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Project period
1. January 2011 - 30. June 2014


RESPONDER aims to develop, implement and evaluate a knowledge brokerage system on managing the contradictions of sustainable consumption and economic growth. Therefore the project will not just bridge the gap between science and policy, but will also improve the mutual understanding between what could be called the “pro-growth community” (i.e. economists and policy makers oriented towards the EU Lisbon Strategy) and the “beyond-growth community” (i.e. scientists oriented towards the limits to growth and policy makers involved in the sustainable development debate). In a series of EU dialogues a system map of sustainable consumption and economic growth will be developed together by researchers and policy makers in order to understand paradigmatic contradictions, conflicts of interest and trade-offs. The map will constitute the basis for systematizing empirical findings, questioning different assumptions, analysing policies and identifying new research questions. In a series of multinational knowledge brokerage events, the generic map will be applied to five policy areas (housing, energy, financial, transport and agricultural policies). An internet-based knowledge platform will support a continuous dialogue by “trading” information on facts, trends, policies and experiences based on system maps. Policy makers will benefit from RESPONDER by experiencing innovative forms of knowledge brokerage, by getting easy access to research findings and by networking. Researchers will benefit by understanding better the rationality of decision makers, by getting access to them, by improving the mutual understanding across different paradigms and by elaborating a joint research agenda. The consortium consists of 2 ministries, 5 universities and 3 research institutes, the Advisory Board consists of Members of the European Parliament, the business sector, NGOs and the OECD. RESPONDER is supported by policy makers from 20 European member states committing themselves to participate.