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Work In Progress

The Practical Fit of Concepts: Ecosystem services and the value of nature

13 May 2020

We had a bumper turnout for the third of our ISRU online Work In Progress sessions. Dr Jen Allan (Cardiff University) joined us in discussion of her paper exploring the career and demise of the concept of ‘ecosystem services’ – a widely heralded initiative designed to protect nature through translating its worth into an economic value. Having conducted interviews with actors from a range of relevant organizations, the paper suggests that while the concept offered a normative fit with prevailing liberal economics and organizations, it failed to offer a practical fit – with real world actionability proving difficult. The authors posit this highlights a limitation of existing ideation theories, that would predict the success of ecosystem services. The paper details and explores barriers to uptake of the concept through lack of practical fit across three levels; structural, organizational and agent.

Dr Allan’s presentation of the paper was followed by a fascinating Q&A.

Paper co-authored by Dr Allan and Hayley Stevenson (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella), Graeme Auld (Carleton University), James Meadowcroft (Carleton University) and Lorraine Elliot (Australian National University)

The audio of this session is available via the link below. Please enjoy and share!

Dr Jen Allan – The Practical Fit of Concepts: Ecosystem services and the value of nature.