A Strategic Synthesis Project

JPI Urban Europe is part of an inter-institutional and transdisciplinary project about “strategic synthesis”. The project sets out to harvest knowledge on synthesis processes and methods relevant to urban topics considered at the European level. Initiated in 2018, it unfolds in partnership with SLU Urban Futures, IQ Samhällsbyggnad, Stockholm, and Joint Programming Initiative JPI Urban Europe.

The Strategic Synthesis Project explores how “synthesis” – re-imagined beyond the conventional academic literature review – may be mobilized as a potential and powerful transdisciplinary format.  While popular in principle, transdisciplinarity faces many hurdles, in practice. Yet, transdisciplinarity is increasingly taken as a key approach to address the societal challenge of urban sustainable transformations and increased liveability. This approach involves heterogeneous knowledge practices ‘practicing together’.

At the same time, it is becoming increasingly evident that formats and methods required to navigate, collate, distil and communicate (synthesize) knowledge outcomes generated through diverse knowledge practices remain sorely lacking.  This project aims to address that gap; it is an open project with two core ambitions:

  1. Make research useful
    In today’s TMI (too much information) context, synthesis clarifies research relevance (what matters?) with a focus on audience (to whom does it matter?)
  2.  Model a synthetic mind-set
    Demonstrate ways to dynamically mobilize existing knowledge resources, using knowledge creation processes that involve criticality, and reflexivity-on-the-go.

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