ArcticStakes aims to strengthen interdisciplinary-and collaborative science relating to sustainable development and to provide appropriate guidelines of the conceptual and methodological fundament for applying different stakeholder involvement tools.
It emphasizes on advancing methodologies for stakeholder involvement and public participation in science that can effectively address the sustainability challenges of increased industrial growth in the Arctic.
Because stakeholder involvement is considered fundamental for research in sustainable development.
Stakeholder theory has for long time been promoted in the business literature to support corporate environmental responsible strategies, or in the planning and management realm for increasing legitimacy of decisions and likelihood for implementation and sustainable outcomes. The rationale of integrating non-academic views and knowledge with science, and the possible different methods and designs for involving stakeholders is also evident in sustainability science.
Arguments for including stakeholders varies substantially among different scientists, funders and stakeholders and for the industry and environmental impacts addressed. At the one end, those arguing for excellence in science for progressing towards sustainability, emphasize the need for stakeholder involvement for transferring knowledge or communicating science to industry, decision makers or the general public. At the other end, authors argue that real world sustainability challenges need engagement with stakeholders to reflect the complexity, uncertainty and contested nature of sustainability. These authors refer to concepts such as post-normal science, mode II, co-production of knowledge, transdisciplinary research, participatory research or collaborative science. Citizen science is a key to the field of science of technology studies (STS) and connects scientists from a broad range of disciplines. Integrating indigenous- and local knowledge with science represent yet another dimension in the sustainability literature reflecting another set of ideals and rationales for knowledge production. Keeping track of conceptual and methodological underpinnings for stakeholder involvement, and the application of tools depending on setting and resources available, is important for effective involvement of non-academics in sustainability science.
Arctic Science Ministers have recognized the importance of policy-relevant science that connects science with society through involvement of various stakeholders in their Joint statements in 2016 and 2018. Similarly, the EU PolarNet emphasize the need for a stronger stakeholder engagement in arctic sciences.
They define stakeholders as: the stakeholders are those who are potentially affected by or concerned about, interested in, important to, or having any power over the polar research agenda or will be end-users of polar research outcomes. Stakeholders form a wide variety of public and private sectors including policy, business, governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and a wider society, including local and Indigenous peoples
As the Arctic is changing and becomes more accessible, there is a greater need for a broad engagement of different societal groups in science to produce knowledge more effectively to address sustainability challenges. Here we aim to provide more systematic knowledge about the different modes of stakeholder involvement with science to produce knowledge of relevance for sustainable development in the Arctic.
While there has been a large focus on stakeholder involvement for planning, policy- and decision-making, the conceptual and methodological basis for integrating non-academic views and knowledge with science holds potential as an interdisciplinary field of collaboration between social and environmental scientists.
In ArcticStake we draw on the broad range of expertise available to build tools for stakeholder involvement in science with the purpose of solving or navigating the sustainability challenges that the Arctic is facing.
The project focus’ broadly on public participation and engagement with science in multiple industries (green energy, tourism, mining/oil/gas, aquaculture, fisheries, transport etc) and in strategic plans and cumulative impact assessments
By evaluating, reviewing and piloting methods for knowledge elicitation targeting different kinds of stakeholders using different methods such as participatory mapping, group techniques, workshops, expert elicitation and scenarios analysis, – we will design a systematic map of the different tools based on their conceptual and methodological underpinnings, and evaluate their capacity to enhance the quality, salience, credibility, and legitimacy of the information and knowledge produced. Based on our findings we develop a toolkit, teaching and training material for scientists and graduate students that want to improve stakeholder involvement and public participation in science in their work.
These will be brought to life through 5 Workpackages;
WP1 Transdisciplinary and iterative learning
Objective: To advance transdisciplinary and iterative learning processes for integrated ecosystem assessments through multi-stakeholder partnerships.
WP2 Indigenous – and local knowledge and citizen science
Objective: To systematically assess different participatory methods for connecting indigenous- and local knowledge with science
WP3 Structured expert elicitation
Objective: To assess structured expert elicitation as a tool to involve stakeholders at national and international scale
WP4 Public engagement in science
Objective: To advance and test participatory methods to engage the general public in sustainable science
WP5 Evaluating, guidelines and training
Objective: To evaluate how different ways of involving stakeholders produce knowledge and evidence of relevance to sustainable development and to develop guidelines and training material to increase the expertise in stakeholder involvement
ArcticStakes contribute as a research support many of the Arctic Sustainability Labs projects. It supports BlueTrans, by using the coastal barometer as a testbed for stakeholder involvement tools and for advancing transdisciplinary and interactive processes associated with monitoring impacts of blue growth in the Arctic. It will draw on the indigenous – and local knowledge projects (IndGov, IndKnow, TriArc, TRACE).