Who is i2S for?
- Are you developing concepts and methods to improve understanding of, and action on, complex societal and environmental problems and want to make them more accessible to others?
- Do you wish it was easier to learn from like-minded colleagues, especially those applying similar tools, but to different types of problems?
- Do you wonder about the similarities among transdisciplinarity, systems thinking, implementation science and other approaches to complex problems?
- Do you wish that work on complex societal and environmental problems was better supported by those making research and higher education policy decisions, as well as by funders?
Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S) aims to provide a common identity for all those who answered 'yes' to any of the questions above. It is particularly focused on researchers developing tools for tackling any type of complex societal and environmental problems, who fall into two categories:
- Those in communities identifying with specific approaches, such as interdisciplinary or as action researchers or post-normal scientists.
- Those who are not aligned with an existing approach, but may be committed to improving methods for tackling problems in the environment or public health or security or other areas. They may think of themselves as T-shaped ie with two sets of skills, namely depth in a discipline or field (the vertical bar of the T) and expertise in collaborating across disciplines and with stakeholders (the horizontal bar of the T).
i2S aims to be global because complex problems occur in and affect all countries. Importantly, ways of tackling them are still relatively new and there is an opportunity for all countries to contribute and learn from each other. Each country benefits from being able to draw on every country’s experiences, for example:
- understanding what is happening elsewhere can help us reflect more effectively on context in our own countries, and
- concepts and processes developed in the specific context of a country’s problems can help those in other countries with different contexts look at ways of addressing their own problems with fresh eyes.
Why establish a global i2S community?
There are two main reasons for forming a global community.
One is to improve the quality of our work, in order to:
- employ the most suitable concepts and methods when tackling complex societal and environmental problems
- constantly improve those concepts and methods
- develop effective education strategies for teaching about those concepts and methods.
The second reason is to improve our political clout, especially to ensure that:
- a fair share of research funding goes to research tackling complex societal and environmental issues, including research focused on developing better concepts and methods
- mechanisms are in place to enable such research to be adequately recognised and assessed, including through review by peers experienced in the same kinds of research
- universities and related organisations adequately support research and education on complex real-world problems
- researchers tackling complex societal and environmental problems are not disadvantaged in job application, tenure and promotion processes.
How to get involved?
Contributing to i2Insights (see below) as an author, commenter, reader and disseminator is the primary way to get involved in i2S.
Integration and Implementation Insights (i2Insights)
The core i2S global community building activity is Integration and Implementation Insights (i2Insights), which is an active and growing repository of relevant tools and ideas in the form of blog posts.
i2Insights provides a forum for researchers to share the concepts and methods they use for tackling complex societal and environmental problems, as well as giving researchers easy access to the work of others, especially those doing relevant work that they may not normally have contact with. Discussion is encouraged through the commenting function.
Connecting with like-minded researchers through social media and i2S News
You can find out more about and connect with others interested in research integration and implementation via:
- Twitter @GabrieleBammer and #I2Sresources
- the LinkedIn group Global Network for Research Integration and Implementation and also #i2Sresources on LinkedIn
- i2S-Talks, the Integration and Implementation Sciences YouTube channel
- i2S News
Supporting the ITD Alliance as a membership organisation
i2S is not a traditional membership organisation. We have therefore supported the formation of the ITD-Alliance (Global Alliance for Inter- and Transdisciplinarity) and are active in many of its activities, including:
- transferring resources compiled between 2002 and 2021 on conferences, journals and professional associations and networks
- participating in working groups on toolkits and methods and on integration experts and expertise.
Supporting NITRO-Oceania to inform funding and policy decisions
The i2S team was active in the formation of NITRO-Oceania, the Network of Leaders of Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Research Organisations in the Oceania region, specifically as an organisation to inform funding and research policy decisions. Both of us are active in maintaining the website and Gabriele Bammer is active in many of its activities, including membership of the Executive (stepping down as inaugural President in 2022) and seeking opportunities to inform research policy and funding in order to support interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary and related approaches.