The ReSolve Process is a circular project process for a multi-stakeholder project tackling sustainability challenges. When working with such tasks, a practitioner often faces difficulties when analysing a core problem of the issues at hand and similarly when creating a resilient solution that can adapted or resolved in the future. The ReSolve Process will help practitioners to think and analyse challenges systematically as well as create and implement innovative and resilient solutions in a collaborative manner.
In 2013, four staff at CSD Uppsala, the Entrepreneurship Lab and the department of Education at Uppsala University and thes Swedish University of Agricultural Science held a series of workshops in order to discuss what should be done to improve regional sustainability in connection with the launch of the Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE Uppsala). It was found that much work in sustainability is done individually and collaborative work often ends up discussing issues without a desirable outcome. Therefore, a need was found to create a process for collaborative work for creating a systemic, resilient and innovation-driven solutions for regional sustainability.
A Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE) is not a physical centre or building, but rather a network of individuals, organizations and experts who are committed to using education as a tool for building a sustainable future. As the name reveals, each RCE is regionally based and their members bring in-depth knowledge of the challenges faced by their respective regions. An RCE is primarily meant to attain the provision of a platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue to share information and experience and to seek ways to promote interdisciplinary and multi-sectorial collaboration for sustainability education at the regional and local level.
In January 2014 the United Nations University officially acknowledged RCE Uppsala. RCE Uppsala geographically covers the Uppsala region and includes therein the following eight municipalities: Enköping, Heby, Håbo, Knivsta, Tierp, Uppsala, Älvkarleby and Östhammar and Gotland. CSD Uppsala (Centre for Sustainable Development) is responsible for coordinating and managing RCE Uppsala. Since its inauguration, Uppsala and Knivsta municipality, and Folkuniversitetet (A Swedish adult educational association) have become formal members of RCE Uppsala.
Key of ReSolve
The ReSolve project is specially designed to solve sustainability challenges. Sustainability issues are often very complex, ambiguous and unclear. Many problems also suffer from a “negative-multi-ownership”, meaning that a problem can involve multiple stakeholders which means that a stakeholder cannot solve the problem without collaborating with others and often ends up with no clear actor to take initiative to solve a problem. The ReSolve process is designed to help practitioners understand and analyse complex and unclear challenges, to identify relevant stakeholders and to present resilient solutions.
Sustainability challenges often involve several stakeholders. For example, understanding and solving the problem of storm water in a city requires a variety of expertise such as governmental regulations and law, landscape structure, up-to-date knowledge of existing technological solutions, governmental policy and plan, and understanding environmental trends such as climate change etc. It is therefore important to gather the relevant stakeholders who possess and can share their knowledge. One of the key features of the ReSolve process is to identify relevant experts and stakeholders and to facilitate collaborative work.
Social learning is one of the key features of the ReSolve process. Social learning occurs on individual and/or collective levels and to certain extent also while multi-stakeholders gather, experiment, engage with one another and deliberate on common problems. Social learning goes beyond the acquisition of cognitive knowledge, social and technical skills by individuals and includes understanding ones own and others’ values and perspectives. Social learning also implies gaining capacity for systems thinking; understanding complexities and uncertainties; perceiving oneself as part of a whole; and recognizing future generations and non-human species. Much research has contended that social learning can lead to reframing, co-creation of knowledge, better relationships among participants, mutual and common understanding about a problem and ownership of common problems which, all of which, in turn may result in improvement of management and decision making as well as collaborative actions among participants.
One of the main aims of the ReSolve process is to create a resilient solution. Sustainability challenges involve continuous evolution of socio-ecological systems and are confronted with several uncertainties and surprises that make it difficult to predict what might happen. Taking this into account, it is important to create resilient solutions that can be adapted and revised overtime.
David Kronlid is research leader at the Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development (SWEDESD). He is associate professor in ethics and senior lecturer in curriculum studies at the Department of Education (EDU). He co-chairs Uppsala Transdisciplinary Seminar in Sustainable Development (TRUST) and heads the research group for education and sustainable development research at EDU. Kronlid is expert evaluator and research ethics expert for Horizon 2020 and has been working with crossdisciplinary transformative student-led higher education since 1998. His recent book on climate change adaptation and human capabilities was published 2014 on Palgrave.
Mikael Scherdin is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University and holds a PhD in Entrepreneurship. He is the Founder and Director of the Entrepreneurship Lab and has conducted research in the areas of creativity and innovation processes, entrepreneurship, Art and entrepreneurship, and survival of new ideas in ecosystems. Dr. Scherdin is part of the research team under the umbrella of Anders Wall, Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University and can rely on a long career with innovations and entrepreneurship in practice.
Sara Andersson is an Educational Coordinator at the Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development (CSD Uppsala) and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. Besides teaching courses at the university, she also is an independent lecturer in the area of sustainable development.
Misol Kim is a PhD candidate at the Education Faculty at Monash University in Australia and a former Project Assistant at the Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development and the Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development Uppsala (RCE Uppsala). She holds a Master of Science with a major in Sustainable Development, a Master of Science in Business and Economics with specialization in Entrepreneurship and a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering.