Consilience Think Tank


Weekly transdisciplinary collective-thought exercise open to UH Ohana and our partners from other sectors | Making sense of and seeking adequate responses to the ecological crisis and climate disruption | Cultivating actionable knowledge and practicing knowledge translation in support of Hawaii’s socioecological transformation | Staying abreast of sustainability science and studies | Discovering and engaging in collaboration that challenges disciplinary path dependency and reductionism | Laying the groundwork for genuine academic innovation | Acquiring systems thinking and design skills | Mastering reflexivity and advancing critical metacognitive competencies | Networking and building partnerships across the broad green community of practice and interest

The Consilience think tank’s key dimensions and characteristics

  • Theorization and operationalization of science-informed collective-intelligence and collaborative-scholarship practices in tackling complex problems
  • Viewing sustainability science as a strategic (solution-oriented) science
  • Privileging the structured, quality-driven, open, and iterative nature of knowledge-building processes over outcome thinking
  • Emphasizing the integrative intentionality of the knowledge-building process
  • Adopting the imperatives of effortful thinking and higher-order reflexivity in collective deliberation
  • Foregrounding the metaphysical, critical, and phenomenological dimensions of ecological discourse and scientific inquiry
  • Learning for sustainability and unlearning for sustainability
  • Identifying critical accelerated socioecological knowledge-acquisition pathways
  • Advancing epistemic pluralism, as well as trans- and meta-disciplinarity as knowledge production imperatives; adopting hybrid, multimodal methodologies and conceptual approaches
  • Defining ecological crisis mitigation as a matter of societal transformation (visioning for emancipatory post-capitalist futures)
  • Acknowledging the systemic turn (transitioning to systems thinking as a primary epistemologically relevant mode of disciplined scientific inquiry)
  • Viewing the problematique (complex problems) as emergent phenomena caused by complex systems that necessarily represent interrelated social, ecological and technical elements
  • Holding a dual focus: regional science and the region’s planetary kuleana (think glocally, act glocally)
  • Cultivating a facilitative, horizontally networked, peer-governed knowledge-building culture
  • Actualizing the group’s self-organizing capacity; understanding organization and the organizing aspects of the living lab and knowledge commons formats
  • Exploring viable funding mechanisms for sustaining the commonwealth’s (re)production
  • Fusing knowledge-building horizons with strategic solution-seeking and design activities (e.g., co-construction of a knowledge commons)

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