Abstract for: Global Network of Learning Laboratories for Sustainability (Global LLab NET)
Complex problems such as sustainability, energy and water shortage, biodiversity food and global security are impacted by many stakeholders and have multiple drivers and interconnected dimensions: social, economic, environmental, political, behavioural, governance and leadership. Traditional linear, single-dimensional, symptom focused solutions are insufficient to deliver sustainable outcomes. These challenges require systemic and collaborative multi-stakeholder responses. Learning Lab (LLab) is a unique process and methodology for integrated cross-sectoral decision making, planning and collaboration in dealing with complex multi-stakeholder problems. The LLab comprises six cyclical steps whereby decision makers and stakeholders come together to develop a shared understanding of complex issues and to create innovative and sustainable solutions. The Learning Lab methodology is a generic process which can be applied to solve complex problems and to create consensus in a variety of domains and contexts, social, economic, environmental and cultural. The wide range and diversity of the global LLabs is both a challenge as well as a rich source of mutual learning and progress. This paper discusses the theory of the Learning Labs and demonstrates its application in UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in Viet Nam and Cambodia. The implications of this exciting development for the system dynamics community are also discussed.