The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) address urgent and critical challenges of global change. These include, for example, efforts to reduce poverty, ensure equal opportunities, manage natural resources, and to protect the climate. Far-reaching economic, social, and ecological changes across different spatial scales and fields of governance will be necessary if these ambitious goals for sustainable development are to be achieved. But how can societal transformations towards sustainability and wiser resource use be initiated? The Knowledge, Learning, and Societal Change Alliance (KLASICA) approaches this question as an international research network, working in cooperation with the Future Earth research initiative.
Understanding change processes
Researchers in the Alliance seek to identify the conditions and factors that foster or impede societal transformations towards a sustainable way of life. They will also study the capacity of social learning – a process that facilitates mutual learning between researchers and actors – to motivate and guide collective action. Researchers engage with the issue through the lenses of the social and natural sciences, arts, and humanities. The focus of this research lies in developing strategies for societal transformations that are underpinned by evidence-based research and theory.
Generating knowledge to enable and catalyse societal change
The aim of KLASICA is to engage researchers and actors in mutual learning processes that will develop their capacity to facilitate changes in collective thinking and behaviour that support shifts towards more sustainable futures in each appropriate context. In doing so, the project and the insights that it generates will foster change. The project’s outputs include workshops, symposia, conferences as well as peer-reviewed papers, dossiers and a website. The outcomes of the work will be assessed in terms of evidence of change at different temporal, organizational, and spatial scales.