#IESTurningTheTide - Speed Networking: Working across disciplines and sectors to solve environmental challenges

Background image of multicoloured boardgame counters. Overlaid with text reading 'Speed Networking. Working across disciplines and sectors to solve environmental challenges. 30th November 12pm - 1pm GMT. Online #IESTurningTheTide.' Features logos for Ocean Partnerships, the IES and the UN Ocean Decade in the bottom right corner.
Thursday, 30 November 2023 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Join us for this lunchtime Speed Networking event, with the focus on bringing people together across disciplines and sectors to address environmental challenges. The session will begin with a 10 minute introduction from our speaker, Dr Kathryn Fradera, followed by the speed networking. For the speed networking we will be pairing people up to talk for 7 minutes at a time over the course of the hour. We encourage people from all disciplines to join this session, not exclusively marine and coastal science, to exchange ideas and foster collaborative working .

Within the wide array of marine-related disciplines we all have our niches and specialties, and we all have important roles to play in the offshore projects we help to make happen. In our focus on our specialties are we risking limiting innovation and problem-solving? The environmental challenges we face need joined-up thinking, and nowhere is this truer than with the large-scale developments, and conservation challenges, in our marine spaces. We need solutions where the engineering design is compatible with environmental protection. We need to better understand what we are all doing and where we fit into the wider system. In this event you will have the opportunity to network with people outside of our usual circles. Whether this is cross sector (public, private, research, NGO) or cross discipline (within and across marine environmental sciences and engineering), understanding problems from other perspectives helps us to find solutions which work in more joined-up ways.

Using her experience within offshore wind and offshore consenting, Kathryn will explore why getting out of our own headspaces and challenging the assumptions we have about how other disciplines and sectors work and discovering those ‘unknown unknowns’ about different parts of project planning and delivery, can help us all work together to solve the environmental challenges we are facing. This is about marine scientists asking: “what can I learn from marine planners?” and engineers designing offshore structures asking: “what can I learn from marine biologists?”. It’s through opening ourselves up to other perspectives, that we learn new ways of working, gain insight into the bigger picture and create the opportunity to learn from others and innovate within our sectors and disciplines.

This event has been organised in collaboration with Ocean Partnerships as part of our Turning the Tide: systems thinking for a sustainable ocean project, which has been endorsed as a UN Ocean Decade Activity. Join our dedicated mailing list to stay up to date on future project activities and hear about ways to collaborate.  

Introduction to Ocean Partnerships

Ocean Partnerships (OP) is a growing networking opportunity for those interested in the marine environment. Its aim is to connect people and foster collaborations by offering free monthly "Speed Networking" events: 1-hour online sessions, where participants are presented with a theme and invited to join breakout rooms - to discuss, exchange experiences and network.

OP was created by the "Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland" (MASTS), the "People Ocean Planet" Initiative (POP) and the "Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources" Programme (SMMR). It is a fantastic way to meet new people outside your usual network, to get inspired and to just have fun!


Our speaker


Dr Kathryn Fradera is an expert on marine management and decision making and has built her career exploring how environmental and social values and definitions can be incorporated into marine governance. A spatial planner by training, Kathryn has applied this knowledge to the marine environment working within the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) on the consenting of marine industries, including extensive work on offshore wind.
Throughout her career, Kathryn has been interested in how qualitative data can be used as evidence within policy development and marine consenting processes, and her PhD explored how public space and production of space theories can be used to understand how stakeholder groups and users of the sea all play a part in defining the space in which marine governance operates. Kathryn currently provides strategic advice to a number of public sector organisations.
Kathryn regularly contributes to publications and impact work for both the IES and the Institute of Environmental Assessment & Management (IEMA) and sits on various committees within both organisations, with a focus on marine regulation and policy. She recently contributed to the IES's 'Let's Get Technical' video series, where she discusses the challenges for joining up consenting processes for offshore wind and the terrestrial components of a project. Kathryn is a Chartered Environmentalist and provides mentorship for Institute of Environmental Assessment & Management (IEMA) candidates.

The event is free to attend and open to all.