Stefan Leins, Assistant Professor, University of Konstanz.

Keywords: knowledge dissemination; diverse stakeholders

Based on two years of research in Zambia, Switzerland and China, the interdisciplinary research project examined the supply and value chain of one metal, copper, across three countries, Zambia, Switzerland and China. Researchers, NGOs, civil society activists and one international organization aimed to map the actors involved and the “capture of value” along the copper chain linking Zambia to China. 

Stefan emphasizes the importance of disseminating the research and “translating” the results from academic to non-academic language, to make them accessible to the general public, and to ensure that different societal actors can understand how to use the results and what they should do differently. The take away is that researchers and Universities should increase their efforts in creating dialogues with the public through knowledge dissemination as a way to create societal engagement. 

Stefan shared that throughout the duration of the Valueworks project they had a chance to collaborate with various non-academic stakeholders, including a variety of local and international NGOs and CSOs. He learnt that besides the vast knowledge of these organizations and their value in co-creating research findings, collaborations with these actors create fruitful opportunities for translation and communication of academic findings to the broad population. Stefan shares that in the future he will continue collaborating with non-academic actors because it helps achieving important societal impact. 

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