We have been having some lively interactions with some lovely academic researchers recently. The common ground is that we all want impact goals that are truly transformational. Our approach is to start in-place, have conversations and get all sectors talking to one another towards a collectively-formed vision of climate resilience. Historically, researchers are trained to think about challenges more narrowly in ways that advance knowledge within their discipline. It’s all good, but how do we usefully and simply start supporting each other?
In a letter read out to participants at the recent Leverage Points for Sustainability Transformation conference at Leuphana Uni in Lüneburg, Isabel offered an invitation, “Civil society and policy makers need to access the peer-reviewed papers that you publish so that they can make informed decisions about how to prepare for the future. Speak to them in a language that they can understand. Show them how to get behind the pay walls and interrogate what they find. Stop being so polite. Use your knowledge to stand up and ask really difficult questions in public, and offer really challenging answers. Join us in scenario planning for long-term climate change, and all the other ills that will amplify, with policy makers, business and communities. Help us make baselines for our bioregions, and measure progress or falling short in ways that we can grasp. Bring your expertise in action research alongside our farmers, mental health workers, tourist authorities and shipping companies. You know about so many examples of change that are already in progress. We need a way in which the models are widely shared, with their pluses and minuses, in just a few easily accessible websites.”
Here’s a nice summary of an excellent open access paper called Ten essentials for action-oriented and second order energy transitions, transformations and climate change research About the paper, lead author Ioan Fazey from Dundee Uni says, “You don’t have to read all of it, but I think reading the intro sections would give you a better understanding of the challenges facing the ability of academia to contribute more effectively to solutions/practice.” Just a thought, but perhaps a clearer title would be a good idea, like “Learning from and through action; how research needs to change in response to climate change”?