MCM is an interactive, multicriteria appraisal method for exploring contrasting perspectives on complex, uncertain and contested issues. It aims to help 'open up' technical assessment by systematically 'mapping' the practical implications of alternative options, knowledges, framings and values.
MCM was first developed in 1997 for a collaboration between industry, government, academia and NGOs on the fraught issue of GM foods. It is based on many years experience by university researchers, industry executives, civil servants, activist campaigners and participation facilitators.
MCM has been widely used internationally, underpinning many influential published papers and reports. As part of a wider deliberative process, it has been mentioned in an editorial in Nature, favourably reviewed in a UK Government Manual and recommended in a number of major evaluations.
Professor Andy Stirling
Founder and Principal
Andy Stirling is a professor in SPRU (science and technology policy research) at Sussex University, where he is also a founding co-director of the STEPS Centre. Formerly working as a field archaeologist and environmentalist and, he has a background in the natural sciences and social anthropology and a doctorate in science and technology policy. Serving on a number of UK and European advisory committees in areas like energy policy, GM foods, chemicals, biotechnology, neuroscience and science in society, his research concerns opening up greater democratic debate over the directions taken by science and technology.
His work developing MCM over the years owes a huge amount to many collaborators in related work on the politics of knowledge around complex strategic decisions – especially colleagues in SPRU and the STEPS Centre. It also owes huge debts to colleagues in the Sussex Innovation Centre (SINC) and those who coded successive versions of the MCM tools: including initially Guillaume Barreau at Runtime Collective, then Toby Champion at Toby Champion Associates and most recently Jamie Matthews, Chris Palk, Caroline Pickering and the wonderful team at DabApps.
Development of the MCM tool has been supported by the University of Sussex Enterprise Development Fund in collaboration with the Sussex Innovation Centre. We worked closely with Brighton-based digital applications developer DabApps to shape, what we hope you'll agree, is an industry leading decision analysis tool!
Further development is driven by Andy Stirling working with Josie Coburn, a researcher at SPRU (science and technology policy research) at the University of Sussex with a special interest in Multicriteria Mapping and with four years’ experience in the IT sector.