Science-Society Interfaces: Co-Organizing and Reporting of a Session at the 2nd Future Earth Summit

Activity: Talk or presentationGuest lecturesTransfer

Jeremias Herberg - Speaker

30.01.2016 Together with Armin Grunwald (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) and Ralf Seppelt (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research), Ulli Vilsmaier and Jeremias Herberg co-organized a session on science-society interfaces at the Second German Future Earth Summit in Berlin, 28 – 29 January 2016. The session started with a panel discussion with Mark Lawrence (Managing Scientific Director IASS), Günther Bachmann (Secretary General of the German Council of Sustanable Development) and Klaus Stapf (Deputy Mayor Karlsruhe), moderated by Ulli Vilsmaier.

Among other themes, they discussed

- good practices of Co-Design on the local, national and global level,
- the reconciliation of the autonomy and transdisciplinarity of science
- the meaning of social problems for the sustainability science
- the difference between policy advice and consultancy on the one hand, and transdisciplinarity on the other

The second part of the session was based on eight break-out groups of about seven participants each. Ulli Vilsmaier raised four questions that were covered by each one group:

- Co-Design: Where, at what places does Co-Design take place?
- Co-Production: How can equal and cooperative processes of generating knowledge take place while acknowledging different roles?
- Policy Advice: Which function can differents modes of policy advice have?
- Mutual Learning: Which conditions are beneficial to instigate an attitude that supports mutual learning and understanding

As recommendations to Future Earth and others the participants …

- stressed the notion of “Kompetenz-Vermutung” (the capacities and competences that collaborating groups pre-suppose about each other) as a fruitful way of practicing and supporting co-design practices.

- Emphasized that co-production essentially needs resources, attention and time. Also individual and collective training and capacity building needs further support, possibly with the help of Future Earth.

- Pointed out that the demand for advice often brings time pressure so that scientific advice has specific needs for facilitation and coordination. The discussants also demanded a greater transparency in the casting of advisory committees

- Highlighted that learning processes first rely on reflexive and mutual understanding and thus require participants to listen closely to unfamiliar concerns and languages.


2. German Future Earth Summit


Berlin, Germany

Event: Conference