Enabling Informed Participation In Governance for Mitigation and Adaptation Through Integration of Science into Society
Tuesday, 17 June 2014
146B-C (Washington Convention Center)
Transformational pathways towards sustainable development require a broad involvement of all stakeholders in governance and decision making. Crucial to effective public participation is the provision of relevant information. Co-design, co-creation, and co-usage of practice-relevant knowledge, while crucial for sustainable development, have not been comprehensively explored to date. The looming data supernova that results from rapidly increasing Earth observation data, data generated through digital media, the addition of human sensors in various forms, and the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) provides opportunities for a new level of informed participation in societal decision-making, particularly if combined with increasingly available interoperable model webs, emerging tools for visualization and concepts for the linkage between data and models. We are developing concepts for the integration of the data supernova into a knowledge base, as well as techniques and processes to access this knowledge base in a meaningful way so that it can inform deliberations and decision making. In a system-of-systems approach, a virtual stakeholder table (VST) is coupled with a living knowledge base (LKB) to enable participatory, informed decisions. A generalized concept for a human sensor addresses fundamental questions related to the use of crowd-sourcing, Big Data and citizen scientists as sources for socio-economic and environmental data and prepares data integration of current and future sensors. Integration of a model web into the LKB provides novel avenues for decision support. The LKB is being populated with information from a reference site, Hampton Roads, VA, an urban coastal region with a complex socio-economic structure threatened by climate change and sea-level rise. Coastal zones are at the front line of humanity's sustainability crisis. The complexity of the coastal zone presents convoluted governance challenges that require informed interaction of a wide range of stakeholders. The VST is utilized for a number of case studies aiming at integration of science stakeholders into governance for thriving sustainable communities. It also supports the development of new transdisciplinary educational pathways and outreach to a broad stakeholder network engaged in governance.