Our guest lecturer, Professor Chris Foulds will give us this presentation on the very first lunch box webinar this semester.
"Spanning the boundaries between research and policy: recommendations for brokering social research on energy transitions"
The need to reach across policy and researcher boundaries is widely touted as being essential in achieving the societal transformations necessary to tackle major challenges, such as climate change. However, the concept of the ‘Boundary Spanner’, despite holding distinct capabilities, has been sparsely applied to issues of energy governance. In fact, it has altogether been excluded from specific discussions of how Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) communities and energy policyworkers can better work together, in order to account for societal considerations in energy governance agendas. Boundary Spanners are individuals or organisations that seek to enable the fruitful exchange of knowledge between research and policy communities, in support of effective governance. This presentation will present 12 recommendations for Boundary Spanners operating in this space, which are clustered into four themes: (1) Paying active attention to policy contexts of action, including sensitivity to what may be ‘behind the scenes’; (2) Using power to build bridges to different (and underrepresented) constituencies; (3) Ensuring institutions wanting to promote boundary spanning support appropriate skill development; and (4) Balancing ambition and pragmatism, letting others shine. These recommendations have been co-authored with a policy officer from the European Commission. I hope that this presentation will be of interest to anyone in the NTRANS community who is keen to discuss how best to work in the margins between policy and research.
Chris Foulds is a Professor based in the Global Sustainability Institute, at Anglia Ruskin University, in Cambridge (UK). He is an interdisciplinary Environmental Social Scientist, who explores policy and governance interventions for sustainability. Chris is co-leading the €3m Horizon Europe Centre of Excellence for Social Sciences and Humanities research on climate, energy and mobility (SSH CENTRE 2022-2025), as well as co-led its two Horizon2020 predecessors, €1m Energy-SHIFTS (2019-2021) and €2m SHAPE ENERGY (2017-2019). All of these three projects have involved KULT-NTNU. He is also currently co-leading the €5m SHARED GREEN DEAL project (2022-2027), which involves developing and delivering 24 Green Deal-related social experiments across Europe. He employs a range of critical and reflexive social scientific perspectives from Science and Technology Studies, Sociology, and Human Geography, in investigating the relationships between policy and governance agendas, social practices and cultural conventions, and energy and sustainability transformations. He also has a strong interest in unpicking the experiences and expectations associated with interdisciplinary pursuits, including the use, development and appropriation of ‘evidence’ by different communities. Chris has led a number of projects funded through the EU, UK Research Councils, UK Government Departments, Newton, as well as various charities and foundations.
Tomas Moe Skjølsvold, Vice Director NTRANS