Advancements in communication technologies have provided new ways of connecting diverse, geographical-dispersed groups and engaging in collaborative research efforts. This is critical as we face increasing pressures from complex global problems, such as climate change, that require innovative thinking generated through networks that extend across disciplines and sectors. However, forming these networks and harnessing collaborative knowledge is not as simple as building a forum or website, waiting for people to share their ideas and expecting ‘gems’ to emerge. In a day and age where we are inundated with e-mail, social media and other emergences from Web 2.0, we face an issue of determining how to focus on the critical research questions in the ‘sea of online noise’. Such an issue presents a need for a ‘research curator’; one who can develop and maintain an online environment, encourage engagement in the online space and facilitate processes that result in a synthesis of analyses and ideas. To this end, a research curator must assume of blend of scientist, moderator, web developer, design artist and data analyst, allowing them to form the intersection between online engagement and transdisciplinary research. This session will focus on this concept of a ‘research curator’ by drawing on experiences and proposed activities of the Meeting the Climate Change Challenge (MC3), a community climate innovation research partnership involving academics, government and community practitioners throughout the province of British Columbia, Canada and panelist experiences leading community dialogues and post-secondary labs.
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