Dilemma Session

LK8 aims to emphasise and strengthen the participation and voices of civil society organisations on the Conference and created two one-hour slots in the programme called Dilemma Session on Wednesday and Thursday after lunch for CSOs to bring in a problem related to their daily work, which the LKN community can discuss in a facilitated process.

We have picked the following four “dilemmas” from the submitted ones. Each day there will be two discussions running parallel in separate locations. Locations and other workshop details will follow.

Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (ACCAP), USA
ACCAP has been around since 2006 and as such has many long term established relationships and it is these relationships that are our real value. We are a trusted source of climate information and are a go to source for many decision makers when it comes to connecting the climate science done at the university with decisions being made on the local scale.

How do you measure the value of a relationship or information that might just be part of what was used to make a decision?  How do you measure the impact/value of science-society partnerships and CSOs that work at the science-society interface?

City and River Association (Valyo), Hungary
Funding anomalies of civil society organisations (CSOs) influence the way they can engage in science shop projects and make them the only ones among the actors who take part almost exclusively as volunteers, as dedicated capacities are not funded through other projects they run.

Has anyone encountered such barriers in the cooperation, how common is this problem and what adequate responses were given?

The Doorway, Canada
The social impact of the academia is sociologically understood as power. Academics establish bases of thought, publish ideas with certainty, and channel students to buy into perspectives to qualify for their own certification of knowledge gained. This process ‘certifies truth’. Graduates seeking to ‘practice’ in society utilize certainties established by academic degrees. Direct influence of perspectives chosen plays out in the public discourse which shapes social beliefs. Our community experience of engagement with individual researchers, chosen as allies to think with us, has been consistently positive, enriched our language and provided valuable feedback for our applied work. Our practice is seeking questions, not answers. This is the difference to us.
Note: Our social context is significantly shaped to organize and operate from a corporate perspective and is funder driven. Qualitative data is not as credible or respected as quantitative.

Question: We would be very interested to know if anyone in this session has similar experience in contexts in which to operate, and if and how corporate values and parameters influence/impact their ability to do community based work?

From Street to Home Association, Hungary
As a civil society organisation we often face that external consultants, partners and donors want to impose their way of thinking on us. It’s not the methods, tools or knowledge that all sectors use but the values, mindset and priorities along which we make decisions and build programs that makes us civil society organisations per se, working solely for public benefit, not for any profit.

How can we make sure in science shop projects working with (business) students that the social perspective, the values and mindset of civil society actors are prioritised over business logic, and that students are touched by these in a long lasting way?