Learning about forest ownership and management issues in Europe while travelling: The Travellab approach
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CitationFeliciano, D. Blagojevic, D. Böhling, K. Hujala, T. Lawrence, A. Lidestav, G. Ludvig, A. Turner, T. Weiss, G. Zivojinovic, I. (2019). Learning about forest ownership and management issues in Europe while travelling: The Travellab approach. Forest policy and economics, 99, 32-42. 10.1016/j.forpol.2018.09.005.
Forest management, with its diverse land-use and institutional pressures, can be considered a “wicked problem”. Transdisciplinarity and social learning are considered relevant approaches of investigating “wicked problems” because they favour creative solutions, stakeholder involvement and the reframing of problems. Taking this into account, participant researchers in the COST Action FACESMAP developed the Travellab approach to enhance their understanding of forest ownership, management and policy across Europe. The Travellab favours interaction in a structured way, collection and analysis of the information discussed, reflection about the process and the topics learnt, and reframing of the discussion topics and of the interaction techniques. This article explores the effectiveness of the Travellab to enhance researchers' learning during interactions with stakeholders. The evidence presented indicates that the Travellab improved joint learning among researchers and enriched the quality of knowledge transferred, but did not effectively support knowledge exchange. Nevertheless, the Travellab added greater value to FACESMAP field visits when compared to ordinary field trips embedded in project meetings. The implementation of the Travellab approach in research projects of all sizes and international networks to improve group and individual learning is, therefore, highly recommended.