Better together: knowledge co-production for a sustainable society
WhenThursday, June 3, 2021, 09:00 - 13:00
Symposium exploring how the Irish research system can increase the impact of sustainability research through co-production of knowledge
This symposium will explore how the Irish research system can respond to the demand for increased levels of collaboration and interaction amongst scientists, stakeholders and funders to co-produce knowledge and increase its use in decision-making and practice.
It will feature keynote addresses from international experts in transdisciplinary research:
- Dr Christian Erik Pohl, Co-Director of the Transdisciplinarity Lab (TdLab) of the Department of Environmental Systems Science at ETH Zurich
- Carthage Smith, Lead Co-ordinator of the OECD Global Science Forum
It will also include eight case study presentations on co-production with government departments, industry, NGOs and communities.
A discussion paper featuring a new collection of case studies on knowledge co-production in the areas of environmental and sustainability research on the island of Ireland will be shared ahead of the event.
Full programme to follow.
Across the world, universities, research organisations, funding agencies, professional societies and national academies are striving to contribute to the knowledge needed to transition to a sustainable society. It is, however, increasingly recognised that for many intractable sustainability challenges, such as climate change or environmental resource management, additional scientific knowledge about the underlying problem may not be a key limiting factor in the development of more sustainable outcomes. A central challenge is to link the production of knowledge with actions that both meet human needs and preserve the planet's life-support systems. Aligning knowledge and action for global sustainability is essential to the human future; research on the interface between science and decision making necessitates continual engagement to spanning the boundaries between stakeholders and researchers. Co-production of research and knowledge may offer a powerful approach for crossing the “applicability gap” between scientists, professionals and policy makers.
Co-production of knowledge for sustainability
Co-production is an important emerging idea in the theory and practice of knowledge and governance for global sustainability. Co-production refers to the design and implementation of scientific research in true partnership with end-users so that scientific outputs are as useful as possible to those groups making decisions based on scientific findings. Its key insight that knowledge and action are interdependent reshapes how we think about the solutions for global environmental challenges. It recognises that a greater focus is needed on knowledge that can be used to alter social behaviours and societal arrangements to improve sustainability outcomes.
In the last decade, co-production how-to guides, webpages, handbooks and peer-reviewed articles have proliferated, and many funding calls now include requirements for scientist–stakeholder engagement and co-production. This symposium will explore how the Irish research system can respond to the demand for increased levels of collaboration and interaction amongst scientists, stakeholders and funders to co-produce knowledge and increase its use in policy, decision-making and practice.
This event is very timely given the need for evidence-based knowledge to facilitate a transition to a climate resilient, biodiversity rich and climate neutral economy and society in Ireland. The need for a close engagement between the Irish research community and stakeholders involved in implementing this transition has never been greater.
This event is organised by the RIA Climate Change and Environmental Sciences Committee in collaboration with Future Earth Ireland.
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