Reflections on dealing with “wicked”problems when developing sustainable land use. Johan Bouma Em.professor of soil science Wageningen University The Netherlands Chair advisory cie TRANSFORUM project. Frustrated by the apparent inability of the research community to contribute to sustainable development of society, ( the “Knowledge Paradox”) the Dutch Government in 2004 allocated 800 million euro’s in innovative bottomup research on a number of themes, including agriculture. The latter TRANSFORUM program ( 60 million euro’s) initiated projects based on questions from the field. Here we will share some lessons learned. When striving for sustainable agriculture and landuse, “wicked” problems have to be overcome. Such problems are complex and messy. There are no clear definitions nor simple solutions. Various stakeholders have different frames of reference, ideas, values and interests: E = entrepreneurs ( e.g. farmers, bankers etc) G = government officials ( national, local) N = NGO’s ( non governmental organizations and citizen groups). The key question for stakeholders is: “What’s in it for me?” Also: don’t necessarily believe what they say or write but: “ Find out what they really think”( most effective over a drink) Research ( K) cannot take its traditional approach: define a problem, do research, solve the problem, move on and pass implementation on to others. But if too many research reports wind up on a dusty shelve ( the “Knowledge Paradox”) , the research community faces a problem with society where the information revolution creates a different type of stakeholder. “Research as a hobby” So what to do? Be more involved but guard scientific quality! One key lesson of Transforum: don’t consider cities seperate from rural areas. Their interests coincide, we talk therefore about: Metropolitan Agriculture (different from Urban Agriculture) THREE LESSONS FROM TRANSFORUM 1. Find out what K, E,N, and G partners really want. What are their values and goals? Strive for connected value development. 2. Be patient: take time for c.v.proposition, to be followed by c.v. creation (business plan) and c.v. capture. Only capture will convince! 3. Find out who is most interested and persistant in obtaining results. Find:”champions”. Also find a committed knowledge broker who can facilitate processes and keep things moving along. Most likely member of K or E. Extension 2.0! Note: of the 30 practical projects, only 12 had “capture”. Sustainable land use in a 50000ha national landscape (Northern Frisian Woodlands), with conflicting agricultural, ecological, societal and legal interests. Entrepreneurs ( 800 farmers) were most persistant. New Mixed Farm: C2C approach, integrating cattle, pig and chicken farms and greenhouses. Economic, societal and legal problems. Entrepreneurs were most persistant. Green Farms: work on the farm to cure (psychiatric and drug) patients. Helps solve major societal problem, but medical questions remain. Major impulse for innovative medical research! Now 800 farms. Entrepreneurs were most persistant, later also the medical community. Tacit knowledge ( K1-2 ) is very important next to scientific knowledge (K3-K5). Close the knowledge chain and use it both ways!! THREE LESSONS FROM TRANSFORUM 1. Find out what K, E,N, and G partners really want. What are their values and goals? Strive for connected value development and define a common goal. 2. Be patient: take time for c.v.proposition, to be followed by c.v. creation (business plan)and c.v. capture. Only capture will convince! 3. Find out who is most interested and persistant in obtaining results. You need:”Champions”. Also find a committed knowledge broker who can facilitate processes and keep things moving along. Most likely member of K or E. Extension 2.0! Two relevant publications • Bouma, J. 2010. Implications of the knowledge paradox for soil science. Advances in Agronomy 106: 143- 171 . Academic Press, USA. • Bouma, J., A.C.van Altvorst, R.Eweg, P.J.A.M.Smeets and H.C.van Latesteijn. 2011. The role of knowledge when studying innovation and the associated wicked sustainability problems in agriculture. Advances in Agronomy 113:285-314. Academic Press, USA.