Knowledge and society


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Role of knowledge in society

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Knowledge and society

  1. 1. Knowledge and Society Promoting SustainableCommunities in Devon and Cornwall Town and Parish Councils Gregory Borne
  2. 2. Introduction• Example- ‘Promoting Sustainable Communities in Devon and Cornwall’• Translating research into knowledge for broader society• Activity
  3. 3. Recent and Current ResearchTwo Significant Research projects1. Exploring discourses of sustainable development in governance structures (2001-2006)• Global – United Nations Environment Programme• Local – Carbon reduction innovation support pilot2. Promoting Sustainable Communities in Devon and Cornwall (2007 – 2010)
  4. 4. Promoting Sustainable Communities in Devon and CornwallResearch Aims:Focus on Sustainable Development, Risk and climate change• Understand Education and training needs for local communities• To explore perceptions and understandings of sustainable development and risk within local government and local community networks• Understand the opportunities and barriers for creating sustainable communities• Explore the relationship between knowledge, institutions and policy• Explore the interaction between multiple stakeholders• Explore the opportunities and barriers for responses to risks such as climate change• Create effective policy synergies between global aspirations and local needs
  5. 5. Why Town and Parish Councils?Practical• Closest level of government to the community• Very little research already conducted• Localism – TPC’s increasingly powerful in shaping local communities, total place, community budget, presumption in favour of sustainable development• Urban and Rural (parish councils in London for the first time in 45 years – town council in East London)Conceptual• Nexus point for multiple networks (Global and Local)• Uniform structure whilst also being diverse and contextual (10000 TPC’s in England and Wales)• Access institutional, community and individual perspective• Hybrid organisation local government/ volunteers/ community members
  6. 6. Multiple Dimensions Sustainable Consumption Interconnected Perspective and Production Complex, reflexive and non linear Participatory and action Societal orientatedInstitution Sustainable Behaviours in and Infra- relation to structure Communities sustainability challenge Multi Sectoral –Govnt, business, NGO and local community Global and local connection
  7. 7. Project Partners Knowledge Interaction• All TPC’s in Devon and Cornwall (614)• Cornwall Council• Devon County Council• Devon Association of local Councils• Cornwall Association of local councils• South West Lifelong learning Network• University of Plymouth
  8. 8. Initial Consultation• Interaction at the research formulation stageConsultation Questions:• How do my research goals match the goals of the project partners?• What knowledge outputs would the project partners like to see?• Will there be compromise?• Can we create synergies for the research project?
  9. 9. Methodology• Multi methodological structure• Qualitative and Quantitative techniques• Survey – 6000 questionnaires to all town and parish councilors in Devon and Cornwall (70 per cent response rate)• 200 in-depth interviewsTriangulation
  10. 10. Diverse geographical area
  11. 11. RESULTS and Primary Areas
  12. 12. How is community defined and understood? Community 120 Do people feel part of the community? 100 9695 89 85 How is a sustainable community 80 65 defined? 6163Per Cent 60 56 Community is diverse and fractured 39 Devon 40 Cornwall Multiple Communities in a single 20 6 68 78 area 0 What elements do people feel that constitutes a community for them?
  13. 13. Aware of Sustainable Development •Respondents asked if they were Aware of Sustainable aware of a number of issues that relate Development Related Issues to sustainable development 120 100 9898 9898 96 95.5 •Relationship between knowledge an 8587 85 84.5 action 80Per Cent 60 40 Devon 40 35.5 Cornwall 20 0
  14. 14. Perceptions of Global Warming Global Warming What do Members of town and 90 parish councils feel about global 80 80 78 warming 70 Do they think it is actually happening 60 and if so why? 50Per Cent Qualitative interviews revealed that 40 Devon Cornwall there may be a problem with this 30 result !!! 20 10 10 8 8 6 3 4 0 Not All Natural Made Worse All Happening Causes by Humans Humanitys Fault
  15. 15. Global and Local Connections Global and Local Interactions between the Local and60 the global 53 4950 46 47 43 How important are the issues to40 local communities and the global realm?30 26 2120 16 17 15 12 10 9 9 Local10 8 3 Global0
  16. 16. Mechanisms for Achieving Sustainable Development Awareness •Aware of mechanisms that may be 70 understood as relating to sustainable 60 61 communities 60 52 50 •Empowering local communities 40Per Cent 34 29 Devon 30 Cornwall 20 10 10 10 0 LAA CAA Sustainable Quality Community Parish Strategy
  17. 17. Partnership •Interaction between the different stakeholders •Interaction between other parishes •Interaction between the national and local government •TPC are a hybrid organization so how does this effect their role with other organizations?
  18. 18. Qualitative ComponentTHEMES ANALYSISIntra and inter Community Grounded theory DynamicsStructural Inertia Corpus AnalysisRisk CommunicationHybrid Knowledge ‘s Content analysisIndividual and group behaviourDiscourses of sustainable development
  19. 19. Translating Research into Policy Knowledge and Society• But how did I translate the research into outputs for broader society?• What mechanisms did i use?• How does broader society use my research?• Whats still left to be done?
  20. 20. Outputs• Education and training programmes in Cornwall and Devon (• Reports for all skakeholders• Book (2012) ‘Governance in Transition: Sustainable Development at the Local Level in a Global Context’• New insights into sustainable development governance and community dynamics.• A framework for future research• Collaborations•
  21. 21. Policy Relevant
  22. 22. The Media •Media is an important part of transmitting scientific knowledge to the general public •The general public (you and me) play an important role in influencing policy (cyclical relationship) •Why is some science/knowledge reported and others overlooked? •How do we know what is reported is accurate?