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Bottom-up sustainability transformations: Supporting local actors fostering change towards sustainability

  • Despite growing research on sustainability transformations, our understanding of how transformative transdisciplinary research can support local actors who foster change towards sustainability is still somewhat limited. To contribute to this research question, the investigator conducted research in a transdisciplinary case study in Southern Transylvania, where non-governmental organizations (NGO) drive sustainability initiatives to foster desired changes (e.g., supporting small-scale farmers or conserving natural and cultural heritage). Interactions with these local actors and reflections on the research question shaped the research of this dissertation. In paper 1, the author conducted a literature review on amplification processes that describe actions, which local actors can apply to increase the impact of their sustainability initiatives. In paper 2, he conducted a literature review on the application of indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) in sustainability transformations research to understand whether this research engages with the conceptualization of transformations from local actors. The results show that ILK is generally applied to confirm and complement scientific knowledge in contexts of environmental, climate, social-ecological, and species change. In paper 3, the author derived principles that provide guidance for how to integrate sustainability initiatives from local actors in transformative transdisciplinary research. Based on his transdisciplinary research with the NGOs in Southern Transylvania and by using systems and futures thinking as an approach for analysis, he derived three principles that provide guidance for the co-design of sustainability intervention strategies that build on, strengthen, and complement existing initiatives from local actors. In paper 4, the author explored empirically how to identify relevant local actors for collaborations that seek to intervene in specific characteristics of a system (e.g., parameters or design of a system). He applied a leverage points' perspective to analyse the social networks of the NGOs in Southern Transylvania that amplify the impact of their initiatives. This dissertation as a whole contributes insights to three recommendations of how transformative transdisciplinary research can support local actors fostering change towards sustainability: First, by conducting research that studies and supports local actors who increase the impact of their sustainability initiatives via amplification processes (Paper 1 and 4); Second, by engaging specifically with the initiatives, networks, and knowledge from local actors, who foster bottom-up, place-based transformations (Paper 1-4); Third, by identifying and collaborating with local actors that are relevant for strategic systems interventions that build on, strengthen, and complement existing initiatives (Paper 3-4).

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Metadaten
Author:David Patrick Michael LamORCiDGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:gbv:luen4-opus4-11170
URL: https://pub-data.leuphana.de/frontdoor/index/index/docId/1117
Advisor:Daniel J. Lang (Prof. Dr.)
Referee:Daniel J. Lang (Prof. Dr.)ORCiDGND, Berta Martín López (Prof. Dr.)ORCiD, Juliana Merçon (Dr.)GND
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language:English
Year of Completion:2021
Date of Publication (online):2021/02/24
Date of first Publication:2021/03/03
Publishing Institution:Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Universitätsbibliothek der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
Granting Institution:Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
Date of final exam:2020/12/22
Release Date:2021/03/03
Pagenumber:76 Seiten
Note:
Das Rahmenpapier der kumulativen Dissertation enthält vier Beiträge.
Institutes:Fakultät Nachhaltigkeit
Fakultät Nachhaltigkeit / Institut für Ethik und Transdisziplinäre Nachhaltigkeitsforschung (IETSR)
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 333.7 Natürliche Ressourcen, Energie und Umwelt
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht