Convergence Working Groups
A current foundational activity for the NNA-CO convergence research focus is support of three Convergence Working Groups (CWG). These groups bring together representatives across NNA projects to tackle important community issues, explore and/or establish best practices, connect with potentially interested parties, and bring their findings to the broader community. Find out more at the CWG website by clicking the image below.
Supporting Convergence Research at the NNA-CO
The NNA-CO is committed to furthering convergence research—research that solves vexing and complex research challenges that are pivotal for addressing societal needs. NSF identifies two key characteristics of convergence research. First, convergence research is driven by a specific and compelling problem that is generally inspired by the need to address a specific challenge or opportunity, which may develop from deep scientific questions or critical societal needs. Second, convergence research is formed from deep integration across disciplines. The NNA initiative emphasizes convergence across the physical environment, social systems, and the built environment, though all disciplines and knowledge systems are welcome in addressing the challenges of a rapidly changing Arctic. As individuals across fields work together, knowledge, ideas, methods, and languages intermingle, expanding the possibilities to find transformational new frameworks and to sustain long-term collaboration across communities.
Along with supporting the Convergence Working Groups, the NNA-CO will continue to explore and support other activities to encourage convergence research. For example:
- To enhance knowledge exchange and spur new connections, the NNA-CO may host online webinars from NNA investigators and collaborators.
- Recognizing the collective responsibility of the NNA community to engage within policy and decision making, the NNA-CO will collaborate with the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) on supporting forums for sharing convergence related information and learning.
- The NNA-CO may co-develop a ‘science for society’ storytelling framework that, as an adaption of the ‘science policy brief’ concept, can help to convey the state of NNA science and its societal importance through narratives and visualizations.
Convergence Research at the National Science Foundation
Growing Convergence Research was identified by the NSF in 2016 as one of the 10 Big Ideas for Future NSF Investments, and NSF is emphasizing convergence across the Foundation’s activities. To understand how NSF views Convergence Research, they provide information on what it is, reports and references that address convergence, characteristics of convergence projects, and examples of convergence projects. You can also learn from others, for example via the recorded Growing Convergence Research webinars.
Convergence Research and Navigating the New Arctic
Many resources and reports that began to use the phrase ‘convergence research’ and to discuss it within the sciences were focused on links across technology, life sciences, and physical sciences. The concepts of convergence research, however, are more widely applicable. While not yet well-represented in the scientific and academic literature, convergence research may underpin many successful projects that address the changing Arctic.
Articles addressing Convergence Research in the Arctic include:
- ‘On the Road to Convergence Research’ by Niki Wilson
- ‘Is A Common Goal A False Hope in Convergence Research?: Opportunities and Challenges of International Convergence Research to Address Arctic Change’ by Ernakovich et al.
We welcome community recommendations for additional resources.