Pushing the boundaries in climate change and development research: UCT’s innovative approach
25 Jun 2019 - 09:45
On the 12th of June, ACDI held a seminar day to give ACDI chairs, fellows and their students the opportunity to showcase their work. The theme of the event was “Pushing the Boundaries in Climate Change and Development Research’’, and speakers were invited to describe the innovative approaches they are taking to tackle the continent’s greatest development challenges.
Now in its second round, the ACDI Chairs and Fellows comprise a mix of established researchers and emerging ones, all of whom hold a joint appointment between ACDI and their home group or department at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
This programme enables ACDI to (i) enhance academic leadership and research production in priority thematic areas; and (ii) to strengthen the engagement between ACDI core research activities and research groupings within the wider ACDI community at UCT.
All Chairs and Fellows conduct research on themes that address a significant issue of relevance to the ACDI research agenda. These themes are both highly relevant to South African and/or regional contexts, and are of international significance.
The list of talks at this seminar day is testament to the diversity and relevance of Chair and Fellow research themes with speakers focusing on:
Climate change, sustainable energy and poverty reduction:Jiska de Groot and colleagues from the Energy Research Centre
“I found it very helpful to gain further insights into the exciting research of our chairs and fellows and their postgraduates. I was impressed by how multi-dimensional and relevant their work is for exploring transformations towards a more sustainable future under climate change.”
- Sheona Shackleton, ACDI deputy director and the driver behind the event
Beyond work sharing alone, the event gave the Chairs and Fellows the opportunity to make linkages across their thematic interests, to expand their interdisciplinary endeavours, learn from each other, and identify opportunities for collaboration.
Jiska de Groot had this to say:
“The event ‘broadened’ my horizon and really sparked a different way of thinking compared to how I usually look at energy problems: predominantly on the further embeddedness of energy systems research in broader systems thinking. I like to think that this would lead me in the long term to deliver more integrative, solutions-oriented research, hopefully with the awesome people that were at the event.”
his event was a resounding success, and is certainly something that ACDI will be doing again with the current and future cohorts of ACDI Chairs and Fellows.