Christina Kelly, Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast, attended and presented MOSES research so far at the Network of Early Career Researchers in Sustainability Transitions (NEST) conference held in Lisbon, Portugal on 4-5 April 2019.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Transitions to Where? Shared values and visions for sustainability transitions”. Christina presented the ongoing work of the QUB team in the track session titled “Visions for Transitions in Economy & Policy”.
In her presentation, Christina provided a brief introduction to the MOSES project and how it involves fostering blue growth in Atlantic industries. Christina then described Work Package 7 which QUB are leading on and explained how a number of key marine sectors are being used as case studies through which to identify Blue Growth (sustainable) Pathways.
Christina emphasised that co-creation and co-designing are key tenets, allowing a multitude of stakeholders to work together on complex challenges through user-driven processes of envisioning, experimentation and reflexivity. Specifically, Christina provided an overview of QUB’s case study, Belfast Harbour, which has been selected to critically evaluate the potential opportunities and challenges facing the ports and shipping sector in transitioning towards a more sustainable Blue Growth paradigm.
Christina explained that the QUB team are using a Transition Management framework that incorporates the multi-level perspective from transitions theory as a way of conceptualising change at different functional levels. The QUB team will assist Belfast Harbour, in collaboration with local stakeholders, to design a sustainability transition pathway. The methodology will be centred on ‘action research’ which will involve conducting meetings, interviews, focus groups and workshops to engage in discussions around visions of sustainability with local stakeholders.
An expected output or legacy of this research will be a commitment from Belfast Harbour to transition towards sustainability and operationalisation of port and shipping activities over the longer term. The presentation was well received and sparked a number of questions and discussion.