Transdisciplinary Research on Sustainability in Europe: generic issues

CONVERGE & Charles University Environment Center Prague Research Conference: early call and announcement
Expert Conference Prague, May, Thursday 23rd – Friday 24th, 2013
Venue: Main Charles University Administrative Building (Rektorat), Ovocný trh 3/5, Prague 1

Converge

One and a half day workshop of approximately 50 invited experts from across the EU area who are working in Transdisciplinary Research for Sustainability (TDRS). This event is for professionals from the European Research Area (ERA) organisations and policy areas and for those who are running (or have run) transdisciplinary research projects on sustainability. This event will be hosted by the CONVERGE EU FP7 research project and Charles University Environment Center together with the COPERNICUS Alliance. The conference language is English.

Context:

Major EU research programmes are calling for transdisciplinary research to address ‘wicked’ joined up and complex problems – particularly in the area of sustainability. Whilst there is an emphasis on the dissemination of substantive results from funded projects, there is less attention to the sharing of the experiences and lessons learnt from the project processes, problems and issues and strategies developed for dealing with these. This gathering provides an opportunity to share and reflect on issues of TDRS including methodology and management, together with an opportunity to contribute to recommendations to the ERA for the further development of research capacity on TDRS.

Click here to register

Aims:

To help to inform the EU’s research agendas and meta-agendas about evaluation, conduct and processes of TDRS with information, perspectives and analyses from practitioners. To explore the  Convergence and MOSUR approaches, tools and concepts might inform and link with agendas in TDRS. To discuss and develop recommendations to the ERA to help enable better and more productive TDRS.

Objectives:

  • Contribute to the EU’s research agendas, priorities and orientation
  • Report on lessons learnt in TDRS in the course of the CONVERGE & MOSUR projects
  • Test Convergence and MOSUR approaches with a range of EU interdisciplinary researchers as part of practitioner review and knowledge transfer
  • Take forward results from previous meetings on TDRS
  • Help to develop a Critical Mass of scholars interested in generic issues of TDRS across different interdisciplinary clusters focussing on sub-themes of sustainability
  • To help to develop capacity for TDRS in Europe
  • Placing ERA in the global community of scholars working on TDRS

Indicative themes:

We invite posters and accompanying presentations of no longer than 10 minutes in length on the
following areas (responses to the call for poster presentations can be made via the registration
page):

  • The role of values in TDRS including research ethics, Sustainability & Convergence principles
  • Philosophical and methodological issues in TDRS – and implications for project design and management
  • The role of stakeholder engagement and co-creation of knowledge in TDRS
  • The role of research in response to social and ecological crisis in Europe and more globally
  • TDRS relevant competences and higher education – what are the TD knowledge transfer/ co-creation/ dissemination patterns (and how do we prepare appropriate specialists)?
  • TDRS and decision making – follow up to the Prague conference “Scientists and Decision Making Processes”. Identification and exploration of many issues that arise when science and TD knowledge is applied – but also when the knowledge is developed specifically to inform certain important societal choices.
  • Case study accounts from specific projects identifying issues and strategies
  • Generic issues to do with ERA policy, call development, proposal assessment etc
  • Issues identified in the global TDRS community and/or review of trends etc
  • Advocating for specific recommendations to the ERA (Convergence examples include: Recommendation that benefits for Future Generations should be mandated for all FP7 proposals; Recommendation that the ERA should take a global lead on Academic Freedom in Sustainability Research when researchers are under pressure to hide, minimise or ‘spin’ results that challenge powerful institutions and vested interests.)

Workshop topics will include:

  • Outline literature review and mapping of existing networks
  • Mapping of theoretical, practical and applied areas of concern – e.g. stakeholder engagement and participation
  • Engagement of TD science in decision-making – policy frameworks and good practices
  • New patterns of communication within TD research and education.
  • Identifying gaps and problems in the EU research agendas and grant schemes for TDRS themes
  • Making links with other networks in global regions working on the same issues
  • Developing a list of recommendations to the ERA and processes to continue dialogue

Indicative Schedule:

Thursday 23rd May; 10 am – 5pm; Conference Dinner 7pm

Conference Venue: Charles University Rectorate (main administrative building), Ovocný trh 3/5

9.00 - 10.00

Registration

10.00 - 11.30

Session 1: Overview of issues in Transdisciplinary Research for Sustainability in the EU

Welcome from CONVERGE, MOSUR projects

Lino Paula, DG Research, 'Science in Society', European Commission: 'Transdisciplinarity, Responsibility and Horizon 2020'

Dr Maik Adomssent, Leuphana University and COPERNICUS Alliance: Overview of Issues in TDRS from the Researcher Perspective

doc. Mgr. Ing. Jan Frouz, CSc.: Managing Transdisciplinary Consortia

11.30 - 11.45 COFFEE

Session 2: Reflections on Research Projects: -creation of knowledge with Stakeholders; TDRS Research Ethics

Short presentations to include:

Equity and Sustainability: converging policy communities - Balint Balázs

Transdisciplinary participatory action research project brings voices of poor into policy discussions - Deborah Rogers

Cross disciplinary partnership in sustainable development of road safety in Central Europe - Jaroslav Heinrich

SCAD a model for sustainable future development - Charles Amirthan

Transdisciplinary Research in European Post-Communist States - Andrew Barton

TDRS from the point of view of an early career researcher - Dana Kapitulčinová

Interdisciplinary teaching/learning – pre-requisites, processes and outcomes - Jana Dlouhá

Sustainable Reform of Higher Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Genc Trnavci

Relationships between Systems Modelling and Scenario development in TDRS - Michael Clinton

1.30 - 2.30 LUNCH

Session 3: Lessons from CONVERGE and MOSUR; Developing the agenda in TDRS

Ian Roderick, lead CONVERGE researcher: What is a Global Wicked Problem?

