Transformative Emergence: Research Challenges for Enabling Social-ecological Tipping Points Toward Regional Sustainability Transformations
J. David Tàbara
Diana Mangalagiu
Bohumil Frantál
Johan Lilliestam
Jenny Lieu
Siri Veland
Academic chapter/article/Conference paper
Springer Nature
Year published:
A crucial task to accelerate global decarbonisation is to understand how to enable fast, equitable, low-carbon transformations in Coal and Carbon Intensive Regions (CCIRs). In this early literature review we underlined the relevance of the boundary concept of social-ecological tipping points (SETPs) and showed that the research and policy usage of SETPs applied to accelerate structural regional sustainability transformations faces three key challenges: (I) integrating theoretical and empirical contributions from diverse social and ecological sciences, together with complexity theory (II) designing open transdisciplinary assessment processes able to represent multiple qualities of systemic change and enable regionally situated transformative capacities, and (III) moving away from one-directional metaphors of social change, or static or homogeneous conceptions of individual agency and single equilibrium in energy transitions; and instead, focus on understanding the conditions and capacities for the emergence of systemic transformations and regenerative processes across multiple levels and forms of agency. We refer to these complex and place-situated processes as learning to enable regional transformative emergence.