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Working successfully across disciplines



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  • Building interdisciplinary teams takes time


  • 1. Working successfully across disciplines Experience from the Sustainable Uplands project relu Rural Economy andrelu Use Programme LandRural Economy andLand Use Programme
  • 2. Plan 1. Sustainable Uplands: an interdisciplinary research project 2. How I learned to work across disciplines 3. Lessons 4. Conclusionsrelu 10/04/12 2Rural Economy andLand Use Programme
  • 3. 1. Introduction to the projectreluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
  • 4. • £1.1M RELU/LWEC & ESRC funded project helping people anticipate and adapt to future change across UK peatlands since 2005 • Almost £1M co-funding from research users • Interdisciplinary team of 25 people from 5 Universities & 2 NGOs • Combined models & with local knowledgereluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
  • 5. • VideoreluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
  • 6. 2. My story How I learned to work across disciplinesreluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
  • 7. reluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
  • 8. The result...reluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
  • 9. Impact • Findings featured prominently in evidence gathering initiatives used to inform policy: – National Ecosystem Assessment – EFRA Inquiry on Farming in the Uplands – CRC’s Inquiry on the Future of England’s Uplands – IUCN Commission of Inquiry on Peatlands – Government Office for Science’s Foresight Land Use Futures projectreluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
  • 10. Impact • Contributed to policy processes: – Inputting evidence to a review, best practice guidelines and Action Plan re: Payment for Ecosystem Services as part of DEFRA’s Natural Environment White Paper – Working with DEFRA to develop UK Peatland Carbon Code to facilitate private investment in peatland restoration – Ranked no. 1 opportunity for business in the natural environment by Ecosystem Markets Taskforce and recommended to BIS, DEFRA & DECC Secretaries of State • Used by water companies to justify using land management to reduce water treatment costsreluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
  • 11. 3. LessonsreluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
  • 12. Lessons “ My eureka moment would have stayed by the toilets in the Chemistry building at Leeds University, without the collaboration & trust of researchers from many disciplines and the inter-professional ” network of Moors for the Future…reluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
  • 13. 1. Build trust • Take your time – draw on your networks • Work with people you get on with – Personality – How you view knowledge – Values and beliefs • More important than expertise and seniority (to a point)reluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
  • 14. 2. Communicate • Invest in internal communication – Not just about putting the right people in the room – Need to build capacity: understand each other’s language & approach • The result: you’re communicating with each other, not just talking at each otherreluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
  • 15. 3. Facilitate • Who is conducting? • Establish clear roles & manage power • The power of good facilitation • Expect conflict & failure (its how you deal with it that matters) • The result: you achieve what you set out to doreluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
  • 16. 4. Deliver tangible outcomes • Different team members will want different outcomes: make room for as many as you can • Quick wins (papers re: preliminary findings) • Delivering outcomes: follow-on funding & legacy • The result: a team & impacts that lastreluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
  • 17. 5. ConclusionreluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
  • 18. Conclusion “ Working successfully between disciplines and with stakeholders is all about investing in relationships – it is about communicating effectively with each other and fostering trust, so you can deliver outcomes that ” matter to peoplereluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
  • 19. Follow on: (Mark)reluRural Economy andLand Use Programme