened and what will happen in the next 10-20-50 years according to the major meteorological parameters, since they are the driving forces to the changes the society will have to face and to adapt to. The climate change impacts material can be used to create this lecture. 

The workshop should not only focus on the future climate. In the past years, there have been several meteorological events that have influenced businesses in the Baltic Sea Region. The discussion should start from these droughts, heat waves, snow storms, floods etc. Important question related to adaptation are: 

  • Did these events affect business in the region (or individual companies)?
  • Has something been done to prevent such negative effects in the future?
TIP: When planning the workshop, contact the local/regional climate change experts and discuss with them. They might be interested joining the workshop, providing material or and giving a lecture. 

2. After the introductory lecture, start the challenges and chances exercise. Two groups are formed (group 1: challenges, group 2: chances) — a maximum of 10 people per group. If more than 15—20 people are in the workshop, then you should create more subgroups (challenges 1, chances 2 etc.). 

STEP 1. Each group will receive a poster or flipchart as in Figure 1 in size A0 with the title ‘challenges’ or ‘chances’. If no posters can be printed, use a flipchart. On the horizontal axis is the time scale with 5 different time points: now, in one year, in five year, in ten year and in twenty year. The stress is on challenges and chances now and in the near future. Business is mainly interested in investments and innovations that take place in the next 1—10 years. On the vertical axis is the importance of the challenge/chance with scale 1 (low) to 5 (high).

STEP 2. The people in each group spend 5—10 minutes in silence to write down on post-it notes the ‘challenges’ (or ‘chances’) that are generated by climate change and affecting the business in the region. They can be anything, but the focus should be on climate change and business in the region. One challenge/chance per post-it! 

STEP 3. Each group starts to place the post-it notes on the poster. They should discuss and find the location of each challenge/chance in time (horizontal axis) and magnitude (vertical axis). This requires 30 minutes.

STEP 4. All the groups present their results followed by a joint discussion to identify missing aspects. 30 minutes is allotted to this discussion. If more than 15—20 people are in the workshop, this may take longer than 30 minutes. 

3. Each group goes to the next exercise (20 minutes) to identify the influential aspects for the three biggest challenges/chances (try to focus on adaptation).

Table 1. Influential aspects for the three biggest challenges and chances (can be downloaded from the Related files on the right)

Challenge/chance Policy instruments in place Barriers Facilitating factors Easy … Difficult
(1…5) to change

Based on the ‘Big 3,’ answer the following questions in a group discussion:

  • What policy instruments are there to overcome the challenge (or benefit from the chance?)
  • What are the barriers?
  • What are the facilitating factors?
  • How easy (or difficult) is it to change the present situation? Rank on a scale of 1 (easy) to 5 (very difficult).

All groups present their results. (10 minutes)

4. Final discussion. In the final discussion, the focus should be on the major challenges and changes. What did we learn from this exercise? A good way to go more into details is the SWOT-tool for business.