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Transforming knowledge creation for environmental and epistemic justice;

EJAtlas co- director Leah Temper and EJAtlas coordinator Daniela Del Bene look back to several years of activist-academic collaboration on environmental justice research. The resulting article was published in Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability and remains an open access article until 6 August 2016. Temper and Del Bene argue that the globalization of Environmental Justice (EJ) calls for a relational understanding of scale. They also see a positive side on the existence of thousands of environmental conflicts: “Environmental conflicts spur productive alternatives, demonstrating the positive ideal of EJ.” Another core issue this article deals with is the way that knowledge about these conflicts is created. The authors argue that deliberative methods in the university can promote the definition of shared values and vision in research. “Co-design informed by ‘care-full’ scholarship creates spaces for convivial sharing.” They end with a cautious note: “power imbalances bound up in research co-production are not resolved through participation.”

Transforming knowledge creation for environmental and epistemic justice

By Leah Temper and Daniela Del Bene.


Environmental Justice is both a field of study and a social movement. This dialectical relationship between theory and praxis constitutes the basis of its empirical and theoretical richness. However, there is a persistent divide between theorist and activist approaches to Environmental Justice that needs to be abridged. This paper explains how through co-design we delved into the transformative potential of EJ research with and for social movements and aimed to unearth some of the tensions and colliding epistemologies inherent in co-production of knowledge. Activities included workshops and consultations, visioning through appreciative enquiry, a pro-action café, and an online survey. We conclude that co-design can help inform more just, inclusive and socially relevant scholarship, however we caution that the needed transformation in knowledge production and the dismantling of hierarchies remains an unfinished process that calls for ongoing attention to power dynamics and ‘care-full’ scholarship.

For further information

Read the full article here: (This link will provide free access to the article for free until August 6, 2016).

How to Cite: Temper, Leah, Del Bene, Daniela (2016)  Transforming knowledge creation for environmental and epistemic justice. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability; Volume 20, June 2016, Pages 41–49

The article describes and reflects upon a process of co-design of a new project on Environmental Justice and scholar-activist co-production of knowledge, ACKnowl-EJ, which has just kicked off at the ICTA institute from the UAB (Autonomous University of Barcelona).

workshop result

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