• 12 December 2022

SHiFT – Social Sciences and Humanities for transformation and climate resilience


  • How can we imagine a sustainable future?
  • How can desirable changes be upscaled and expanded?
  • What methods and approaches from within the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities domains can be used for transformation and climate resilience?
  • How can we give a voice to marginalised groups and future generations?
  • How can we debate the future of our planet and desirable connections between society, technology and nature?

SHiFT is the name, and the purpose, of COST Action CA21166 recently approved and whose kick-off took place last September 2022.

The main aim and objective of the Action is to SHiFT aims to address the challenge of generating innovative and actionable pathways by engaging with the ‘critical practice’ dimensions of transformation. A ‘critical practice’ approach explores transformation processes in practice across different dimensions which include research, policy, business, community and individual practices.

The breadth and complexity of climate change issues require a multidisplicinar and diversified approach, imposing the indispensability of convening and strengthening research and using SSH methodologies. SHIFT aims to fostering more creative, future-oriented and tangible solutions for connecting and mobilising SSH research in order to address the challenge of accelerating change in an inclusive and responsible manner.  Deepen our understanding of practices involved in ‘doing transformation’ and to promote a SHiFT in thinking with regards to the role of transdisciplinary SSH research in these emerging and evolving spaces.

ShiFT’s mission is so to contribute to raising awareness to climate change societal transition and transformation; redirecting a wide variety of actors towards sustainability through the Arts and SSH; the expanding universe of artists and researchers to focus on climate change; generating innovative and actionable pathways by engaging with the ‘critical practice’ dimensions of transformation.

Reflect, Act, Create and Share.  These are the strong words that inspire and structure this COST Action into four Working Groups:

  • WG1: Reflect on critical practice interventions, aims to explore concepts and theoretical framings for inclusive, reflexive and hybridized approaches to knowledge co-production in critical practice
  • WG2: Action-based and transdisciplinary tools for engagement, aims the of a dynamic blended platform for identification, sharing and co-development of practice-based and experiment-driven engagement resources and tools
  • WG3: Creative practices, arts and outreach, aims to explore the arts outside conventional parameters of communication and outreach through traditional exhibitions and display, but as a generator for knowledge production, climate action and change
  • WG4: Sharing, disseminating and exchanging knowledge, aims to develop impactful dissemination and communication tools toward a circular, impactful and connected hub.

SHiFT is based on a collaborative matrix. It will be open to a larger community, including other countries and multiple stakeholders collective (higher education institutions, companies, museums and other cultural institutions) and individual (artists, curators, GLAM sector and independent actors).  ShiFT will constitute an open and just ground for researchers, practitioners and other stakeholders (with focus on Young Researchers and Innovators).

The digital dimension is fundamental towards engagement and sharing, promoting the open and shared platform for knowledge exchange among the Arts, SSH other sciences and society (with focus on Inclusive Target Countries).

SHiFT has the inspiration and support of JPI Climate.

We are all needed for this change for transformation and climate resilience.

  • Chair: Maria Fernanda Rollo (PT)
  • Vice-Chair: Alexandra Revez (IE)
  • WG1: Aet Annist (EE), Lukas Meyer (AT); Zoran Turza (HR)
  • WG2: Evan Boyle (IE), Natalia Shatirishvili (GE), Dániel Mikecz (HU), Maša Kovič Dine (SI)
  • WG3: Julia Bentz (DE/PT), Jelena Ristic Trajkovic (RS)
  • WG4: Pavel Raska (CZ), Savis Gohari (NO), Lena Bloemertz (CH)
  • Grants coordinator: Fátima Alves (PT), Siddharth Sareen (NO); Svetla Boneva (BG)
  • Science communication coordinator: Niall Dunphy (IE), Rita Grinvalde (LV)

Host Institution – NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal

MoU – https://e-services.cost.eu/files/domain_files/CA/Action_CA21166/mou/CA21166-e.pdf
CSO Approval date – 27 May 2022
Start date – 26 September 2022
End date – 25 September 2026

Contact – shiftcost@fcsh.unl.pt

To see more and join SHiFT: https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA21166/#tabs+Name:Working%20Groups%20and%20Membership

Figure 1. SHiFT Strategy.


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