Leuphana-KLASICA Workshop of the Knowledge, Learning, and Societal Change Alliance held on 15 Sep 2017 in Lueneburg, Germany

Fostering Collective Behaviour Change Toward Sustainable Futures:
Models, Narratives and Experiments

Humanity faces tremendous challenges and systemic risks, including climate change, resource limitations, and food insecurity. The well-being and perhaps survival of human society depends upon transforming society to just and equitable sustainable futures, particularly in local contexts. A key issue for this transformation is the question of how collective behaviour change toward sustainable futures occurs or can be fostered in diverse communities at different temporal and spatial scales. Addressing this question is at the core of the international research and action alliance KLASICA (www.klasica.org). KLASICA has sought to identify underlying principles of collective behavior change (CBC) to sustainable futures by examining multiple cases in diverse contexts regarding the pre-conditions, success factors, and barriers in these cases (see link below).This workshop at Leuphana is an excellent opportunity to further develop this effort with a focus on models, narratives, and experimental data from real world contexts. We will ask how to make best use of different methods and tools to move from theory to practice and examine how information from studies of Asian and European communities can be used as data for agent-based modeling of complex socio-environmental systems. Specifically, we aim to a) identify the kind of empirical data, including motivational narratives, needed to populate socio-environmental models – ones that can provide sound, plausible options and corresponding consequences for use in decision making by stakeholders and b) consider how to experimentally test the principles and models of CBC, and c) plan how to use the insights gained in a) and b) to foster CBC.

At the start of the workshop, international experts will provide short inputs that will be followed by discussion in small working groups on how case studies can inform modeling, narratives and experimentation and foster CBC. The workshop will end with a fishbowl discussion synthesizing the insights of the breakout groups and outlining the next steps.

This KLASICA-Leuphana workshop follows on the examination of cases of island and isolated communities in Asia and Pacific Islands in the Taipei KLASICA symposium in November 2016, which resulted in a preliminary framework document (see http://klasica.org/a-framework-from-the-klasica-taipei-symposiumklasica-taipei-framework/#more-775). A series of webinars stemming from the Taipei symposium, in conjunction with other case studies, symposia, and workshops, will form the basis for developing a synthesis of observations and generalizations across the tapestry of diverse contexts, cultures, and locations and lead to practical outcomes in supporting community efforts of CBC for sustainable futures.The workshop will be part of KLASICA and the research project „Bridging the Great Divides“ funded by the State of Lower Saxony and the Volkswagen Foundation and will inform the pilot studies of the latter project.