Knowledge Brokerage for Sustainable Development

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Knowledge Brokerage for Sustainable Development

Innovative Tools for Increasing Research Impact and Evidence-Based Policy-Making

The menace of a post-truth era challenges conventional policy-making and science. Instead of fighting an uphill battle against populist solutions, those involved in both policy-making and science have to find innovative ways to collaborate, and make use of the vast amounts of knowledge that are already available. Knowledge brokerage, in this context, is more than a simple question-and-answer game: it is a process of co-creating and re-framing knowledge. In addition, Knowledge brokerage has to deal with trade-offs and ambiguities, as well as world-views, cultures and the preferences of stakeholder groups.

This book is the first in-depth exploration of how knowledge brokerage has the potential to help manage the challenges of sustainable development across political and scientific systems. It presents a selection of innovative and practical tools to enhance the connectivity of research and policy-making on sustainable development issues. In doing so, this book will be an essential publication in research and policy-making. It supports networking among the developers and users of knowledge brokerage systems and will make their experience better known to the different communities involved.

The book presents interviews with leading policymakers and researchers such as former EU Commissioner Franz Fischler, Robert-Jan Smits (Director-General of Research and Innovation at the EC), Uwe Schneidewind (President of the Wuppertal Institute), and Leida Rijnhout (European Environmental Bureau). It also provides insights into eleven EU funded projects dealing with different approaches of Knowledge Brokerage for Sustainable Development. 

Books on knowledge brokerage are often, ironically, difficult to read. This book is a wonderful — and instantly essential — exception to that rule. It is an unusually lucid and readable account that combines formats (interviews, articles), perspectives (insider accounts, external analyses), and topic areas, providing an encyclopaedic review of current practice in Europe as well as a treasure trove of tools, methods, advice, case studies, project reports, and more. If you acquire just one book on knowledge brokerage for your library, make it this one. In fact, it may be the only book you need.

Alan AtKisson, CEO AtKisson, Inc., and former President, Balaton Group

This book is a rich and valuable contribution to policy making in the context of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. It supports the scientific, administrative and policy-making communities in the formation of the key questions and answers, and in bringing these sectors together to co-operate in making sustainable development a reality and to co-evolve by mutual learning.

Jörg Mayer-Ries, German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety

Translating the common vision of the Sustainable Development Goals and the process that created them into policy and practice is a challenge and opportunity of historic proportions. This book offers an open-eyed perspective on why knowledge brokerage involving science and policy is critical for the journey ahead, the key design choices that will need to be made and how they can be operationalized. Looking back in 2030, it will be viewed as a pivotal contribution.

Laszlo Pinter, Professor at CEU, senior fellow at IISD and policy advisor of the World Bank, the OECD, UNEP, UNDP, UNIDO and the Asia-Europe Foundation

We live in an era when rapid and dramatic changes are impacting people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships. This book highlights what promotes and what hinders knowledge transfer in decision making for sustainable development. It makes an important contribution at a time when the value of knowledge in decision making is being challenged in many ways.

Riitta Oksanen, President of the European Evaluation Society

Knowledge Brokerage in the field of sustainable development goes beyond linking research with innovation communities; it develops concepts, approaches and tools for linking research with policy and management communities. This book offers a wealth of insights from a range of knowledge brokerage projects and experiences. Right to the point and extremely useful.

Sigrid Stagl, Head of the Institute for Ecological Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business

This book provides the first systematic analysis of knowledge brokerage experiences for sustainable development. It will help researchers to increase their impacts and support evidence-based policy making in Europe and beyond.

Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger, Rector of Vienna University of Economics and Business

Sustainable development requires innovative forms of policy making and multi-disciplinary research efforts, and more effective knowledge brokerage between the two. This books highlights the complex forms that knowledge brokerage can take and what powers and paradigms are involved in the process. It goes on to provide extensive, well-researched evidence-based conclusions.

Professor Louise O. Fresco, President of Wageningen University and Research

The EU has invested more than any other body in funding research that is relevant for practice and policy making.  This book explains how the science--policy interface needs to evolve so that science produces value for society, reliably. Research funders take note: a milestone!

R. Andreas Kraemer, Founder & Director Emeritus of the Ecologic Institute and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies

Results of EU projects are often spread across different projects, while any synthesis and translation into policy conclusions are missing. This book shows how that can work and how co-creation of knowledge can have impacts on policy as well as on science, technology and innovation. This approach may inspire the next EU Framework Programme beyond 2020.

Manfred Horvat, Honorary Professor, Vienna University of Technology, European and International Research and Technology Cooperation

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, European Commission

Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger, Rector of Vienna University of Economics and Business


Part A: Challenges and worldviews

1. A new narrative for Europe
Franz Fischler

2. Communicating limits to growth
Jørgen Randers

3. Agenda setting in European policy
Robert-Jan Smits      

4. Policy learning in EU Member States
Elisabeth Freytag and Wolfram Tertschnig

5. The need for more transdisciplinary research
Uwe Schneidewind

6. Providing scientific advice in critical situations
Lucia Reisch    

7. Why evidence is often not enough to influence policy
Hadelin de Beer de Laer    

8. Understanding the context of policy making
Klaus Jacob

9. The role(s) of NGOs in linking science and policy making
Leida Rijnhout

10. The relationship between science and policy in the United States
Maurie Cohen

11. The role(s) of professional facilitators
Peter Woodward  


Part B: Projects and experiences

1. SPIRAL: Improving science–policy interfaces for biodiversity

2. PRIMUS: Bridging the gap between research and policy-making on local sustainability    

3. BESSE: Knowledge brokerage and innovation for a sustainable sanitation 

4. PACHELBEL/STAVE: Shining a light on citizens’ everyday environment-related behaviours      

5. AWARE: Bridging the knowledge  of citizens, scientists and policy-makers for sustainable water ecosystems management       

6. WATERDISS: Analysis and uptake of water research results          

7. BRAINPOOL: Knowledge brokerage for bringing alternative indicators into policy

8. RESPONDER: Linking sustainable consumption and growth debates following a systems thinking approach       

9. CORPUS: Linking research and policy for evidence-based policy-making on sustainable consumption

10. PSI-CONNECT: Knowledge exchange in river basin management 

11. FOODLINKS: Building communities of practice for learning on sustainable food consumption and production      

Knowledge brokerage for sustainable development: Experiences, recommendations and research outlook
André Martinuzzi

ANDRE MARTINUZZI is Head of the Institute for Managing Sustainability, Associate Professor at Vienna University of Economics and Business. MICHAL SEDLACKO is Research and Teaching Fellow at the University of Applied Science FH Campus Wien.

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