Our vision is of a world where we can all be part of creating useful new knowledge, whatever our background.
We believe that everyone is able to contribute to the production of new knowledge. It doesn’t matter about their background. This thinking underpins People’s Knowledge.
Some people have formal training as experts. Some people’s expertise comes through their life experience. People’s Knowledge breaks down the barriers that exist between these two groups.
We can only tackle many of the most difficult problems in the world by building trust between people with different perspectives. New knowledge, innovation and social change are most effective when based on dialogue. Professional researchers should be able to talk more with everyday experts. This includes farmers, small businesses, civil society groups or individual people.
People’s Knowledge uses the following research approaches:
- Participation – different groups working together in all stages of the research process. We work to ensure that all groups can have more equal power as they collaborate.
- Transdisciplinary insights – working with people from different traditions of knowledge systems and with diverse world views. This includes indigenous people, farmers, scientists and citizens.
- Transformation – our research focusses on action. We aim to change society and create a more just world.
We work with co-researchers, especially those excluded from professional research settings.
The People’s Knowledge website is affiliated to the People’s Knowledge and Transdisciplinarity Working Group at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience.
People’s Knowledge is currently stewarded by Colin Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Chiara Tornaghi (email@example.com), and Tom Wakeford (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please email us with questions or comments.
The Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) is driving innovative, transdisciplinary research on the understanding and development of resilient food and water systems internationally.
Food and water security is increasingly threatened by factors such as climate and environmental change, loss of biodiversity, conflict and market volatility. New knowledge, policies and technologies are needed to develop systems that are more resilient to change and which ensure the health of our food and water supplies. Resilient systems are better able to bounce back from stresses caused by longer-term change or short-term events – be it natural processes such as flooding, or human impacts such as war or water pollution incidents.
Through its focus on food and water, the Centre’s research develops and integrates new knowledge in social, agroecological, hydrological and environmental processes, as well as the pivotal role that communities play in developing resilience. Unique to this Centre is the incorporation of citizen-generated knowledge – the participation of farmers, water users and other citizens in transdisciplinary research, using holistic approaches which cross many disciplinary boundaries. CAWR also aims to advance resilience science through creative work on a new generation of key issues linked to the governance of food systems, hydrological change, urban water, river processes, water quality and emerging pollutants.
Researchers at CAWR are undertaking research in the following areas:
- People’s Knowledge: Participatory, Transdisciplinary and Transformative Research
- Resilient food and water systems in practice
- Understanding fundamental processes of resilience and instability in environmental and social systems
- Community self-organisation for resilience
- Policies and institutions to enable resilient food and water systems