Centre of Actionable Knowledges (AcKnowledges)


The proposed centre seeks to enact durable changes in how societies identify, select, quality assure and mobilize knowledge for evidence-informed decision making by investigating, encouraging and experimenting with greater inclusivity and pluralism.

AcKnowledges' analytical framework illustrated
AcKnowledges' analytical framework.

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In order to resolve the most pressing issues of our times, it is paramount that the actionable knowledge base is pluralized to include the widest possible range of high quality, potentially actionable knowledges. The CoE will devise approaches to curation of actionable knowledges that better match the required epistemic diversity needed to govern contemporary complex issues.

The mission of the Centre is to enable and catalyze wide-ranging reforms of the social organization of expertise. In order to do so, we seek to devise and apply a transformative framework accommodating diversification of knowledge forms in the co-creation of the actionable knowledges that inform societal responses to pressing issues.

Empirically grounded in comparative analysis of salient cases, we will uncover the practices of institutionalized expertise. We seek to learn from cases by scrutinizing unquestioned framings and debate the implications of governance and action in a participatory mode. To this end, the Centre will engage with extended peer communities around the cases, involving non-academics and different knowledge systems. We are open to learn from their ways of dealing with uncertainty, complexity and ignorance. We seek to pluralize knowledge for action by engaging with extended peer communities and working with these communities to co-create a novel approach to the identification, curation, quality assurance and mobilization of actionable knowledges for informed decision-making. An ethos of care that spotlights neglected matters will guide this work.

Recognizing epistemic pluralism does not mean ‘anything goes’. It means greater humility and reflexivity regarding presently dominant ways of knowing. The challenge for our CoE is to ascertain how actionable knowledge can be fruitfully pluralized in practice, given that it is difficult to identify and mobilize relevant knowledge-holders and work within a diversity of ways of knowing. To pursue pluralization while attending to power requires preventing corporate capture or misinformation campaigners slipping into spaces of co-creation.

AcKnowledges will exercise significant scientific and societal impacts.

AcKnowledges will make fundamental contributions to empirical scholarship on the value of epistemic plurality in the creation of actionable knowledge for key societal challenges.

AcKnowledges will provide crucial insight into the processes by which key institutional actors identify, select, quality assure and mobilize knowledge for evidence-informed decision making on some of the most pressing issues of our time.

AcKnowledges will serve a new practice of knowledge curation and devise a ground-breaking Actionable Knowledge Framework that will allow science and society to integrate relevant knowledge from a plurality of knowledge holders in a more balanced way.

AcKnowledges will serve as a design studio and field-test site for transdisciplinary approaches to studying and affecting actionable knowledge, offering a dialogic forum for scholars and practitioners seeking to use new methods or share lessons.

AcKnowledges will collaborate with institutional front runners that are already experimenting with inclusive engagement spaces for the co-creation of actionable knowledge and promote intensified learning across diverse institutional settings.

AcKnowledges will serve as a transdisciplinary training environment for scholars and practitioners and leverage the central role of its host institution – the Centre for the Studies of the Sciences and the Humanities – in the education of doctoral candidates at the University of Bergen.