Ocean citizen knowledge in action


ERC Tradition is combining inter- and transdisciplinary research methods to investigate, through collective memories of ocean citizens, the role of historical processes (including political, economic, environmental, etc) in shaping future ocean sustainability pathways. These activities will enable knowledge exchange between academics, policy-makers and artisanal fishers in Brazil, to jointly build community resilience and collective action to face social and environmental drivers of change. 

Our project in this front has three objectives: 1) to establish a pilot socio-technical network encompassing several coastal artisanal fishers and supportive orgs in some fishing territories in Brazil (e.g., Babitonga bay ecosystem), hence supporting coastal fishers in advancing knowledge about blue justice (i.e., a critical stance on blue economy) and enabling delineation of their own networked strategies; 2) such networking will be facilitated by a tailored board game Prototype 1.0 – a toolbox to be played over a table or on the floor, based on a standard protocol for ‘participatory network mapping’ for tailored use in Blue Justice contexts. This toolbox 1.0 will be tested by partners across Brazil to provide feedback and finally; 3) ERC Tradition team will identify synergies between partners creative feedback ideas and, through ‘gamification’ of the toolbox, new games may emerge (competitive/cooperative), tailored to alternative blue justice themes, fishing territories and/or audiences of interest to our pilot socio-technical network. These objectives combined may propel longer term collaborations via experimental social learning and action, crafting sustainability transition management (or social innovation labs) in important historical sites across Brazil. 

The basic protocol of the game follows four steps: 1) participants discuss the meaning and legacy of blue justice / economy towards their communities, and agree on a set of issues that they want to discuss further (e.g., inclusive governance, gender equity, economic benefits, environmental justice, human rights, etc); 2) participants identify what are the most important actors involved with that particular issue; 3) participants discuss how identified actors interact with each others in relation to the causation of the blue justice issue but also how to transform the situation; 4) participants discuss and identify how powerful / influential each actor is in the envisioned network. Hence our Prototype 1.0 toolbox will contain cards, avatars of blue economy actors (public, resource users, forums/networks and NGOs) and a guiding booklet for the application of the approach. This toolbox will be used for educational, extension and community-led research purposes.