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SONYA was present at the International Congress of Ecological Humanities in Madrid

Published on June 13, 2023 Updated on June 13, 2023

Taís González, SONYA's PhD candidate, presented her research on how bottom-up collaborative processes can contribute to the transformation towards regenerative sustainability and support transdisciplinary research.

Taís González, doctoral student at SONYA, and part of the research team of XPaths project, which is short for Science in action: Intersecting pathways to the SDGs across scales in the drylands. XPaths is a collaborative research project that explores how to create an inclusive pathway that will lead to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). XPaths is hosted at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, funded by Formas, the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development, and distributed between partners in Brazil, Senegal, Sweden, Brussels, and Spain. https://www.xpathsfutures.org/

XPaths takes a broad perspective by connecting local and global scales and different narratives about desired futures. The arid and semi-arid regions of Brazil, Spain, and Senegal serve as case studies for the project, which each have different levels of socioeconomic development and different institutional and historical contexts. As an action-research process, the project includes researchers facilitating the creation or support of coalitions with local and regional stakeholders for them to act as triggers for change towards sustainability based on the project results. For this, constructive dialogues between actors to provide a broad perspective on how the SDGs could or should be achieved were realized throughout 2022. The doctoral candidate presented her efforts in Brazil, responsible for six workshops and various formal and informal meetings related to the project, totalling almost 300 stakeholders involved in the process of envisioning sustainable futures. The collaborative process began at the end of 2021 and ended in May 2023.

The doctorate proposal within the XPaths and presented in the Congress under the theme "Transdisciplinary efforts between humanities and science" was a methodological approach, an invitation to think about necessary transformations to integrate the perspectives of the traditional communities of the Brazilian semi-arid and to think with them about how to translate their sustainability into a more general understanding, moreover, to open spaces for their voices, inside and outside of the project. Therefore, the transformation had to start within the project itself and in the way the research was carried out and use decoloniality as a praxis, inserting the values and onto-epistemologies of traditional communities as lenses to examine the proposed questions, in addition to counting the members of these communities as co-authors in this process. Inspired by Orlando Fals Borda's Participatory Action Research (1987) and Paulo Freire's emancipatory pedagogical theories, the research was based on feeling-thinking, emotions and experiences (or vivências) and how these collaborate for a more inclusive and horizontal participation in transdisciplinary research. Carried out with traditional communities in the Brazilian semi-arid region and, eventually, integrated a new scale within the XPaths project - the community scale.

on the June 13, 2023