In October 2019, as FRACTAL researchers and stakeholders from across the southern African region began planning the second phase of the project, the team hosted a virtual learning retreat. The decision to hold a virtual version was taken as a result of budget and carbon footprint considerations. As it turns out, this online learning experience was good practice for the current situation where FRACTAL’s face-to-face, interactive approach to transdisciplinary research (TDR) and learning engagements will need to be virtual while travel is restricted due to COVID-19. The team is currently developing its guidelines for virtual transdisciplinary climate research learning, taking into account everything they learned first hand back in October as well as best practice from the global research community.
FRACTAL’s initial virtual learning opportunity saw the team critically reflecting on the project’s Theory of Change (ToC) and it surfaced some interesting take-home messages and questions for the project’s co-ordinator, Alice McClure, that are relevant to others working in similar fields. Alice summarises her learnings in a blog she wrote for CSAG, which can be found here.