We invited more than 20 students and young researchers from different disciplines to Kathmandu, Nepal and took a deep dive into the methods and concepts of transdisciplinary research. Here, participants share their experinces.
The overarching goal of the Innovation Lab Nepal is to strengthen the livelihoods of rural populations by applying decentralised renewable energy solutions in combination with sustainable landscape management practices.
To that aim, a multi-stakeholder process will be established involving local community organisations, local and national public actors, private suppliers of technology and services, and academics and researchers.
The intention is to leverage the different expertise and knowledge of these stakeholders to:
- Identify the development opportunities and challenges facing the rural communities involved
- Assess which renewable energy and landscape management solutions can effectively exploit these opportunities
- Design, implement and evaluate transformative actions that unlock the full potential of the most promising energy and landscape solutions
The lack of sustainable livelihood opportunities in rural areas of Nepal is a key factor driving the migration of young men and women to urban centres and countries overseas. We predict that the widespread use of decentralised renewable energy and sustainable landscape management in rural communities will generate employment opportunities (in SMEs both on and off farms), increase food security (from diversified agricultural activities) and enhance the resilience of the natural ecosystems of their landscapes (particularly of the Himalayan forests).
Overall, the IL Nepal aims to bring about systemic change to increase the options for people to build prosperous and fulfilling lives in rural Nepal, whilst also helping to address global sustainability challenges.