A unique research school beginning this week in Colombia brings together early-career research activists and grassroots change-makers from civil society who are working towards socio-ecological transformations, in order to discuss and develop emergent ways of approaching transformations research.
Named ‘Living Aulas’ (living classrooms), the aim is to create a space for early-career researchers and change-makers involved in the Transformations to Sustainability (T2S) programme to meet and share experiences on what it means to carry out research in increasingly uncertain and changing contexts of poverty, inequality, conflict and apathy.
The concept of living aulas emerges out of the work carried out with rural communities in Latin America, including as part of the T2S programme. Work with communities, activists and policy agents has highlighted the need for approaches based on integration and self-valorisation rather than fragmented interventions driven from outside. ‘Living Aulas’ refers not only to the meeting or workshop itself, but also to the continuous process of co-learning and reflecting about the challenges, potential and feelings of the community, in order to co-create knowledge and practices.
The research school aims to:
- Bring together early-career researchers from the programme’s three Transformative Knowledge Networks (ACKNOWL-EJ, PATHWAYS, T-LEARNING). As the networks enter their final months of research funding, the research school will be an opportunity to plan future collaborations beyond the timeline of the programme.
- Track and take forward the scholarly and practitioner conversation on research praxis for transformations to sustainability.
- Practice and reflect on the creation of ‘accountable spaces’ for learning on transformations to sustainability.
- Explore how the Living Aulas research school could work as an action research project.
The organizers – themselves early-career researchers – aim to create pedagogical material including a facilitation guide for other research communities to conduct Living Aulas workshops themselves, thereby allowing for the spread of the ideas emerging in this space beyond the core group of participants. A report from the meeting, as well as a number of blogs and videos about Living Aulas will be featured on this website in the coming months.