Working Across Scales
The issues the research is focusing on are connected from local to national to global, and practical efforts are made to widen the relevance of the findings (scaling up)
It is easy for research only to be conducted at a local scale and have local impacts. There are often benefits to be gained from scaling up research outcomes.
Connecting local and global is a key principle for sustainable behaviour and futures. It also often makes sense in our understanding the world through knowledge that is produced: the distinction between local and global is an artificial one. participatory action research approaches in particular emphasise this connection between local issues and wider processes, in thinking about the causes of problems identified, and in solutions.
It may be appropriate for research be carried out and have impacts only at a local scale. But on many projects, there are opportunities for scaling up so that the research has wider impacts. This helps to produce no waste. It shares knowledge as widely as possible. Stratgeic mechanisms for sharing findings can be helpful here, that can get over barriers such as a lack of resources to scale up.
In scaling up research findings and outcomes, of course realism and attention to context should not be lost. Academic researchers in particular have a tendency to ‘over-claim’ the reach of their findings.
In Transition research, insights and benefits of local research may well have relevance for other sites. Systematic efforts need to be made to scale up the findings and outcomes of research in this way. Appropriate planning, structures and a series of PRACTICES will help to enable this.
The issues research is focusing on should be connected from local to national to global, where appropriate. Practical efforts can be made to widen the relevance of the findings (scaling up).
Using the university as a knowledge base/resource centre for local work during the research: workshop, seminars, etc....could be a new approach/practice based on APL43: University as Marketplace