New knowledge practices

The second work package develops and tests collaborative knowledge practices as part of on-going environmental planning and management processes. The core idea of inclusive knowledge practices is to bring different knowledge holders − scientists, managers, policy-makers and place-based experts − to learn from each other and create a shared knowledge base that different actors find relevant and reliable.

Such collaborative knowledge practices include policy dialogue, citizen juries, citizen science initiatives, interactive knowledge brokering strategies and joint fact finding. 

Interactive knowledge practices are needed because no single actors has the sufficient knowledge  and understanding to address complex societal problems such as environmental questions unilaterally. Instead, the actors depend on each other to create acceptable, and wise, solutions.  Societal decision-making should be based on best available knowledge but paradoxically the vast amount of scientific research can obscure useful information. Current problems associated with harnessing scientific information in policy-making also include the silo effect, strategic use of scientific knowledge, and mismatch of the timeframes between scientific research and policy-making. We are also are witnessing an erosion of credibility of experts and the information they provide, especially in wicked problems, which defy simple solutions by facts.

In the first stage, we will consolidate information about promising inclusive knowledge practices, map out potential real-life case studies, and design a collaborative production approach for each test case.

In the second stage, we will carry out the empirical case studies, in which we apply collaborative knowledge  production approaches, and evaluate their potential and problems in creating relevant and reliable knowledge base from the participants’ perspective.  

In the third stage, we will synthesize the results and prepare recommendations about the use of collaborative knowledge practices in environmental management and policy-making processes in close interaction with the potential end-users and stakeholders.    

The work package is lead by Dr. Heli Saarikoski who is a Senior Researcher at the Finnish Environment Institute, Environmental Policy Centre.