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Building Resourceful and Resilient Communities through Adaptive and Transformative Environmental Practice

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RECOMS (Building Resourceful and Resilient Communities through Adaptive and Transformative Environmental Practice)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2020-02-29

Community resourcefulness is the capacity of any community to work towards positively adapting or transforming their relationship with their environmental resource base in a manner that enhances community resilience. Examples include the development of renewable energy systems, community food initiatives, new forms of environmental health care provisioning (e.g. community gardens) and various locally autonomous forms of ‘green’ service provisioning (community waste recycling, repair and reuse schemes). In RECOMS community, resilience is constituting the capacity of a community to adopt, respond to and embed/normalise practices of resourcefulness into everyday community life. This ensures that transformations at the level of the everyday, in turn produce enhanced levels of resilience during acute crises.

The purpose of RECOMS is to train 15 ESRs in innovative, transdisciplinary and transformative approaches to promoting and facilitating resourceful and resilient community environmental practice.
The aims of RECOMS are to:
• Equip 15 ESRs with advanced knowledge and experience in supporting the co-production of resourceful and resilient community environmental practice.
• Train 15 ESRs in transdisciplinary scientific techniques and applying a multi-method approach on participatory and creative visualisation techniques.
• Develop the knowledge-practice skills in communicating and exchanging knowledge on the outcomes of resourceful and resilient community environmental practice.
• Support 15 ESRs in growing their own expert critical thinking and networking skills with practitioners of sustainability science and innovators in creative forms of communication and visualisation.
• Establish long-term collaborations in research and training among science, civil society, policy, NGO’s and private stakeholders extending beyond the lifetime of RECOMS.
• Increase awareness among the general public.
The project started on 1st March 2018. Between 1st March-1st September 2018, the main foci were on creating the management frames of the project, recruitment and preparation for the fellows’ arrival and the first training event. Main steps included:
- Appointment of a project manager in March 2018.
- Organizing the kick-off meeting in Coventry, UK on 26th-28th March 2018.
- Setting up RECOMS website and related social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter) by March 2018.
- Finalizing the Consortium Agreement including the Financial Strategy by April 2018.
- Setting up the Supervisory and Steering Committees and management of the RECOMS project.
- Recruitment of all ESR positions by May 2018.
- First version of the Data Management Plan in August 2018.
- Preparing for the fellows’ arrival and providing them with necessary information via email and a dedicated file-sharing site (Open Moodle).
Between 1st September 2018 and 31 March 2020, the main focus was on supporting the ESRs to get familiar with their host institutes, the RECOMS consortium and training programme and their individual doctoral research projects.
Main steps included:
- Welcoming the fellows and providing information at the outset of their employment.
- Organizing the first training event in Vaasa, Finland between 16th-21st September 2018 focusing on resilience and resourcefulness, project management, leadership, creative thinking and photography.
- Mentoring the ESRs in the completion of the first iteration of their ‘Career Development Plan – Training and Support Plan’ (CDP-TSP) in October 2018.
- Organizing the 2nd training event in Coventry (1st February-10th February 2019) with the focus on agroecology and food sovereignty and general communication, continued in Brussels (11th February - 13th February 2019) with the mid-term review meeting on 13th February 2019.
- Compiling the ethics and data management plans for each ESR research project and providing related documentations in February 2019.
- Updating the Data Management Plan every 6 months in alignment with the individual ESR research projects.
- Submitting the updated CDP-TSPs in February 2019.
- Organizing the 3rd training event in Groningen, the Netherlands in August 2019 to focus on the “art of invitation”, theatrical skills and working with local communities.
- Compiling the research proposals in August 2019.
- Collecting and summarizing the initial research outputs of RECOMS three thematic groups in December 2019.
- Compiling policy briefs focusing on increased Horizon 2020 funding for transdisciplinary science, agroecology and climate change resilience in January 2020.
- Organizing the 4th training event in Vienna, Austria on 3-13 February 2020 focusing on storyboarding, video making and editing and exhibition organization.
- Commencement of project secondments with beneficiaries and partners, with 10 ESRs completing one of their secondments or currently in progress.
- Supporting the ESRs in further defining the scope and foci of their individual research projects in accordance with their disciplinary backgrounds, scientific expertise and interests.
Main results include:
• 15 ESRs in position with 7 institutions in 6 countries.
• Four training events organized; creative skills developed in photography, theatrical skills, art of invitation, storyboarding, design and cartoon making, video editing and video making, exhibition setting and working with various stakeholders. Academic skills developed in academic writing, ethics and data management, publishing and scientific presentation. Further skills developed in group works, project management, work planning and general communication.
• Virtual resources developed including virtual training resources on Moodle e-learning app inclusive of the ESRs’ individual reflective practice learning portfolios as well as an online creativity toolkit featuring multiple creative methods for research.
• Four scientific articles published.
• Over 60.000 people reached via over 30 events organized or contributed to and over 30 presentations at scientific events by the ESRs, as well as RECOMS website, social media and ESRs’ blogs.
RECOMS further main results will include:
- 3 more training events on complexity and on a topic selected by the ESRs as well as a policy event, a final conference and an exhibition.
- 3 educational film clips on RECOMS main topics.
- 3 policy briefs based on the scientific outcomes of the ESRs’ work.
- A book on relevant environmental and creative methods’ practice.
- Stakeholder report summarizing the project’s main outcomes.
- A Massive Open Online Course on RECOMS main topics.
- Further academic, creative and interpersonal skills developed among the ESRs.
- Over 10 scientific articles published.
- Over 100.000 people reached via events organized and contributed to, RECOMS website and social media.
RECOMS potential socio-economic impacts include:
- A new generation of young sustainable scientists trained in transdisciplinarity, participatory research and creative methods.
- Promoted re-grounding of environmental policy and re-aligned climate adaptation and mitigation strategies around embedded and collaborative forms of restorative and transformative environmental resource management and transdisciplinarity.
- Established long-term collaborations between science, civil society, policy and private stakeholders via further projects and participation in international networks and events.
RECOMS logo in color
Opening of local exhibition at the Noorderzon Festival during Groningen Training Event 3
Group preparation and discussion during the first training event in Vaasa, Finland
Group photo made in Vaasa, Finland, first training event. Copyright: Janne Saukkonen
Participatory video making during training four in Vienna. Copyright: Sole Muniz