First sparks of r4d projects in the thematic fields of Ecosystems and Food Security

participants discussing at r4d Forum 2015

The r4d Forum 2015 encouraged scientists to make use of a repertoire of different formats to share the knowledge about their new projects.

​The r4d Forum 2015 Ecosystems and Food Security took place in Filzbach, Switzerland, on 19 to 20 March 2015 with more than 80 participants from Asia, Africa and Europe. The r4d Forum is a series of events to stimulate exchange, discussion and debate among researchers, Review Panel members, representatives from development policy and practice and funders.

Researchers’ repertoire for sharing knowledge

Esther Turnhout from the University of Wageningen gave a stimulating keynote on knowledge brokering and the dilemma of the scientisation of policy and the politisation of science. She introduced a spectrum of roles and repertoires of which contemporary researchers can make use in their research activities and their interactions with representatives beyond the scientific community. Indeed, in a research programme like the r4d programme, which supports research that is of scientific excellence and relevant for development, the researchers are expected to play an active role in feeding and debating policy discourses and practice contexts. Communicating about their research is key to raise awareness in topics of global development concern and to enable the application of new insights and tools by relevant policy and practice partners. Communication skills are thus important as are functioning research partnerships among the international research teams.

Project pitch in 180 seconds

During the r4d Forum 2015 the researchers had the opportunity to participate in a communication training to present their research projects in short and concise stories, so-called pitches. The pitching training was facilitated by Rainer Zoglauer and Michel Bachmann from the Impact Hub Zurich. The 180 second project pitches were a highlight of the r4d Forum 2015 with the presenters excelling in stagecraft and energy. Within one hour only, the audience of researchers and representatives from policy and practice witnessed the scientific rigour and creativeness that guides the r4d researchers to address global issues of development. Inspired by the subsequent poster session and energised by a lunch in the impressive Swiss pre-alpine setting, the r4d Forum 2015 invited all participants to discuss in a World Café how researchers and representatives from policy, practice and civil society can engage in a collaborative process of knowledge co-creation effectively.