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  • 1. Baltutis, William Jesse
    et al.
    Moore, Michele-Lee
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. University of Victoria, Canada.
    Degrees of change toward polycentric transboundary water governance: exploring the Columbia river and the lesotho highlands water project2019In: Ecology & society, ISSN 1708-3087, E-ISSN 1708-3087, Vol. 24, no 2, article id 6Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Complex challenges emerging in transboundary river basins reveal a need to include a range of interests and actors in governance processes. Polycentric governance is one framework that can address this need and inform adaptive and resilient governance processes in transboundary basins as linked social and ecological systems. Here, we explore whether and how nonstate actors might be contributing to a shift in governance toward polycentric systems for the Columbia River (Canada/USA) and the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (Lesotho/South Africa). Using data gathered from 60 in-depth interviews, our empirical results illustrate four governance themes relevant to the emergence of polycentricity in the case study basins: Authority, flexibility, coordination activities, and information sharing. Although the emergence of polycentricity is limited by existing state-centric governance regimes, these regimes show evidence that polycentric traits are supplementing existing governance systems, influencing policy processes, and introducing a range of management values.

  • 2. Blythe, Jessica
    et al.
    Silver, Jennifer
    Evans, Louisa
    Armitage, Derek
    Bennett, Nathan J.
    Moore, Michele-Lee
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. University of Victoria, Canada.
    Morrison, Tiffany H.
    Brown, Katrina
    The Dark Side of Transformation: Latent Risks in Contemporary Sustainability Discourse2018In: Antipode, ISSN 0066-4812, E-ISSN 1467-8330, Vol. 50, no 5, p. 1206-1223Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The notion of transformation is gaining traction in contemporary sustainability debates. New ways of theorising and supporting transformations are emerging and, so the argument goes, opening exciting spaces to (re)imagine and (re)structure radically different futures. Yet, questions remain about how the term is being translated from an academic concept into an assemblage of normative policies and practices, and how this process might shape social, political, and environmental change. Motivated by these questions, we identify five latent risks associated with discourse that frames transformation as apolitical and/or inevitable. We refer to these risks as the dark side of transformation. While we cannot predict the future of radical transformations towards sustainability, we suggest that scientists, policymakers, and practitioners need to consider such change in more inherently plural and political ways.

  • 3.
    Moore, Michele-Lee
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Olsson, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Nilsson, Warren
    Rose, Loretta
    Westley, Frances R.
    Navigating emergence and system reflexivity as key transformative capacities: experiences from a Global Fellowship program2018In: Ecology & society, ISSN 1708-3087, E-ISSN 1708-3087, Vol. 23, no 2, article id 38Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The distinction between adaptive and transformative capacities is still not well understood, and in this study we aimed to build a transformative learning space to strengthen transformative capacities. We proposed that two capacities will be essential to transformation: the capacity to navigate emergence and cross-scale systems reflexivity. We outline our efforts to design and deliver a Global Fellowship program in social innovation, intended to strengthen these two capacities among practitioners already engaged in socially innovative work. Results indicated that the concepts, frameworks, and experiences introduced through the Fellowship led to four key insights about these capacities. Firstly, individual Fellows and their organizations were able to see some complex system dynamics that were previously invisible, which in turn, allowed Fellows to see the distribution of resources and agency across the system in new ways. Secondly, engaging with diversity is essential in social innovation and transformative change processes, and system reflexivity aided in doing this. Additionally, Fellows indicated they were able to identify different kinds of opportunities and the generative potential that can lie within social-ecological systems. Lastly, the findings demonstrate the challenging nature of crossing scales and how a transformative space, such as a Fellowship, helps to practice the experience of contestation, unpredictability, and the uncontrollable dynamics of transformation and social innovation.

