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Knowledge Synthesis

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The Learning for Sustainability (LfS) website is a clearinghouse of information with links provided to a diverse selection of relevant resources, such as on: systems thinking; building networks; dialogue and negotiation; knowledge management; planning and evaluation; theory of change; managing outcomes; interdisciplinary approaches; adaptive management; and, participation and engagement. Started in 1998, the website is […]
Conceptual metaphors help make integrative research more successful. They require “deep and continued dialogue,” a shared context for communication, and iteration until shared meaning is established. Conceptual metaphors contrast with conduit metaphors, which assume that words and sentences on their own can convey thoughts and feelings. Conduit metaphors lead to an illusion of communication, but […]
Metaphors help people “understand the unfamiliar” and “make someone realise they’ve only been looking at one side of a thing.” Metaphors assist in closing “the gap in people’s ability to grasp something, or speed up what they’re already on track to see.” Designing metaphors involves generating multiple possible comparisons to find those that work well. […]
Views integration as having “communicative, social and cognitive” aspects, relating to language, roles and knowledge, respectively. A key element was establishing a “task force”, with representatives of the key subgroups, whose role is to “introduce core concepts and methods” from their subgroups and to “communicate agreements and results of the integration process back to the […]
This report provides a brief overview of the most popular modelling techniques used to analyse complex real-world problems, as well as some less popular but highly relevant techniques. The modelling methods are divided into three categories, with each encompassing a number of methods, as follows: Qualitative Aggregate Models (Soft Systems Methodology, Concept Maps and Mind […]
Recent technological advances provide comprehensive digital traces of social actions, interactions, and transactions and are described in this video. These data provide an unprecedented exploratorium to model the socio-technical motivations for creating, maintaining, dissolving, and reconstituting into teams. This presentation uses examples from research on scientific collaboration and massively multiplayer online games to argue that […]
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Demonstrates modelling scenarios and strategies for sustainable agriculture in an Austrian region. This involved gathering mental models of stakeholders, developing shared understanding of system dynamics, fostering exchange and learning, and developing and assessing strategies. An agent-based model was at the core, with many inputs developed using participatory methods. Three scenarios were assessed. Digital poster: Smetschka, […]
This case demonstrates the use of participatory research to bring together pastoralists, donors and researchers to build the capacity of the pastoralists to better withstand drought and similar shocks. The case is part of the Pastoral Risk Management (PARIMA) project of the Global Livestock Collaborative Research Support Program (GL-CRSP). The impact was evaluated. Reference: Coppock, […]
Project management, as a field of practice and aspiring discipline has enjoyed strong professional formation, driven by active associations of practitioners. In promoting project management as a discipline in its own right, these practitioners and their associations have worked to delimit it from other disciplines and define it through practice standards. As a result project […]
Five primary steps in the scenario process are charted: (1) defining project boundaries (2) determining the driving forces (3) analysing the driving forces (4) generating scenarios and (5) scenario transfer to allow visualisation of scenario outputs as a story. The first four steps involved scientific experts, public administrators, and regional planners and managers. The fifth […]
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