Traditional research and innovation practices

Each scientific discipline and paradigm is characterized by certain boundaries, and therefore limits researchers and other knowledgeable actors in their understanding of multifaceted societal problems.

As a result, each description and interpretation of this kind of problems will be limited by the observer’s needs, knowledge, interests and possibilities, which makes that there will be as many different ways to decompose and describe a societal problem, as well as possible solutions, as there are experts. The necessary knowledge to gain a better understanding of today’s complex societal problems therefore lies scattered among a diversity of stakeholders, disciplines, cultures and practices in both academic and non-academic environments.

This makes that transdisciplinarity is a key characteristic of co-RRI. In practical terms this means that co-RRI asks for a diverse array of actors to come to a broad understanding of the causes of sustainability problems, as well as a broad range of thinking about possible alternative solutions.

Co-RRI can therefore never be understood as just an add-on to research and innovation as usual. Instead, co-RRI requires the co-creation of relevant knowledge and insights involving people representing the quadruple helix of innovation, that is science, policy, business and civil society, and this from the very beginning of a research and innovation trajectory.

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