New publication | Transformative roles of people and places: learning, experiencing, and regenerative action through social innovation | by Abid Mehmood et al.

This article is the third to appear in the Sustain Sci. Special Feature: Exploring the Transformative Capacity of Place-Shaping Practices , edited by SUSPLACE.

A nexus approach to learning, experiencing and regeneration. Source: Mehmood, A., Marsden, T., Taherzadeh, A. et al. Sustain Sci (2019).

Abstract: This paper discusses the transformative role of people and the places which they inhabit. It advocates the richness and multiplicity of actors and understandings to drive sustainable place-shaping practices. Grounded in the interdisciplinary place-based conceptualisation of social innovation, the paper aims to progress a holistic conceptual framework which integrates the active processes of learning, experiencing, and regeneration to tackle the complex challenges of sustainability. The discussion argues for moving beyond the conceptual deliberations into practice-based research. The framework proposed brings together three different lenses: first, transformative learning as an approach to experiential pedagogy with focus on education and learning based in local communities and the surrounding places; second, experiencing place through sense-making to help people relate closely to their values and meanings of place; third, regenerative action to reverse and recuperate from the negative impact of humans on the environment and promote place stewardship. Through a dynamic combination of these processes, new socially innovative agency is created. Empirical examples of this agency have been captured in this paper from a series of projects which were part of the SUSPLACE programme. In conclusion, we associate the interactive nature of this agency with sustainable re-learning, re-experiencing, and re-generation processes to reshape places in a transformative way.