Report | Towards Diversity and Inclusivity in Sustainability Governance | By Marieke Meesters et al.

Please find below the report of our colleagues from the WCSG Diversity & Inclusivity Incubator that started last summer. Comprised of a group of eleven researchers from four chair groups (ENP, FNP, LAW, PAP), we conducted an exploratory pilot study on the issues and opportunities regarding discrimination and racism in our cluster. We conducted a curriculum mapping exercise, a survey and guided group discussions. In this report, we describe our results regarding research and education, and explain some of the struggles we encountered during the process. For many researchers involved in the incubator team, it was both a pleasure and a challenge to engage with ‘diversity work’, as it required us to discuss uncomfortable topics like privilege, experiences of exclusion and discrimination, and personal responsibilities to counter such practices.

Our findings on education suggest that students who were not raised or educated in western countries could be at a disadvantage in our educational system, on top of facing direct and indirect forms of discrimination and stereotyping. In terms of research, we identified issues regarding extractive research practices and citational justice. In the report, you will find several recommendations organized per actor that could aid individual and collective reflection as well as actions to foster inclusive teaching and research spheres. We formulated recommendations for Graduate Schools, the WCSG management, chair holders, course coordinators, researchers, lecturers and supervisors of PhD and thesis students, which we hope will be of inspiration to further the many existing initiatives taken by individuals and groups in our collective process to counter racism, discrimination and other structural exclusions.

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