Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability | 2019
Building a learning network: reflections from the RISA program
The challenges of applied climate science and decision making require deeper engagement across communities. The RISA program has sustained regional research to advance climate adaptation for 20+ years. Managed to build and sustain relationships through a network, RISA aims to foster capacity necessary for addressing complex climate and social welfare challenges. Reflecting on the design and evolution of the RISA network, we discuss three enduring design characteristics, pointing to examples of contributions to advancing practical climate risk management and adaptation, and relevance for similar networks. We offer our assessment of the utility of social learning as a way to understand the importance of these design characteristics and suggest it as a useful framing for network design and evolution. Challenges remain, but as it matures, we recognize the assets this network has to offer in terms of social learning and transformational change.