Uncomfortable Knowledge in WEF Nexus Governance: Results from the H2020 MAGIC project

30 September 2020
Virtual event
Ostriches in Leopold Park Brussels. Photo courtesy Tessa Dunlop.

MAGIC Final Policy Event | 30 September 2020 | 16:00 – 17:30 CEST | online | 

The issues of water, energy and food (WEF) security are deeply entangled into each other. The WEF Nexus needs to be understood and governed as a complex system in order to overcome silos in scientific and political institutions.

The MAGIC project—Moving Towards Adaptive Governance in Complexity: Informing Nexus Security—funded by Horizon 2020, is coming to a close after four years of interdisciplinary environmental and social research. A key policy recommendation is that silos should be overcome by promoting the uptake and use of uncomfortable knowledge. The late social scientist Steve Rayner (2012) wrote: "To make sense of the complexity of the world so that they can act, individuals and institutions need to develop simplified, self-consistent versions of that world. The process of doing so means that much of what is known about the world needs to be excluded from those versions, and in particular that knowledge which is in tension or outright contradiction with those versions must be expunged. This is uncomfortable knowledge." A key experience of the MAGIC project is that many WEF Nexus issues, on areas such as energy efficiency, biofuels, the circular economy and others, to a high degree involve uncomfortable knowledge.

Mario Giampietro (project coordinator, Autonomous University of Barcelona), Kirsty Blackstock (The James Hutton Institute) and Silvio Funtowicz (University of Bergen) will share their MAGIC experiences and invite you to participate in a virtual debate on the challenges of using uncomfortable knowledge under the moderation of Roger Strand (University of Bergen) and Ângela Guimarães Pereira (Joint Research Centre of the European Commission). Welcome address by Philippe Tulkens of the European Commission DG RTD. Discussant: Zoltán Rakonczay (EC DG RTD).  

The presentations (PDF) made at the event can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. The recording of the event is available on MAGIC's YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/T45SOg4U6vM.



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