New article: Three principles for co-designing sustainability intervention strategies: Experiences from Southern Transylvania

By David Lam

In our new article, we present our experiences of co-designing a sustainability intervention strategy with non-governmental organizations in Southern Transylvania, Romania. This was part of our transdisciplinary case study work of our research project “Leverage Points for Sustainability Transformation”.

Transformational research frameworks highlight the importance of co-designing intervention strategies towards sustainability with local actors. However, they often lack guidance on the process of co-designing intervention strategies that include initiatives from local actors.

Based on our experiences with working with local actors in Southern Transylvania, we propose three principles that facilitate the process to co-design intervention strategies which build on contributions and knowledge from local actors of change:

(1) Explore existing and envisioned initiatives fostering change towards the desired future.

(2) Frame the intervention strategy to bridge the gap between the present state and desired future state(s), building on, strengthening and complementing existing initiatives.

(3) Identify drivers, barriers and potential leverage points for how to accelerate progress towards sustainability.

We exemplify the three principles using our transdisciplinary case study carried out in Southern Transylvania. These principles potentially inform diverse transformational research frameworks and can be applied in similar real-world contexts, where local actors foster transformative change with local initiatives towards sustainability.

Link to our article:

Lam, D. P. M., A. I. Horcea-Milcu, J. Fischer, D. Peukert, and D. J. Lang. 2019. Three principles for co-designing sustainability intervention strategies: Experiences from Southern Transylvania. Ambio.

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