True change, I believe, cannot be done based on science alone, but requires the active engagement of all of us, together with our ability to cope with the unknown, the ambiguous and the different"
- Marcela Brugnach
When we talk about the governance of our common, and transitions towards sustainability, we cannot avoid talking about uncertainty. This uncertainty is not only associated with how much or how little we know about a particular issue, but equally so with the different and sometimes discrepant, meanings that we attribute to that issue. Ways of being and knowing are not exclusive, but diverse and interdependent. With these ideas in mind, as part of this research theme, we dig deep into understanding what implicit meaning these uncertainties carry along with them, and what these uncertainties teach us about our ways of acting and connecting within a larger governance system.
“Reality is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.” - Thrill Kill Kult
Attempts to reach a collective shared understanding of what the challenges are when facing our common, and what our ways forward should be, is a process that requires all our creative skills and imagination beyond the best science. As part of this theme, we investigate the role the arts can play in supporting a more comprehensive understanding of present day complex challenges. To this end, we explore how the arts, when integrated with the sciences as a mode of inquiry, can expand the way in which we perceive the world and identify what really matters, opening a space for new imaginaries of our future.
"It matters what stories tell stories. It matters what thoughts think thoughts. It matters what words world worlds." - Virginia Woolf
In collective decision settings we work with various knowledge types, creating new blended knowledge forms. What type of knowledge is relevant, how knowledge is blended, how it is used and by whom, are all matters that have to do with facts and data as much as with politics. In order for sustainable governance arrangements to emerge we must take this into consideration. In this research theme we ask: What constitutes relevant and legitimate knowledge? How can we coproduce knowledge that reflects the diversity of meanings that exists? What are operative models and modes of knowledge coproduction that are effective and able to guarantee equity and social justice?