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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

What is the main challenge of RESPONDER?
The challenge of the RESPONDER project lays in linking four communities: 1) research, 2) policy, 3) pro-growth, and 4) beyond growth dealing with the core question of sustainable consumption. While it is assumed that strong links already exist between policy makers and researchers within the pro-growth community, links between the pro- and beyond growth communities of either policy makers or researchers seem to be weak, as well as those between science and policy within the beyond growth community. More…

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What is the innovation potential of the project?
The main goal of the project is to act as a knowledge broker. In this role, RESPONDER is placed at the intersection of researchers and policy makers and ensures effective communication between both communities. Information will be digested and reframed, and presented according to the needs of the policy makers. The project will not produce any new research/evidence in the field of sustainable consumption and growth. Rather, it will produce an innovative way of linking the four above-mentioned communities. More…

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What type of researchers will be involved in RESPONDER?
RESPONDER will involve researchers from the pro- and beyond growth communities, sustainable consumption experts both, at a general level and in the five consumption fields specifically addressed by the project. More…

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What type of policy makers will be involved in RESPONDER?
There is a clear distinction between politicians and policy makers. While the former stand for a political agenda, the role of the latter is to provide answers to specific policy questions. Therefore, a policy maker will be prepared to take up information if it comes at the right time and addresses their questions.

RESPONDER will aim at involving high-level individuals who are motivated and engaged. They should come not only from the Environment Ministries but also for example from the Ministries of Finance, taking into account the different national context and internal hierarchies between the different Ministries. It is worth thinking about which institutions and individuals to involve first, in order to create a ‘domino-effect’ which will give credibility to the project and trigger the interest of other players. Politicians who identify with a field should, if possible, also be involved. More…

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How will RESPONDER enhance continuous involvement of policy makers?
RESPONDER events (EU Dialogues and KB events) are designed to provide numerous face-to-face networking opportunities. In addition, by means of the internet-based knowledge platform the project establishes a multi-way learning process, where dialogue and openness are of highest priority.

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What is the difference between the EU Dialogues and the multinational KB events?
While the multinational knowledge brokerage events each focus on a specific thematic track (consumption field), the EU Dialogues are at a more general level. This should be reflected in the profile of speakers and participants: in the case of the EU Dialogues these should be more general, including policy makers from Environment, Economic, Employment and Social Affairs Ministries, in addition to the members of the European Sustainable Development Network. More…

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What are the main features of system mapping, the project’s key method?
The process of building a system map (also known as causal loop diagram) is a platform for involving stakeholders in the conceptualisation, specification and synthesis of knowledge and experience into useful models for the purpose of addressing complex problems. Typically, the important steps of building a system map consist of the following: as a preliminary step, a series of interviews with stakeholders is conducted in order to gain a first perception of the problem dimension. Then, in a series of workshops, stakeholders develop a map of the system, by e.g. identifying a problem variable, causes for and effects of this variable, and finally their interrelations. The results of such an exercise can range from a change in stakeholders’ perceptions and thinking (from linear to causal), exposure of conflicts between different stakeholder groups, to identifying obvious and hidden interconnections between problems. Finally, the method facilitates the identification of leverage points and a possible commitment for action. For a detailed overview of the building blocks of system maps please refer to the document ‘System mapping: the key method in RESPONDER’ (annexed to the Minutes of the Kick-off meeting). More…

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What is the theory base of the RESPONDER project?
RESPONDER is based on a transactional network understanding of knowledge brokerage (Pregernig, 2004). This model does not stick to pure knowledge transfer but adds a network element allowing science and policy-making to enhance their connectivity through a social process. Such processes are characterised by long-term interactions between scientists, policy-makers, and other interest groups aiming to transform scientific knowledge into more suitable input for practical implementation. As a result of these social processes, scientific knowledge is no longer bound only to facts, but is rather broadened by values and judgements. Oldham and McLean (1997) highlighted the roles of distributors, integrators, intermediaries, and brokers in this context. This brings sustainability science (Clark, 2007; Funtowicz & Ravetz, 1993, 2008) into the debate und underlines the fact that policy and science represent two inter-related systems each following its own rationales but still providing room for interaction and exchange. More…

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What is the target group of the final RESPONDER conference?
The final conference will be a stage for presenting the success of the project and disseminating the project results. The conference will aim at informing additional actors from policy making, research, business and civil society about the project results and build awareness for the post-project usage of the RESPONDER internet-based knowledge platform. The event will involve other sustainable development and economic-policy related networks and platforms as well as other FP7-funded knowledge brokerage projects. More…

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How much does my participation at RESPONDER events cost?
Participation at all events will be free of charge.

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How often will the RESPONDER website be updated?
The RESPONDER website will be updated continuously as the knowledge brokerage process is an ongoing process. In order not to miss out on any new developments make sure you have ticked the relevant boxes ‘keep me informed’. If you would like to stay informed on the project in general, you may also tick here to stay tuned on the latest developments. Keep me informed

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How can I contact the Project Coordinator?
You can contact the Project Coordinator by sending an email with your questions, suggestions or other query to responder@scp-responder.eu.

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How can I network with the other members of the RESPONDER Community?
The RESPONDER events will be an excellent opportunity for face-to-face networking with researchers and policy makers. In addition, the RESPONDER Platform (particularly the Community area) provides room for exchanging views, asking questions and accessing background information.

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How can I get involved in the RESPONDER project?
There are numerous ways for getting involved in the RESPONDER project:

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© 2017 Institute for Managing Sustainability
Vienna University of Economics and Business, Welthandelsplatz 1, A-1020 Vienna

The RESPONDER project is funded by FP7 under
the Environment (including Climate Change) theme.