Dr Jenneth Parker: Degrees of Interdisciplinarity and the Difference They Make: Issues of TDRS in the CONVERGE project

Small group discussions of a proposed agenda for further work on TDRS

Feedback from groups – also available on flipcharts to be viewed

3.45 - 4.00 TEA/COFFEE

Session 4: Workshop Mapping of networks and agendas for TDRS in Europe and more globally

3 groups: 1 group Mapping existing networks on TDRS ; 1 group working further on agendas in TDRS for the consideration of the ERA; 1 group the global debates and networks

5PM CLOSE (and retirement to traditional Czech pub until the start of dinner)

7PM CONFERENCE DINNER (Restaurace Maitrea - a vegetarian restaurant near the conference venue where a block booking has been made; the menu will include an hors d'oeuvre, pea soup, and a choice of two main dishes: quesadilla with tomatoes, or vegetable lasagne. Participants to pay individually)

Friday 24th May; 9am – 2pm

9.00 - 10.30

Session 1: Presentation of some draft recommendations to ERA. To include:

Sandor Fulop former Hungarian Commissioner for Future Generations: Future Generations as Key Research Stakeholders in all TDRS calls

Panel to kick off discussion to develop agenda on Academic Freedom, Corruption and TDRS - need for a global initiative to support transparency of information on Sustainability

10.30-10.45 COFFEE

10.45-11.00

Session 2: workshops on recommendations

                Participants come prepared with suggestions for discussion according to event format

Session 3: summary and ways forward – reflections from some invited participants

1.30 LUNCH

2.30 CLOSE OF FORMAL EVENT

2.30pm – 4pm 

An informal research 'sandpit' will be held at the end of the conference for those who wish to remain to discuss future potential cooperative research projects and opportunities.

BUDGET considerations:

Participants to fund own accommodation and travel – unless expenses are agreed exceptionally; Room hire; catering; equipment, hospitality paid for by the organisers.

Accommodation, if required, will be arranged by the Charles University Environment Center (CUEC) in the hotel where its offices are located – Hotel Krystal (http://www.prague-hotel-krystal.cz/). The price for a single/double room is EUR 24/36, including breakfast. The hotel is a five-minute drive from the airport, and a 20-minute tram/metro ride into the city centre. Given that Krystal is a budget hotel, however, CUEC will provide a list of more expensive hotels closer to the city centre where the conference venue will be booked, if so desired.

Click here to register. There is no registration fee.

TO CZECH PARTICIPANTS ONLY: Účastníci z mimopražské instituce v ČR mohou mít cestu a ubytování hrazené z projektu MOSUR. Prosím kontaktujte This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. a pro bližší informace.

Getting to the hotel and the conference venue:

Airport to hotel

If you're flying to Prague and you want take public transport to Hotel Krystal, then this map indicates how to do so (the best option is to take bus no.119 from outside Arrivals to the bus stop at Divoká Šarka, cross the road to the circular tram stop and then take any tram two stops to Nad Džbánem, and finally it's a five minute walk to the hotel). If you take a taxi from the airport, it shouldn't cost more than CZK 300 or take any more than 10min. If you require a receipt, make sure you get an official piece of paper - don't accept any handwritten notes!

City to hotel

If you arrive in the city, take the metro (green 'A' line) to the final stop at Dejvicka, then ride the escalator in the same direction as the metro your arrived upon. Keep walking straight after the escalator and go up the steps to the tram stop marked 'Divoká Šarka'. Take any tram 8 stops to the tram stop 'Nad Džbánem'. It's then a 5 minute walk to Hotel Krystal along this route.

Hotel to conference venue

Take any tram 8 stops from the tram stop 'Nad Džbanem' to the Dejvicka metro station. To get to the conference venue at the Charles University administration building, Ovocný trh 3/5, take the metro on the (green) A line to Můstek. The venue is only 4 minutes walk away. You can see the route from the metro station to the venue on this map.

Dining

If you're staying at Hotel Krystal, there is a restaurant on the ground floor of the hotel, but we would recommend a nearby pub called U Džbánu which is a 10-minute walk from the hotel, or another pub called Nad Šárkou, which is about a 12-minute walk away. Otherwise, catch a tram to Dejvice where you will find many other restaurants and pubs to explore.

Download the conference flyer here.

Key contacts:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Schumacher Institute 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Charles Universtity Environment Centre 

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Contact

Contact: Charles University Environment Center, José Martího 407/2, 162 00 Praha 6, tel: +420 220 199 460, e-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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