Arts-based Methods for Transformative Engagement: A Toolkit


This open access toolkit offers a collection of almost 30 methods, practical examples, workshop outlines and tips for creative facilitation, as well as resources and relevant academic references. The ideas and methods collected in this toolkit are intended to support new ways of thinking and doing in our work as change agents towards regenerative societies. Compiled by a research team collaborating through the SUSPLACE Innovative Training Network, it is the result of our collective research and experimentation with creative and arts-based methods of engagement.

To break free of habituated ways of thinking and perceiving, a field of research addressing the ‘inner-dimensions of sustainability’ argues that deep transformation requires ‘change from the inside out.’ This entails engaging with emotions, changing cultural narratives and worldviews, and stimulating specific mindset shifts conducive to socio-ecological innovation. This toolkit invites participants to disrupt default anthropocentric worldviews and draw more deeply from their own values, intentions, and an expanded sense of ecological self. Theoretically, it draws from a variety of approaches, including Metaphorical Thinking, Aesthetic Practices, Arts Based Environmental Education, Care for Place, and Appreciative Inquiry. Theory U is used as an organizing framework.

These methods are just a starting point and can inform the design of workshops, events, co-production strategies, and the development of sustainability initiatives. Used alone or in concert, they invite improvisation and can be used by facilitators of all experience levels, across various fields.

To download the toolkit:
SUSPLACE Toolkit Arts-based Methods (2018)

To cite this toolkit:
Pearson, K.R., Backman, M., Grenni, S., Moriggi, A., Pisters, S., Vrieze de, A. (2018). Arts-Based Methods for Transformative Engagement: A Toolkit. Wageningen: SUSPLACE.

Printed copies can be ordered via diverse online channels, such as Amazon and Waterstones.