Saturday, September 15, 2012

New Sustainability Exchange

I am advised by colleague Mark Yoxon that the Sustainability Exchange is a central point and community for colleges, universities and sector service providers, sharing best practice, knowledge and resources on sustainability – all online.
 Extract from their press release:
Education organisations unite to launch pioneering centralised knowledge bank and community on sustainability.

Leading organisations from across the further and higher education sector have joined forces to create the ‘Sustainability Exchange’. Combining resources and experience from 23 of the country’s top sustainable development and education bodies, the Sustainability Exchange will pioneer the UK’s first centralised information portal and online community for the sector, sharing a wealth of information that is available to everyone.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Recent good news: a new research project

With Chris Blackmore and Kevin Collins from the Open Systems Research Group we have had news of success as part of an international research consortium  for a project entitled  “Climate change adaptation and water governance: reconciling food security, renewable energy and the provision of multiple ecosystem services” (CADWAGO).  One of 15 shortlisted proposals to the Europe and Global Challenges Call released by a trio of European Foundations (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Compagnia di San Paolo and VolkwagenStiftung), the project will develop the knowledge base and capacity to adapt to climate change through improved water governance approaches. It builds on several earlier projects including the well-known SLIM project coordinated from the OU in 2000-2004.  A grant of 9.000.000 SEK (equivalent of about 1.000.000 Euro) has been set aside for the project over three years.

There were 76 proposals from international consortia for the call. Fifteen were short listed and invited to proceed with a main proposal and hearing. Only four were selected from the 15, as despite extra funds being available, these were the only ones achieving a consensus from the external panel.

The VolkwagenStiftung  has a record of funding innovative systems-based research having in the past made funding available to the
Club of Rome leading to the well known ‘Limits to Growth’ study. Whilst this proposal is focused on the nexus between climate change and water security, it has implications for other global challenges. There is a crucial link between good water governance, food security, renewable energy and the provision of multiple ecosystem services in contexts characterized by controversy and uncertainty. CADWAGO brings together 10 partners from Europe, Australasia and North America who have extensive social science research experience in climate change adaptation and water governance issues, thereby extending the collective global knowledge base through sharing methods and findings.

CADWAGO builds on the lessons from on-going research cases to create a forum and dialogue between researchers and stakeholders at different scales. The lessons from the cases will be synthesized and used in the adaptation of key European policy processes and governance actions that have a global impact. High impact peer reviewed publications and practitioner orientated publications will also be focused on as key project outputs.

Wicked, as in 'great'

Nice post from Roger Jones taking an uber 'technical rationalist' to task.  Also this one from David Hodgson who reports on what seem very positive urban developments in  Adelaide.  If only the current lot in Melbourne (i.e. State Government) could embark on something similar.