The Project

ACKnowl-EJ (Academic-Activist Co-Produced Knowledge for Environmental Justice) is a network of scholars and activists engaged in action and collaborative research, that aims to analyze the transformative potential of community responses to extractivism and alternatives born from resistance. We aim to co-produce knowledge that can empower communities to push for change and geared towards the needs of social groups, advocates, citizens and social movements.

The ACKnowl-EJ network emphasizes the transformative nature of movements against ‘extractivism’ in charting paths towards sustainable and equitable futures  from the ground up, based on the assumption that therein lies the greatest potential action and agency for dealing with environmental and social crises today.

The project also responds to the need for a deeper enquiry into the co-­‐production of knowledge and how activist, community and expert epistemologies complement and collide in processes of joint knowledge production. We believe that innovative research is needed to understand both the mechanisms of exclusion and the mechanisms through which conflicts become forces for transformation and through which citizen empowerment happens.

Acknowl-ej aims to achieve the following main objectives:

1) To stimulate political debate regarding social conflicts over the environment

2) To uncover and describe the mechanisms under which environmental injustices are reproduced within a social-­‐metabolic perspective

3) An epistemological enquiry into the co-­‐production of knowledge, praxis and action for EJ and sustainability.

4) Examination of conflict transformation processes and concrete alternatives to well-being and how they are actualized and lead to empowerment processes at social, community and individual levels.

5) Doing so by an innovative collaborative process in which activists and academics, and activists-­‐academics interchange knowledge and methods.

Our work is organized along 4 main transversal processes of collaboration and reflexivity:

[ut_service_column icon=”fa fa-leaf” href=”““” headline=”The Environmental Justice Atlas” effect=”none”]The network will expand the work of the groundbreaking Atlas of Environmental Justice (, and develop an Arab regional platform to improve the reach and impact of the EJAtlas. We also co-create featured maps in collaboration with social movements to visibilize inspiring struggles and processes and analyze the Atlas database. [/ut_service_column]

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[ut_service_column icon=”fa fa-refresh” headline=”Understanding Transformations”]Develop and apply frameworks for alternatives and conflict transformation that are relevant across cultural contexts.[/ut_service_column]

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[ut_service_column headline=”Case studies” icon=”fa fa-book”]Our in-­depth case studies apply participatory action research approaches to study the transformational potential within environmental conflicts and how they lead to empowering processes through democratic participation, renewed ecological citizenship, collective agency and new institutional forms for sustainable use of the environment. Lessons and principles that contribute to the understanding of transformations will be drawn out. [/ut_service_column]

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[ut_service_column headline=”Sharing Knowledge and Worldviews” icon=”fa fa-eye”]The project is developing different methodological approaches to co-produce knowledge and share it. We also aim to collect, understand, consolidate and synthetise alternative narratives, practices and visions emerging from grassroots struggles around the world and contribute to building a common framework of values and principles and create spaces of exchange, learning and collaboration among Worldviews. [/ut_service_column]

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The ACKnowl-EJ Network is one of three transformative knowledge networks funded under the International Social Sciences Council Transformations to Sustainability Programme.  The three transformative knowledge networks are supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The programme forms part of the wider Future Earth Science Programme