Environmental Social Science Research Group (ESSRG)
ESSRG Ltd. is a small research and development enterprise (R&D SME), a company working on the boundaries of environmental and social sciences, practiced in a transdisciplinary way. It operates as a stand-alone company with close links to the Hungarian academic community, particularly to Szent István University, Gödöllő, Corvinus University of Budapest, and the Institute of Ecology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
ESSRG aims to develop social science research methods in connection with environmental sciences. Fellows of ESSRG have their professional roots in various disciplines ranging from agri-environmental engineering through ecological economics to rural and environmental sociology. They are active in different global and European scientific networks, particularly the International and European Societies for Ecological Economics (Hungarian contact point), the Environment & Society Research Network of the European Sociological Association (participating in the scientific board).
ESSRG has developed a special expertise on the biodiversity and nature conservation science-policy interface, conducting policy analysis, stakeholder engagement, and participatory planning and valuation. ESSRG is being involved in alternative agro-food systems research and policy development, including local food systems development and conserving and promoting agro-biodiversity in Hungary. ESSRG also embarks on various community and stakeholder engagement activities by involving local people, particularly marginalised communities, as co-researchers. ESSRG developed competencies, practical skills that are highly important for managing conflict-intensive boundaries. Action research methods and community development, participatory planning, conflict management and mediation competencies constitute an integral part of capabilities and skills developed and cultivated by ESSRG. ESSRG has established the first Hungarian Science Shop for 2005, and operates as a Hungarian contact point for the Living Knowledge and Science Café Networks, which promotes public dialogues around socially relevant scientific issues.