Transdisciplinary Approaches to Integrating Policy and Science for Sustainability (17w2688)


Gabriela Alonso Yanez (University of Calgary)

Kathleen Halvorsen (Michigan Technological University)

Marcella Ohira (Inter American Institute for Global Change Research)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Transdisciplinary Approaches to Integrating Policy and Science for Sustainability" workshop in Banff from October 6, 2017 to October 8, 2017.

We are all familiar with the latest reports on climate change that document the evidence on the scale and character of the challenges arising from climate change. Successfully confronting these challenges require—among many other actions—the effective translation of science into policy design and into implementation and integration of scientific researchers and policy-makers in functional teams. However, interaction among different types of scientists, society, and decision-makers is not easy. This workshop will train 27 participants from 15 countries on practical skills to improve teamwork, develop joint research proposals and facilitate cross-sector interactions.

Our seminar approach involves three key ingredients for capacity building. First, the program’s participants are exposed to innovative research methodologies, analytical tools, and concepts. This exposure complements their disciplinary training and expertise, and encourages them towards more interdisciplinary framings. Second, the participants receive guidance in the development of professional teams and networks to provide them with the skills to work collaboratively across disciplinary and sectorial divides. Finally, the teams are coached in established approaches that foster a solutions orientation and the convergence of science, policy and practice. The coaching provides participants with mentorship and lessons learnt from established researchers and decision makers that have been working at the interface of science-policy and in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).