Luxembourg Nexus Futures project

DSC_0264The Luxembourg Nexus Futures project has been established and run by Dr Ariane König (University of Luxembourg). The project is exploring the challenges of nexus (water-energy-food) in the in the Luxembourg context. Using the river partnerships (Upper Sure and Syr) they look into different dimensions of sustainability. The project is looking at sustainability science and sustainability transformations. The project takes a democratic approach to knowledge, without privileging expert knowledge and trying to value local knowledge. This project is also very strongly informed by philosophical/theoretical frameworks – including phenomenology and Dewey pragmatism. The project is putting specific efforts in the recording of experience and meaning-making as a way to demonstrate to the participants that their views are being heard and valued. There is a specific effort to identify and develop actionable knowledge (including finding out what “actionable knowledge” mean).

Diagram of water information relations in LuxembourgAn interesting aspect of the project is a strong commitment to co-production of knowledge, and an aim that citizen science will be integrated into the project extensively. Karl Pickar, who is doing PhD at the University of Luxembourg and visiting researcher in ExCiteS, looked at the rationale for using citizen science – the theory for participation and citizen science is a way to create a joint understanding of the world in view of the increasing complexity. Jasanoff and Latour were pointing to the need for more co-production of knowledge. The project focus on society, technology, and the environment through system thinking approach – need to understand relations. Calls for more participation is increasing in policy – e.g. in the water directive of the EU where it is a success criterion. In terms of citizen science tools, see data entry tools (which include evaluation of the experience of participants. The toolkit can provide all the tools that participants need to collect the data  – aiming to have 3-5 tools that can be used. The sensing can be from biochemical to cultural aspects. The database part of the system is not only to collect data but also to make it accessible and also relevant to connect people – so they can be used together. The core question is the role of citizen science in systems thinking in addressing water challenges in Luxembourg. Some early focus groups can explore 3-4 difference citizen science tools to identify potential topics that will be covered through citizen science. Community Maps of Mapping for Change can be used as an example of the different ways of collecting and sharing information. There is also a potential of using iNaturalist in the data collection and identification. There are already observations from iNat in Luxembourg. The interviews have shown that there is a complexity of actors and networks of data flows. Information is collected by the administration for the management of water, and the information – data that is collected on a project basis is lost when the project is ended, no archiving – connections and luck play a part in this. Preliminary interviews have shown that people wanted to report incidents – questions are what are the incentives to participants for their effort. Some of the prime concerns are misinterpretation and data, data quality, and wrong measurements. A proper data quality definition needs to be more reflective and dependent on context.



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