As part of the 19th Swiss Geoscience Meeting, the MRI; the Interdisciplinary Centre for Mountain Research - CIRM; the Labex ITTEM: Innovation and Territorial Transitions in Mountains; and the Forum Landscape Alps and Parks of the Swiss Academy of Sciences are organizing a scientific symposium on 'Scalability, Transferability and Transformative Potential of Global Change Research in Mountains.' This event will be held on 20 November 2021. 

Abstract submission deadline 31 August 2021.

SGM Symposium 20: 'Scalability, Transferability and Transformative Potential of Global Change Research in Mountains'

Carolina AdlerJörg Balsiger, Raffaella Balzarini, Philippe Bourdeau, Iago OteroEmmanuel Reynard

The complexity of mountain social-ecological systems (in terms of elevation, climatic, ecological and human diversity as well as differentiated responses to global change) challenges our ability to produce generalizable knowledge. Yet such knowledge is crucial to identify and structure commonalities and differences across cases in terms of sustainability issues, and the conditions under which appropriate solutions to address these problems work in context. How to transfer designs, concepts, methods and findings across single-case evidence and general regional/global patterns is thus a timely research question, especially in the context of inter- and transdisciplinarity. Besides the mentioned complexity of mountains, is the heterogeneity of scientific and non-scientific perspectives regarding what counts as evidence and what are the privileged transformation levers. This symposium thus welcomes contributions from all fields of mountain research that can help us gain a deeper understanding on scalability, transferability and transformative potential of global change research findings.

The symposium will address (but it is not limited to) the following open questions which may appeal to a wide variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches:

  • How can mountain researchers respond to the demand for systematic findings and monitoring to substantiate assessments (IPCC, IPBES) and conventions (SDGs, Paris Agreement, CBD post-2020 framework, etc.)?
  • Does knowledge context limit scalability and transferability?
  • What has been learnt from approaches to involve stakeholders in transformative research projects?
  • How should monitoring systems be integrated at various scales (e.g. LTER network and local voluntary efforts) in terms of design, comparability of indicators, data sharing, synthesis of findings, etc.?
  • What lessons can be learnt from this integration of monitoring systems regarding the scalability and transferability of research on mountains?
  • How can researchers monitor and support the transformation to more sustainable socioeconomic models in mountain regions (tourism, agriculture, energy supply, etc.)?

Cross-scale dynamics are influenced by time contingencies. The current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted mountain regions in different ways. This in turn may be having an effect on our ability to conduct fieldwork, co-produce knowledge with stakeholders, and ground findings in concrete social-ecological contexts. Thus, in this symposium we also welcome contributions that present and reflect on research experiences under COVID-19 restrictions, in relation to the above-mentioned challenges. Is reduced face-to-face interaction impacting researchers’ ability to co-produce generalizable knowledge across scales? What opportunities emerge out of the massive use of virtual communication tools in terms of data sharing beyond the scientific domain, and in terms of improving transnational co-operation?

Further information on this symposium is available in the MRI Events Calendar and via the Swiss Geoscience Meeting website, where you can also find out more about the Swiss Geoscience Meeting. 

Download the event flyer.

Abstract submission deadline 31 August 2021.

Submit abstract


Image by Christophe Schindler.

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