Participatory modelling approaches build on deliberative principles, which have been defended by social ecological economists as a way to open up debates in the science policy interface and engage societal actors in learning and knowledge co-creation processes. Over the past decade, deliberative methods have been referred to as value articulating institutions [Chapter 3], offering alternative rule structures to standard economic appraisal techniques by accounting for multiple values, uncertainty in information and asymmetries between individuals (Antunes et al., 2009; Vatn, 2009). The rationale for deliberative methods that engage extended peer communities in planning and assessment processes also builds on the critique of expert determined decisions made by post-normal science [Chapter 28]. Participatory approaches contribute to achieving three essential goals (De Marchi and Ravetz, 2001):

widening the framings of policy issues by including representation of multiple sectors of society;

delivering a decision-making mode which is responsive to democratic principles and encourages commitment throughout the several stages of the policy-making cycle; and

improving the quality of decisions by accommodating multiple perspectives that expand the scope of problem definition, as well as design and selection of alternative solutions.