1Advocating for a sustainable future in Australia15 years of the Institute for Sustainable FuturesDr Chris Riedy, Institut...
2                       Established in 1997 by the University of                         Technology, Sydney              ...
3                                             Our objectives A world leading sustainability research institute Support c...
4       A non-traditional academic model Funding   Self-funding / consultancy model Focus on change creation   Action ...
5                                 Evaluating our impact     Three outcome spaces for trans-disciplinary research Discerni...
6Changing wicked problems    1. Sustainable urban precincts                          ISF has                           pr...
7                         Changing wicked problems                   2. Contesting water supply infrastructure ISF’s revi...
8                                 Changing wicked problems                    3. Sustainability in the Australian curricul...
9 Adding to stocks and flows of knowledge  1. Peer-reviewed publications          UNWEIGHTED RESEARCH PUBLICATION VALUES P...
10Adding to stocks and flows of knowledge                       2. Other forms of knowledge generation   In 2011 our rese...
11                              A learning organisation Internal learning                 Collaborator learning   Build...
12                                                                      Conclusion                               Academia ...
13                                                                 Thanks!   Questions?      Dr Chris Riedy             ...
14                                                   References Carew, A.L. & Wickson, F., 2010. The TD Wheel: A heuristi...
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Advocating for a sustainable future in Australia: 15 years of the Institute for Sustainable Futures

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A presentation given at the 18th International Sustainable Development Research Conference in Hull, UK. This was part of a stream on the role of academia in sustainability advocacy.

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Advocating for a sustainable future in Australia: 15 years of the Institute for Sustainable Futures

  1. 1. 1Advocating for a sustainable future in Australia15 years of the Institute for Sustainable FuturesDr Chris Riedy, Institute for Sustainable Futures 25 June 2012
  2. 2. 2  Established in 1997 by the University of Technology, Sydney  Our mission  Create change towards sustainable futures through independent, project- based research  Our people  62 full and part time staff in 2011Institute for  21 postgraduate research studentsSustainable Futures  Our projects  $5.27 million worth of contract research and research grants in 2011 25 June 2012
  3. 3. 3 Our objectives A world leading sustainability research institute Support communities, government and business to create their own change towards sustainable futures Deliver a cutting edge transdisciplinary postgraduate research program in sustainable futures Progress public dialogue as well as motivate and facilitate action Be an exemplar of participation within the UTS community Value and enrich our supportive and sustainable workplace 25 June 2012
  4. 4. 4 A non-traditional academic model Funding  Self-funding / consultancy model Focus on change creation  Action research  Practice informing theory  Research impact as a high priority Challenges  Balancing the books / justifying our existence to the university  Maintaining and demonstrating independence alongside advocacy role  Straddling research and consulting  Arguing for research impact as a measure of academic performance  Managing strong recent growth 25 June 2012
  5. 5. 5 Evaluating our impact Three outcome spaces for trans-disciplinary research Discernible change in the situation or problem space Contribute to stocks and flows of knowledge, including peer- reviewed knowledge Mutual learning for researchers and stakeholders (Carew and Wickson 2010; Mitchell and Willetts 2009) 25 June 2012
  6. 6. 6Changing wicked problems 1. Sustainable urban precincts  ISF has provided sustainability advice for the Barangaroo development  Introduced concept of ‘restorative development’  Led to a commitment to be ‘climate positive’ 25 June 2012
  7. 7. 7 Changing wicked problems 2. Contesting water supply infrastructure ISF’s review of Sydney’s Metropolitan Water Plan  Serious drought  Plans for desalination  Encouraged a focus on demand management and desalination preparedness Delayed construction of Sydney’s desalination plant In the end, it was built anyway for political reasons and now Sydney’s water supply is full 25 June 2012
  8. 8. 8 Changing wicked problems 3. Sustainability in the Australian curriculum In 2008, ISF gave three ‘sustainability expert presentations’ to NSW Department of Education and Training These informed a paper on Earth Citizenship Which informed a Sustainability Curriculum Framework Which informed the new Australian Curriculum  Sustainability is one of three cross-curriculum priorities  Futures focus in Technologies curriculum How much impact can we claim? Not seen as traditional research 25 June 2012
  9. 9. 9 Adding to stocks and flows of knowledge 1. Peer-reviewed publications UNWEIGHTED RESEARCH PUBLICATION VALUES PER DEETYA STAFF NUMBER BY FACULTY/INSTITUTE 2005-20103.002.502.00 20051.50 2006 20071.00 2008 20090.50 20100.00 25 June 2012
  10. 10. 10Adding to stocks and flows of knowledge 2. Other forms of knowledge generation In 2011 our researchers wrote  Preference for publicly  2 books available outputs  7 book chapters  50 journal articles  Sharing knowledge freely  48 conference papers  Creative Commons  32 publicly available project  The Conversation reports Media in 2011  Building the knowledge of our  69 print media stories collaborators  32 radio interviews  6 television interviews  18 online news stories 25 June 2012
  11. 11. 11 A learning organisation Internal learning  Collaborator learning  Building capacity to give  Specific training projects and receive feedback  Challenging the brief  Reflective processes  Capacity building and skills  Reality checks transfer  Client surveys  Contributions to public  Wrap up meetings debate  Review Days  Knowledge sharing  Weekly roundtables  Postgraduate retreats
  12. 12. 12 Conclusion Academia and sustainability advocacy Universities are in a position to deliver intellectual leadership on sustainability  This must go beyond theory to practice  Trans-disciplinary collaboration and constant experimentation is essential to tackle wicked problems  Responsibility to contribute to public debate Academia faces challenges to its relevance in the information age  New measures of academic quality and impact are emerging It is possible, but constantly challenging, to balance academic independence with sustainability advocacy Even more difficult is balancing a passion for change with commercial demands If universities can’t lead in this area, who will? 25 June 2012
  13. 13. 13 Thanks! Questions?  Dr Chris Riedy  Thanks to the following Associate Professor for contributing to this Institute for Sustainable Futures paper University of Technology, Sydney  Stuart White Phone: 02 9514 4964 or 0402 043 386  Damien Giurco Email: criedy@uts.edu.au  Cynthia Mitchell Blog: http://chrisriedy.me Twitter: @chrisjriedy  Caitlin McGee 25 June 2012
  14. 14. 14 References Carew, A.L. & Wickson, F., 2010. The TD Wheel: A heuristic to shape, support and evaluate transdisciplinary research. Futures, 42(10), pp.1146-1155. Mitchell, C. & Willetts, J., 2009. Quality criteria for inter‐ and trans‐disciplinary doctoral research outcomes, University of Technology, Sydney, http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/scholarly- works/handle/2100/904. 25 June 2012

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