This briefing note considers how we canbecome more effective knowledge managers,so we can work together more effectively for asustainable future.There has been a growing emphasis on findingways to improve the communication,accessibility, and the potential impact of research findings in social, environmental andeconomic contexts. This has led to anabundance of approaches and methods forcommunicating and exchanging knowledge,which have yet to be properly evaluated.However, the majority of processes are rarelyfounded on current understanding of howknowledge is generated, exchanged andtransformed in socio-ecological systems. It israrely recognised that the way knowledge isperceived and constructed will affect theprocess and outcomes of knowledge exchangeprocesses; this has implications for the co-generation, acceptance and use of knowledge,and ultimately, how complex sustainabilityproblems are approached and knowledge ismanaged.
Knowledge management is increasingly seen as critical for effective management of social-ecological relationships. In parallel to its importance for effective environmental manage-ment, there is increasing pressure from universities to enhance the impact of researchthrough meaningful knowledge management.Knowledge exchange is one aspect of knowledge management gaining recent attention.There are many definitions of knowledge exchange, but generally it refers to the process of sharing, using, and co-generating information through various methods that are appropriateto the context, audience and purpose of communication. In the context of sustainability
‘knowledge exchange’ is often seen as a means for creating new sustainable outcomes and
behaviours.In this stage of the Sus-tainable Uplands pro- ject we are working tobuild an evidence basefor the sorts of knowl-edge exchange processthat are most likely toachieve their goals,and to improve ourtheoretical under-standing of howknowledge exchangeprocesses work.
Why do we need an improved approach to knowledgemanagement?