Q. What else is new in the REXUS approach to stakeholder engagement?
A. It is important to note that we also aim to support the development of System Thinking, ie going beyond one’s own exclusive tasks and understanding as a decision maker, and building communication channels with other stakeholders that are closely connected to the same problems one needs to address.
For REXUS partners in particular, there is also an important goal related with supporting greater transdisciplinarity. This is not just a group of scientists from different areas working together, ie a standard interdisciplinary approach, but scientists aiming to fuse their knowledge with a wide range of different types of knowledges and experiences brought along stakeholders, a lot of which does not fit within a standard scientific framework, but still carries invaluable information into the area’s reality. This will ultimately help to create an approach, grounded on science, that is down to earth and socially relevant.
Q. To conclude, what is the hallfmark of successful stakeholder engagement in a project?
A. A successful project in terms of stakeholder engagement is not just one that will hold inspiring training and participation sessions and exchanges, although these are important. It is one where, after all the engagement processes have borne fruit, the stakeholders will return to their daily routine of management, viewing some of their challenges in a new light, with new tools to address them, a new network of people to collaborate with, and with broadened options for making different, and better, decisions.