Transdisciplinary Methods for Developing Nexus Capabilities Workshop
The Nexus Network workshop on ‘Transdisciplinary Methods for Developing Nexus Capabilities’, was held at the University of Sussex, UK on 29-30 June 2015. The workshop took a critical look the research challenge in addressing nexus issues.
- What different kinds and interconnections of method in contrasting contexts, form the most practical basis for enabling transformative action to address Nexus challenges?
- How can such encompassing Nexus methodologies best enable academic, government, business and civil society actors to develop appropriate skills, training and research capabilities?
The Nexus challenge
- How can real progress be made in global provision of water, food and energy?
- How might this be achieved in secure, just, equitable and sustainable ways?
- What are the settings in which water, food and energy challenges interact, such as environmental values, business strategy, resource equity, ecological limits, urbanisation and transformative innovation?
The research challenge
- What kinds of social and research capabilities and capacities are most needed – and in what kinds of mix?
- What kinds of method may best help inform, strengthen and catalyse the necessary transformative action?
- The bullet points and slides from the main speakers are available in the Methods talks summary.
- The online discussion that the event generated (on twitter #transdisciplinarymethods) is available in the Methods Storify.
- In the discussion paper for the workshop, Professor Andy Stirling and colleagues from the Nexus Network set out the context for the Transdisciplinary Methods for Developing Nexus Capabilities workshop. This paper will be revised in light of the discussions and the final version will be sent to ESRC and other interested stakeholders and will be published on the Nexus Network website.
- The workshop report compiled by writer Martin Ince, focuses on concrete methods and the ways to interlink them, to maximise the practical implications for skills development, training arrangements and capabilities provision. Download the report as a pdf Transdisciplinary Nexus Methods Workshop final Report 2015
Monday 29 June 2015 – starts 12:00 midday
Session One: Setting the Scene
Chair: James Wilsdon, Director of the Nexus Network
- Introduction: A View from the ESRC Nexus Network Team. James Wilsdon, Professor of Science and Democracy, University of Sussex.
- Public Agencies. Guy Poppy, Professor of Ecology at the University of Southampton and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Food Standards Agency.
- Stimulus talk: Mapping and Ordering Methods. Andy Stirling, Professor of Science & Technology Policy, University of Sussex.
Plenary discussion of stimulus talk.
Panel quickfire: Background work in the Nexus Network.
- Transdisciplinarity. Frances Harris, Kingston University.
- Governance & Strategic Action. Christian Stein, Stockholm Environment Institute.
- Is this a new debate? Alice Bows-Larkin, Tyndall Centre Manchester.
Plenary discussion of scene setting.
Session Two: Scoping the Issues
Chair: Lyla Mehta, Professorial Research Fellow at IDS.
Panel quickfire: Major Issues
- Diversity and Plurality. Henrietta Moore, Director of the Institute for Global Prosperity and Chair in Philosophy, Culture and Design at University College London.
- Credibility and Legitimacy. Gary Kass, Deputy Chief Scientist, Natural England.
- Power and Reflexivity. Andrea Cornwall, Professor of Anthropology and International Development, University of Sussex.
- Excellence and Engagement. John Gaventa, Institute of Development Studies.
- Complexity and Uncertainty. Nigel Gilbert, University of Surrey.
Plenary discussion: different views, tricky problems, what’s missing?
Group conversations on crucial questions for the next day and beyond.
Tuesday 30 June 2015
Session Three: Grounded Applications
Panel quickfire: Mixing Methods in Real Problem Contexts
- Climate and Energy. Jim Watson, Research Director UK Energy Research Centre and Professor of Energy Policy, University of Sussex.
- Interdisciplinarity and environmental change. Sue Hartley, Director Environmental Sustainability Institute, University of York.
- Mixing methods. Rosalind Edwards, Professor of Sociology, University of Southampton.
- Raw Material Conflicts. Raimund Bleischwitz, Sustainable Global Resources, University College London.
- Food and Ecosystem Services. Tim Benton, Professor of Population Ecology, University of Leeds and UK Champion for Global Food Security.
Session Four: Implications in Practice
Panel quickfire: Key Perspectives.
- Supporting researchers. Rose Cairns, coordinator of the Nexus Network and Research Fellow at the Science and Technology Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex.
- Integrated Programmes. Andrew Watkinson, University of East Anglia.
- A Perspective on Business. Ken Caplan, Director of Partnerships in Practice.
- A Civil Society View. Janet Cotter, Greenpeace.
Group conversations on key perspectives.
Session Five: Onward Action
Chair: Andy Stirling, Professor of Science & Technology Policy, University of Sussex.
- Pitfalls, Principles and Rules of Thumb – in addressing: “What kinds of social and research capabilities and capacities are most needed – and in what kinds of mix?”
- Research Needs, Enabling Action and What do we mean by Success? – in addressing:“What kinds of method may best help inform, strengthen and catalyse the necessary transformative action?”
Meeting end 13:30 with lunch.