Knowledge system transformation to support research integration and implementation

Purpose: To describe open knowledge systems.

Description: Open knowledge systems are required to deal with accelerating global change, the danger of crossing planetary boundaries, multiple and interacting pressures, as well as the consequences of partial solutions for one problem leading to pressures elsewhere. The transformative change required to deal with these earth system challenges needs cooperation and dialogue between the scientific community and all other stakeholders ie., those with relevant knowledge for contributing to solutions. This is what is meant by an open knowledge system.

Inviting stakeholders to participate in open knowledge systems:

  • enhances the use and validation of local and specialised knowledge
  • provides space for dialogue, communication and learning
  • supports common framing of issues
  • improves the legitimacy of processes
  • supports “buy-in”
  • improves understanding of the socio-ecological system.

Open knowledge systems require:

  • broad collaboration, transdisciplinary knowledge integration and understanding
  • an orientation to implementation, with decisive changes in individual behaviours and collective values
  • a systemic open approach
  • new criteria and procedures for assessing scientific excellence and societal impact.

Moving to open knowledge systems requires:

  • recognition that projects need time and that it might be best to fund them in phases
  • new skills eg., facilitation, mediation, systems thinking
  • researchers to become part of the process
  • open (not pre-defined) outcomes
  • “excellence” to be measured in the success of the process design and implementation (rather than the number of peer-reviewed papers)
  • experimentation and learning.

Four cases of integrative, implementation-oriented, transformative research in which the knowledge system has been opened up and sustainability challenges have been tackled are briefly presented. They are:

  • RESPONDER project which looked at knowledge integration using systems mapping as a tool for knowledge brokerage
  • InContext project which examined the challenges of having an implementation orientation, especially when researchers become part of the process (rather than being independent analysts)
  • MATISSE project which used a systemic approach, including scoping and re-scoping
  • Project Vision RD4SD which examined new evaluation criteria, especially for societal impact.

Video (26 minutes): “Transforming the Knowledge System to Support Research Integration and Implementation” presented by Jill Jaeger was a plenary talk at the First Global Conference on Research Integration and Implementation held in Canberra in Australia, online and at three co-conferences (Lueneburg in Germany, The Hague in the Netherlands and Montevideo in Uruguay), 8-11 September 2013. The Microsoft PowerPoint presentation from the video is available as a PDF (814KB).

Related tools on this website: N/A (although there are multiple tools about the new skills required)

Related tools on the i2Insights blog: N/A (although there are multiple blog posts about the new skills required)

Related topics on Wikipedia: N/A

Posted: November 2014
Last modified: November 2019

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