The RESPONDER project

The RESPONDER (Linking Research and Policy Making for Managing the Contradictions of Sustainable Consumption and Economic Growth) project was supported by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme. The RESPONDER consortium consisted of two ministries, five universities and three research institutes and was coordinated by Andre Martinuzzi of the Vienna University of Economics. The project started in January 2011 and finished in June 2014. The overall aim of the RESPONDER project was to promote sustainable consumption by exploring novel ways of knowledge brokerage that help to improve the management of potential political, social and economic contradictions with economic growth.  Thus, the project was not conducting new research in this area, but was exploiting existing research by new integrative approaches to linking research results to policy-making. The main knowledge brokerage approach used in the RESPONDER project was “participatory system mapping”. SERI led two work packages in the RESPONDER project. In the first, three dialogues at the European level were organized. The first dialogue (October 2011, Berlin) focused on the overall debate about economic growth, the second looked at green economy with particular attention to jobs and the third tackled a series of questions about technological, social and sustainable innovation. These events all included various approaches to knowledge brokerage between scientists and policy-makers, including the core approach of the project – participatory system mapping. In the second work package, SERI organized a “peer review” of the project. This involved interviewing a range of project partners about their experience with knowledge brokerage in a series of knowledge brokerage events organized and run during the course of the project on central topics of the sustainable consumption and production: food, mobility, housing, finance and consumer electronics. The synthesis of these interviews was discussed with a small group of peers at a meeting hosted by SERI in February 2014. The results of the peer review confirmed that particular approach towards knowledge brokerage  tested in the RESPONDER project – participatory system mapping – could indeed contribute to knowledge brokerage between scientists and policy-makers within a well-designed dialogue process. The website of the RESPONDER project ( documents the results of the project including interviews, briefing notes and examples of the system maps produced during the project. More info can be also found at our project-site: RESPONDER.

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