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Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3177; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093177

Transformation Is ‘Experienced, Not Delivered’: Insights from Grounding the Discourse in Practice to Inform Policy and Theory

1
Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, Lincoln 7608, New Zealand
2
Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited, Christchurch 8041, New Zealand
3
AgResearch, Hamilton 3217, New Zealand
4
Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated, Wairarapa, Hastings 4120, New Zealand
5
Emerdale Farm, Riverton 9883, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 24 August 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
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Abstract

Calls for transformation, transformative research, and transformational impact are increasingly heard from governments, industry, and universities to recast a course towards sustainability. This paper retraces a social, qualitative, and interpretive research endeavor to contribute to broadening the conceptual base of transformation. Drawing on perspectives of practitioners involved in working with communities to bring about change in how land and water are managed, the objective of the research was to elicit a range of practice-based encounters of transformation to inform policy and theory. In identifying precursors and processes for change, the findings bring into view the often unseen internal and experiential dimensions of transformation. As such, the research provides insights on where transformation takes place, what the first step of transformation might look like, and what might be deemed transformational. The paper also builds on social practice theory to produce an explanatory model of transformational capacity that is enabled and constrained by structures, processes, understanding, and authority that impact on social practices of knowledge generation (including science) and land and water decision-making. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; transformation; transformational capacity; transformative research; transformational impact; experience; social practice theory; theories of change; knowledge co-production sustainability; transformation; transformational capacity; transformative research; transformational impact; experience; social practice theory; theories of change; knowledge co-production
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Duncan, R.; Robson-Williams, M.; Nicholas, G.; Turner, J.A.; Smith, R.; Diprose, D. Transformation Is ‘Experienced, Not Delivered’: Insights from Grounding the Discourse in Practice to Inform Policy and Theory. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3177.

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