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Learning about social-ecological trade-offs
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3572-9275
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6635-9153
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Number of Authors: 62017 (English)In: Ecology & society, ISSN 1708-3087, E-ISSN 1708-3087, Vol. 22, no 1, article id 2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Trade-offs are manifestations of the complex dynamics in interdependent social-ecological systems. Addressing tradeoffs involves challenges of perception due to the dynamics of interdependence. We outline the challenges associated with addressing trade-offs and analyze knowledge coproduction as a practice that may contribute to tackling trade-offs in social-ecological systems. We discuss this through a case study in coastal Kenya in which an iterative knowledge coproduction process was facilitated to reveal social-ecological trade-offs in the face of ecological and socioeconomic change. Representatives of communities, government, and NGOs attended two integrative workshops in which methods derived from systems thinking, dialogue, participatory modeling, and scenarios were applied to encourage participants to engage and evaluate trade-offs. Based on process observation and interviews with participants and scientists, our analysis suggests that this process lead to increased appreciation of interdependences and the way in which trade-offs emerge from complex dynamics of interdependent factors. The process seemed to provoke a reflection of knowledge assumptions and narratives, and management goals for the social-ecological system. We also discuss how stakeholders link these insights to their practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 22, no 1, article id 2
Keywords [en]
complexity thinking, coproduction, knowledge, participatory modeling, scenarios, well-being
National Category
Biological Sciences Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Sustainability Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-143849DOI: 10.5751/ES-08920-220102ISI: 000399397700013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-143849DiVA, id: diva2:1105744
Available from: 2017-06-05 Created: 2017-06-05 Last updated: 2018-01-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Transformative Imagination: Re-imagining the world towards sustainability
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Transformative Imagination: Re-imagining the world towards sustainability
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A central task for sustainability science in the Anthropocene is to offer guidance on alternative pathways of change. Even though this search and implementation of pathways towards sustainability is likely to require profound social-ecological transformations, little is yet known about the individual and collective capacities needed to support such transformations. This thesis explores the connection between human imagination and sustainability transformations, and introduces the notion of the transformative imagination to support methodological innovation in sustainability sciences, and practices aiming to support transformations towards sustainability. The transformative imagination is suggested to support fundamentally new ways of seeing, feeling, encountering and envisioning the world. The thesis takes a transdisciplinary action-research approach and studies how specific participatory practices, including the arts, may foster the transformative imagination as a means to more skilfully respond to, anticipate and shape social-ecological trajectories in the Anthropocene. The four included papers, each explores how practices may support particular features of the imagination as a transformative capacity. Paper I analyses a case in coastal Kenya where participatory modelling and future scenarios are applied to foster imagination of dynamics of interdependences and trade-offs within the context of poverty alleviation and ecosystems change. Paper II explores system diagrams and scenarios as practices for the development of social-ecological narratives that may support robust interventions in coastal Kenya and Mozambique. Paper III implements, and studies how an art-based approach based on performances, visual methods and an art installation, could support transformative visions of the Iberian Peninsula in the context of extreme climate change. Paper IV is a literature review of the potential contributions of the arts to transformations, in the context of climate change. These papers focus on different features of imagination, which under certain circumstances may progressively develop into societal transformative capacities with the potential to re-structure current social-ecological realities. Overall, this thesis is a step towards forging new kinds of reflexive, imaginative and deliberative practices that can support the emergence of local arrangements of a sustainable world where life can carry on.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, 2018
Keywords
ways of knowing, transformations, complexity, futures, practice, transdisciplinarity, creativity, art-based, embodied meaning, action-research, science-policy
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Sustainability Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-152294 (URN)978-91-7797-137-5 (ISBN)978-91-7797-138-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-03-15, Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-Salen), NPQ-Huset, Svante Arrhenius väg 20, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Submitted.

Available from: 2018-02-20 Created: 2018-01-30 Last updated: 2018-06-25Bibliographically approved

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