On April 6, the Problématiques cluster – one of the 3Ps (Problématiques, Patterns, Paradigms) working groups researching global water governance issues – hosted NEWAVE’s first cross-cutting workshop. The 3Ps cross-cutting workshops are sessions organized to develop opportunities for collaboration and exchange of ideas among the 3Ps working groups in order to avoid the risk of ‘P-silos’. The first workshop successfully created a space for critical reflection, interchange of creative ideas, and network building.
NEWAVE’s first cross-cutting workshop has served as a crucial component in advancing our collective research agenda. Before this session, each of the 3Ps groups mainly worked on their research individually, with limited exchange between the groups. The workshop gave us the opportunity to cross-pollinate and brainstorm together thoroughly for the very first time. Indeed, during the event, we emphasized the fact that we are not working in different silos, but rather merging under a common heuristic framework.
The workshop was organized with the dual objective of: (a) learning how the groups are developing their work on each of the Ps and (b) identify commonalities and differences as we work towards synthesis. The session was divided into two main parts. During the first part, each sub-group was given the space to share updates on the progress of their work and had the opportunity to receive feedback from other network members. The second part of the workshop consisted of a small-group and plenary discussion revolving around the following guiding questions:
What are the discrepancies among the groups? At what level do they emerge (conceptual/assumptions/ paradigm or practical/methodological/analytical approach)?
What are the commonalities or opportunities for connections among the groups?
How to develop synergies among the 3P groups to produce the expected deliverables?
How do we harmonize the different work that we are doing?
How are we ensuring reflexivity in our work?
The first part of the cross-cutting workshop allowed all the 3Ps members to understand what stage of work each of the groups is at. It also offered insights into how each cluster is organizing their work, inspiring us to borrow some of the best practices from one another to boost efficiency and creativity. The second discussion-oriented part facilitated critical reflection on commonalities and discrepancies among the groups, guiding us towards considerations for harmonizing our work and creating productive synergies among the different groups.
Recently, cross-cutting trainings have gained recognition as pivotal in shaping one’s success in their professional life (Snow Andrade, 2020). Some of the key cross-cutting skills include critical thinking, teamwork, and problem-solving. In addition to relying and nurturing those skills, our cross-cutting workshop allowed us to practically apply interdisciplinarity and develop a holistic lens to advance NEWAVE’s collective research agenda.
We are looking forward to the next cross-cutting workshops, soon to be organized by the Patterns and Paradigms groups. The upcoming session will be hosted by the Patterns group and will take place during the NEWAVE Summer School this September 2022, in Barcelona, Spain. We are excited at the prospect of continuing this constructive process of idea exchange in person!