Welcome to MLS and DS sessions

Here you can find the MLS & DS Website

Mutual Learning Sessions (MLS)

General Description

A Mutual  Learning Session (MLS) deals with one specific case or a small set of cases. Real-world cases are favorite subjects to understand options and barriers of sustainable transitions as they allow for in-depth understanding of the complexity and contextualization and thus the multi-layered natures which have to be understood for successful, sustainable transitions. Typical cases may be a certain phosphorus mine, a fertilizer production site or (regional) market, phosphorus use by farmers of a certain agro-system or region, phosphorus management, recycling schemes at a sewage treatment plant, etc.

The overall aim of MLS is to better understand the specific case and to extract the generic from a specific case in order to draw conclutions for general strategies and other cases. Thus, we have to define what a case stands for, or to express it in other terms, we have to identify the population of cases which are similar and from which we may learn about the mechanisms, barriers and options of sustainable transitions. Given the uniqueness of each case, one must acknowledge that no direct comparisons are targeted/ allowed, but that the understanding of each case is required before generic conclusions on sustainable transitions can be made.  

MLS bring together people with different experiences, knowledge, responsibilities and interests related to the case: case experts, who have lived with or have first-hand experience with a case and who embody ‘experiential knowledge’; people from practice, who have knowledge of similar cases, scientists from different disciplines who may explain certain phenomena, aspects or dynamics of the case, policymakers who are framing the case directly or indirectly (local/regional, national, international) and potentially other stakeholders interested in the case. A MLS should consist of 8-15 experts.

MLS at the 2013 Bejing Conference

Cases for MLS at the 2013 Beijing Conference should help to answer the critical questions which have been identified in the 3rd and 4th Global TraPs Workshops. According to the guiding theme of the Conference “Learning from cases – exploring policy options” – the specific aim is to formulate strategies which case agents may take as well as policy options which may facilitate sustainable transitions.

There will be three different types of MLS at the 2013 Bejing Conference: Chines Cases, which allow for learning by visiting the case (in-situ MLS), single case MLS which relate to one single case and multiple case MLS which consider a smal number of cases of comparable aspects. Most important is the selection of a case and the understanding of the specific context, interest and perspectives from which a case is viewed. The selection of the MLS at the 2013 Bejing Conference have been thorougly selected, based on the former mutual learning process in Global TraPs.


Dialogue Sessions (DS)

General description

A dialogue session starts from a specific topic, theme, phenomenon or concern. Typical topics are the volatility of phosphorus prices, policy means which may foster phosphorus recycling, means for enhancing supply security or strategies for improving the relation between fertilizer and crops in highly weathered soils.

The basic idea of a DS is triangulation. The same topic should be considered from different perspectives which allows for a joint framing of the given topic/phenomenon as a basis for mutual understanding.  DS are based on short written inputs (aprox. 5), which will be summarized and subsequently briefly discussed in the opening of a DS. Then, the plenary may define tasks for small groups to structure and to deal with recognizing special aspects which must be better understood to identify meaningful options.

DS at the 2013 Global TraPs Bejing Conference

At the 2013 Bejing Conference all work of the group should be dedicated to defining options both for the key actors and their interactions, as well as for policy means which frame how a specific topic, theme or concern may be dealt with. Each DS at the 2013 Bejing Conference will consist of  8-15 experts and will particularly pay attention to intercultural perspectives. Further, hypotheses on how to sustainably deal with a case (e.g. how to mitigate unwanted price peaks) should be formulated. Practically, inputs should be provided on the most salient (and controversial) perspectives.

Here you can find the MLS & DS Website