  • 4.
    Olsson, Per
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Moore, Michele-Lee
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. University of Victoria, Canada.
    Westley, Frances R.
    McCarthy, Daniel D. P.
    The concept of the Anthropocene as a game-changer: a new context for social innovation and transformations to sustainability2017In: Ecology & society, ISSN 1708-3087, E-ISSN 1708-3087, Vol. 22, no 2, article id 31Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    After tracing the antecedents of the concept and considering its intersection in social innovation research, we put forward the argument that the Anthropocene concept points to three areas of thought that are strategically imperative and must be accelerated if social innovation theory and practice is to prove transformative and respond to the challenges associated with the Anthropocene. First, we contend that the current debate on social innovation for sustainability lacks a deeper focus on human-environmental interactions and the related feedbacks, which will be necessary to understand and achieve large-scale change and transformations to global sustainability. Many innovations focus on only the social or the ecological, and we believe a more integrated approach will be needed moving forward. Second, social innovation research must confront the path-dependencies embedded within systems, and we propose that the act of "bricolage," which recombines existing elements in novel ways, will be essential, rather than single variable solutions, which currently dominate social innovation discussions. Finally, we put forward the idea that confronting the cross-scalar nature of the Anthropocene requires revisiting both the scope and temporal nature of social innovations that are most typically focused upon by scholars and funders alike. We believe the concept of the Anthropocene creates new opportunities for social innovation scholars to imagine new possibilities.

  • 5.
    Pereira, Laura
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Stellenbosch University, South Africa; City University of London, UK.
    Frantzeskaki, Niki
    Hebinck, Aniek
    Charli-Joseph, Lakshmi
    Drimie, Scott
    Dyer, Michelle
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. James Cook University, Australia.
    Eakin, Hallie
    Galafassi, Diego
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Karpouzoglou, Timos
    Marshall, Fiona
    Moore, Michele-Lee
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Olsson, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Mario Siqueiros-García, J.
    van Zwanenberg, Patrick
    Vervoort, Joost M.
    Transformative spaces in the making: key lessons from nine cases in the Global South2020In: Sustainability Science, ISSN 1862-4065, E-ISSN 1862-4057, Vol. 15, no 1, p. 161-178Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Creating a just and sustainable planet will require not only small changes, but also systemic transformations in how humans relate to the planet and to each other, i.e., social-ecological transformations. We suggest there is a need for collaborative environments where experimentation with new configurations of social-ecological systems can occur, and we refer to these as transformative spaces. In this paper, we seek a better understanding of how to design and enable the creation of transformative spaces in a development context. We analyse nine case studies from a previous special issue on Designing Transformative Spaces that aimed to collect examples of cutting-edge action-oriented research on transformations from the Global South. The analysis showed five design phases as being essential: Problem Definition Phase; Operationalisation Phase; Tactical Phase; Outcome Phase; and Reflection Phase. From this synthesis, we distilled five key messages that should be considered when designing research, including: (a) there are ethical dilemmas associated with creating a transformative space in a system; (b) it is important to assess the readiness of the system for change before engaging in it; (c) there is a need to balance between 'safe' and 'safe-enough' spaces for transformation; (d) convening a transformative space requires an assemblage of diverse methodological frameworks and tools; and (e) transformative spaces can act as a starting point for institutionalising transformative change. Many researchers are now engaging in transdisciplinary transformations research, and are finding themselves at the knowledge-action interface contributing to transformative space-making. We hope that by analysing experiences from across different geographies we can contribute towards better understanding of how to navigate the processes needed for the urgent global transformations that are being called for to create a more equitable and sustainable planet Earth.

  • 6.
    Reyers, Belinda
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
    Folke, Carl
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden.
    Moore, Michele-Lee
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. University of Victoria, Canada.
    Biggs, Reinette
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
    Galaz, Victor
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden.
    Social-Ecological Systems Insights for Navigating the Dynamics of the Anthropocene2018In: Annual Review Environment and Resources, ISSN 1543-5938, E-ISSN 1545-2050, Vol. 43, p. 267-289Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Social-ecological systems (SES) research offers new theory and evidence to transform sustainable development to better contend with the challenges of the Anthropocene. Four insights from contemporary SES literature on (a) intertwined SES, (b) cross-scale dynamics, (c) systemic tipping points, and (d) transformational change are explored. Based on these insights, shifts in sustainable development practice are suggested to recognize and govern the complex and codeveloping social and ecological aspects of development challenges. The potential susceptibility of SES to nonlinear systemic reconfigurations is highlighted, as well as the opportunities, agency, and capacities required to foster reconfigurative transformations for sustainable development. SES research proposes the need for diverse values and beliefs that are more in tune with the deep, dynamic connections between social and ecological systems to transform development practice and to support capacities to deal with shocks and surprises. From these perspectives, SES research offers new outlooks, practices, and novel opportunity spaces from which to address the challenges of the Anthropocene.

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