Transition Research Network: New Knowledge for Resilient Futures
– Wednesday 29-Feb-2012, University of Plymouth, UK
The event is free to attend, and open to academics, researchers, transition practitioners, community activists, and anyone else interested in research and Transition. To book a place please go to: http://researchingtransitionplymouth.eventbrite.co.uk
It’s been 5 years since the first researcher got in contact with us at Transition Network. Since then, there’s been a constant, and growing, number of academics who have asked us to help them engage with Transition Initiatives as part of their research work.
Some of these recognised that they would need to be offering something valuable in return for the effort and input from the communities they were working with. Others didn’t, operating their research work in a purely “extractive” mode.
Over the course of this time, we’ve been struggling to catalyse the researchers to self-organise. And now it’s extremely heartening to see this taking place, facilitated by a group that first came together at the 2011 Transition Network conference in Liverpool in the UK.
Following this, their first exploratory meeting took place in Manchester at the end of 2011 and this event in Plymouth is the follow up. At this point in the self-organising process, it’s the “getting serious” phase.
There’s a lot of funding directed towards enhancing community engagement with climate change, resilience and the UN Millennium goals. Transition Initiatives are all heading along that trajectory, and if researchers can figure out a way to work with them that brings significant benefit to those initiatives and beyond, I think we’ve got the ingredients for a beautiful relationship.
Here’s some text from the event flyer:
Over the last five years, the Transition Movement has inspired communities across the globe to take action on some of our most urgent contemporary problems, including climate change, increasing scarcity of cheap energy, and loss of resilience.
As the Transition movement deepens and matures, the mutual benefits of close collaboration between Transition activists and academic researchers are becoming increasingly clear. Academic funders are attaching increasing importance to the practical outcomes of research and the involvement of non-academic stakeholders in the planning stages of new projects. While within Transition, there is increasing recognition of the unique and valuable contributions academic researchers can make. This has led to a recent successful application to the AHRC’s Connected Communities Programme, and the identification of a number of specific research needs including: evaluating and improving process and practice in Transition, monitoring and documenting its impacts on community resilience, and shaping new agendas and collaborative models for post-carbon research.
If you’ve got any academic interest in Transition, if you’re looking for funding how you might work with an initiative(s), if you’re in an initiative and want to figure out how you might take advantage of research priorities to the benefit of your own local activities – then this event could be for you.
By the end of the day, we hope to have identified some specific projects that groups within the network are ready to take forward, come up with a vision about what we want to achieve as a network, and to have a better idea about how best to organise to achieve our goals. We’d love you to join us and become part of it.
The event is free to attend, and open to academics, researchers, transition practitioners, community activists, and anyone else interested in research and Transition.
Contacts: Tom Henfrey firstname.lastname@example.org & Michelle Bastian email@example.com