Exploring EcoCommons’ paths for impact and sustainability
Dr Robert Clemens1, Dora Molina1, Dr Emilia Decker1, Dr Elisa Bayraktarov1, Dr Lu Jin2
1Griffith University, Nathan, Australia
2Atlas of Living Australia (CSIRO), Black Mountain, Australia
Through a three year (2020-2023), $5 million investment from nine partner institutions, EcoCommons will transform ecological and environmental research by creating a trusted single platform for digital modelling and analysis needs. Scheduled for launch in November 2022, the question arises, what will happen to EcoCommons when the current investment runs out. How will the platform live on and how can we maximise its impact? Here we review CSIRO’s Impact Framework and share how it could be applied to the platform’s rollout, long-term sustainability, and impact objectives. The EcoCommons platform is currently reengineering two legacy platforms that have predominantly attracted lecturers, students, and users with a keen interest in learning about complex ecological methods using large datasets. There is an undisputed path to impact when providing eResearch Services for educational purposes. CSIRO’s framework encourages us to ask if there might also be other impact pathways. Here, we explore which industry, government department, or organisation might generate a faster pathway to impact. Are we building the right tools for the right audiences? Should we be encouraging our users to do better science? How can we inspire our users to conduct investigations that will improve environmental outcomes? Finally, which of our impact pathways also provide a pathway to sustainability? In this talk, we review how our plan is evolving as we think more directly about both impact and sustainability.
Rob Clemens is the new Change and Communications Manager at EcoCommons. Rob joined the EcoCommons team from BirdLife Australia. He previously completed a PhD at UQ on shorebirds and conducted fieldwork on raptors in the USA.