Published 2019-07-10

This post is also available in Swedish

Mistra Dialogue to disseminate expert knowledge

Mistra is gearing up its ambition to bring research results to decision makers and the public.

Linda Bell, Programmes Director at Mistra, is working on Mistra Dialogue.

‘Mistra Dialogue is a starting point to reinforce the link between the programmes’ research work and the need for expert knowledge in society at large. It’s a way to develop Mistra’s role of knowledge dissemination further,’ she says.

For a long time, Mistra’s programmes have often carried out successful work on communicating results and providing government agencies and politicians with relevant data and documentation. There are many examples of how Mistra’s research results have come to exert a positive impact on policy instruments and strategic decisions.

The programmes also feature close cooperation with both the public sector and the business sector, which are almost always present as partners and are represented on the programme boards.

Outreach in the EU has been a little harder. Many decisions in the environmental and climate area are made at EU level, and Mistra Dialogue can help.

‘We at the Secretariat can help with global analysis. It can be quite hard for the programmes to follow everything that’s happening in the EU. We can also support the programmes by finding relevant ways of getting involved in the EU’s decision-making processes,’ Bell says.

During the spring, Mistra boosted its presence on the European stage and was a co-arranger of several important conferences and events.

‘It’s structured work, and right now it’s primarily about being present when EU long-term strategy for climate neutrality is being worked out. Many of Mistra’s programmes have ideas, results and working methods relevant to this strategy,’ Bell says.

Sweden has a solid reputation as a nation that works successfully on environmental and climate issues, and is also ranked by the European Commission as the European country with the best innovation climate. According to Bell, this benefits Mistra.

‘Lots of people want to talk to us. It’s easy to access decision makers when you’re from Mistra. And Mistra is clearly a reason why Sweden’s seen as prominent in climate work. For example, the fact that Mistra initiated and funded the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) is referred to by many people in Brussels.’

Bell explains that Mistra is not supposed to be a lobbying organisation. However, results and knowledge from the programmes are intended to be provide useful decision support at various levels.

Precisely how Mistra Dialogue will work is still in development. In June, Mistra Dialogue organised a kick-off meeting with the programme directors of Mistra’s research initiatives. Bell describes the meeting as creative and the source of many ideas and beginnings. Ideas that emerged during the meeting included producing podcasts and films, and holding seminars.

She also noticed an expectation from the programme managers of what Mistra Dialogue can join in developing.

‘It was an extremely positive meeting. For us, it was important to get an overall picture of how the programmes themselves work on these issues. The programmes contribute important experience and have thought a lot about how to create platforms for dialogue,’ Bell says.

Read the previous article too: The road to net-zero emissions in Europe — researchers from Mistra lead the way.