Working successfully across disciplines


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  • Building interdisciplinary teams takes time
  • Working successfully across disciplines

    1. 1. Working successfully across disciplines Experience from the Sustainable Uplands project relu Rural Economy andrelu Use Programme LandRural Economy andLand Use Programme
    2. 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. 3. 1. Introduction to the projectreluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
    4. 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. 5. • VideoreluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
    6. 6. 2. My story How I learned to work across disciplinesreluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
    7. 7. reluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
    8. 8. The result...reluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
    9. 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. 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. 11. 3. LessonsreluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
    12. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 17. 5. ConclusionreluRural Economy andLand Use Programme
    18. 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. 19. Follow on: (Mark)reluRural Economy andLand Use Programme