The café model communicates the sustainability research findings to the general public for COP28

By Asitha Jayawardena

Having launched a research magazine (called ‘Café model’) which channels the published research findings to the general public in Bristol in May 2018, I suffered a stroke on 14 August 2018.

While improving from the stroke, I published the second issue in May 2019 as well as another trial issue in London.

Unfortunately, in 2020, both magazines were terminated due to the Covid pandemic.

Now, after COP27, it is time to re-launch the novel initiative again. This is the story.

The research magazine of the Café model in Bristol

After several months of hard work, in May 2018, my creation was launched as the Café SYSTEM CHANGE Magazine. It was published in collaboration with Dr Jenneth Parker, Academic Editor, of SYSTEM CHANGE Journal https://systemchange.online and Research Director of The Schumacher Institute in Bristol.

This research magazine aimed to communicate the findings of the research papers of the System Change journal to the general public. It started as an innovative enterprise.

There were indeed research magazines for researchers, businesses or policymakers but this one was for the general public.

In this Café SYSTEM CHANGE magazine, five research papers were presented, with each accounting for two pages, and the number of pages of the publication was 14. The messages by Ian Roderick Director of The Schumacher Institute and Dr Jenneth Parker, sustainable systems with a cup of coffee (hence the Café model) and further reading and watching took the rest.

In other words, the Café model comprised:

• The summary of the published research papers in simple language 

• The quotes related to the topic of the papers

• The extracts of the papers (i.e., key sentences)

• The information related to the papers (e.g., on terminology)

• The infographics from the papers (if available)

• The reference to the original research papers

Once the reader gains an insight into the research paper, he or she can access the full paper (or the abstract of the paper if the full paper is subject to a paywall).

I had a feeling that the café model could be published by other institutions or organisations as there were not any magazines targeting the general public. 

A stroke but still came to the second issue

On 14 August 2018, I suffered a stroke from nowhere. I have never smoked or drunk. My blood pressure was on the low side. I had no diabetes. And my cholesterol level was low. Still, I had a stroke.

While I slowly improved from the stroke, in May 2019, I published the second issue.

The second issue comprised 15 pages and it presented four research papers, one page each. The messages (page 2), Schumacher-themed ‘windows’ of engagement (page 3), a profile of a researcher (page 5) and the books that were published (page 8) filled up the remaining space.

The first and the second issues of the Café System Change Research Magazine can be downloaded here:

Alternatively, you can visit:

Issue 2: https://www.schumacherinstitute.org.uk/download/pubs/cafe/Cafe-System-Change-Issue-2.pdf

Issue 1: https://www.schumacherinstitute.org.uk/download/pubs/cafe/CafeSCmag-01-180522-NEW.pdf

A trial version of the research magazine for London

In 2019, I published a trial version of this magazine for the London Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), based at London South Bank University.

The magazine consisted of nine pages, presenting three research papers on education, two pages each. The messages from Professor Ros Wade and Lynn Vickery, ESD or Education for Sustainability (EfS)? and 17 SDGs and SDG 4 on Education filled the remaining of the magazine.

The Sustainability Research Café magazine can be downloaded here:

Alternatively, you can visit:

The café model terminated but now is the time to restart for COP28

Dawned 2020 and the Covid pandemic gradually hit the entire world.

The result? Both magazines that would communicate the research findings to the general public were terminated.

But, at the end of November 2022, COP27 is over now. We must take the sustainability research findings to the general public through this magazine of the café model so that, in the next 12 months, the readers will be fine-tuned to make the climate decisions in COP28 in Dubai, the UAE.

If you believe that the Research Magazine of the Café model should be funded so that it can communicate the research findings to the general public, please contact me by email at asitha_jayawardena@yahoo.com.

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