SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

Developing Nexus Capabilities

The Nexus Network's workshop on Transdisciplinary Methods For Developing Nexus Capabilities

Over the past two days (29-30 June), the Nexus Network held a workshop on ‘Transdisciplinary Methods for Developing Nexus Capabilities’ at the University of Sussex.

With some 60-70 participants from across academia, government, business and civil society, the workshop looked at the research challenge in addressing nexus issues. In particular the workshop focused on exploring different kinds of methods for enabling transformative action and how to enable actors to develop the appropriate skills, training and research capabilities to address Nexus challenges.

The conference was organised by Professor Andy Stirling who had prepared a discussion paper on some of the key issues, as well as a stimulus paper on Transdisciplinary Methods for Developing Nexus Capabilities which he presented at the workshop. Other members of SPRU also participated in the workshop; with an introduction from Professor James Wilsdon, Director of the Nexus Network, as well as Professor Jim Watson and Dr Rose Cairns contributing to panel discussions on Climate and Energy and on Supporting Researchers.

The workshop will produce a report, summarizing the discussions at the workshop, focusing on concrete methods and the ways to interlink them so as to maximise the practical implications for skills development, training arrangements and capabilities provision. This will also offer a basis for onward critical discussion – feeding directly into various follow-on activities. 

The ESRC-funded Nexus Network is an initiative that brings together researchers, policy makers, business leaders and civil society to explore connections in food, energy, water and the environment. The Network is particularly focused on understanding the following:

  • How can real progress be made in the global provision of water, food and energy?
  • How might this be achieved in secure, just, equitable and sustainable ways?
  • What are the settings in which water, food and energy challenges interact, such as environmental values, business strategy, resource equity, ecological limits, urbanisation and transformative innovation?