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Nice paper on roles in co-producing knowledge for sustainability transformations

  • 1.  Nice paper on roles in co-producing knowledge for sustainability transformations

    Posted 12-15-2021 08:19
    Dear ONErs,

    This open access paper reviews 32 initiatives to infer insights about roles in sustainability co-production.

    Paper available at

    Co-production, the collaborative weaving of research and practice by diverse societal actors, is argued to play an
    important role in sustainability transformations. Yet, there is still poor understanding of how to navigate the
    tensions that emerge in these processes. Through analyzing 32 initiatives worldwide that co-produced knowledge
    and action to foster sustainable social-ecological relations, we conceptualize 'co-productive agility' as an
    emergent feature vital for turning tensions into transformations. Co-productive agility refers to the willingness and
    ability of diverse actors to iteratively engage in reflexive dialogues to grow shared ideas and actions that would not have
    been possible from the outset. It relies on embedding knowledge production within processes of change to
    constantly recognize, reposition, and navigate tensions and opportunities. Co-productive agility opens up mul-
    tiple pathways to transformation through: (1) elevating marginalized agendas in ways that maintain their integrity
    and broaden struggles for justice; (2) questioning dominant agendas by engaging with power in ways that challenge
    assumptions, (3) navigating conflicting agendas to actively transform interlinked paradigms, practices, and
    structures; (4) exploring diverse agendas to foster learning and mutual respect for a plurality of perspectives. We
    explore six process considerations that vary by these four pathways and provide a framework to enable agility in
    sustainability transformations. We argue that research and practice spend too much time closing down debate
    over different agendas for change – thereby avoiding, suppressing, or polarizing tensions, and call for more
    efforts to facilitate better interactions among different agendas

    Nicholas Poggioli
    University of Michigan
    ONE Communications Team