Academic research, no matter how scientific, can be deeply personal. Pursuing a PhD in a field like urban resilience demands an unwavering dedication to the topic driven by a genuine care for the issues at hand. While this passion can help motivate scholars, it is practically very difficult to bring one’s full self into academic endeavors, even when an institution explicitly recognizes that individuals’ unique perspectives and experiences can enrich their research and shed new light on complex problems. In this episode, Madison Horgan (PhD student, Arizona State University) interviews fellow ASU scholars Dr. Michele Clark and Taína Diaz-Reyes (PhD student) about how programs such as ASU’s Earth Systems Science for the Anthropocene Graduate Scholars Network (ESSA) can help create safe spaces for researchers, especially black, Indigenous, and people of color, who have unique and incredibly important perspectives on resilience and science, to bring their whole selves to their research.
Cultivating safe spaces for reflection and learning is especially important when working on place-based solutions alongside communities. Recognizing that urban resilience is not a one-size-fits-all concept, some scholars will partner with local communities to develop contextually relevant strategies. Solutions that are tailored to the specific challenges, needs, and aspirations of a particular community hold the potential for more meaningful and sustainable impact. However, to do this work well, researchers must learn how to ask the right questions to understand the nuances of each context and identify the most pressing issues that need to be addressed. Asking the right questions involves engaging with community members, stakeholders, and experts to gain a comprehensive understanding of the interconnected factors that contribute to urban resilience. Further, we discuss what it means to use the term “solutions” in the context of wicked challenges.
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@ESSA_ASU, @ MicheleDClark1, and @Tai_rannosaurus
If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes, e-mail us at email@example.com or find us on Twitter @FutureCitiesPod. Learn more about the NATURA project at natura-net.org.