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A ROAD TRIP TO SUCCESS: Although science and industry have much to gain from working jointly towards a more sustainable stewardship of natural resources, scientists and business leaders still feel they operate on two different planets.
In a Perspective paper published in One Earth, centre researchers Henrik Österblom, Robert Blasiak and Jean-Baptiste Jouffray, together with colleagues from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK and Japan, believe there is substantial potential for increased collaborations but an uncritical embrace of science-industry partnerships is unhelpful.
In the paper, the authors share their experiences working with marine industries in different parts of the world.
They reflect on whether such collaborations have allowed for “highways” to rapid progress or simply creating “sideways”, with lots of effort and little to show for it.
How to go about it then? Think of it as a road trip which is divided up in four parts:
The authors put a particular emphasis on there is the need for all parties involved to embrace a bold vision of ocean stewardship and create a respectful culture of learning and adapting.
One way to appreciate the ride is to be both reflective and reflexive. It is critical to remain open minded to the beliefs and values of others and to seek a mutual territory to initiate discussions.
Henrik Österblom, lead author
With these recommendations, based on personal experiences from collaborations with medium to large industries, Österblom and his colleagues believe a successful partnership can take place.
There are several hurdles along the way, though:
Amid such hurdles, it is critical to remain open-minded and to seek to find mutual territory for discussions.
“No matter how well prepared you are and despite many well-intended partners, there is a high likelihood of setbacks,” Österblom explains.
“To cope with these frustrations, you need to stay optimistic and surround yourself with people that support and encourage you.”
Österblom, H., Cvitanovic, C., van Putten, I., Addison, P. Blasiak, R., Jouffray, J-B. et.al. 2020. Science-Industry Collaboration: Sideways or Highways to Ocean Sustainability? One Earth, Volume 3, Issue 1, 24 July 2020, Pages 79-88
For more information about the publication, please contact Henrik Österblom:
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