Abstract for: Learning Lab for Sustainability -Theory and Case Study

Sustainability is a complex, multi-actor and multi-scale phenomenon embodying characterises of complex adaptive systems (emergence, bifurcation, self organisation) as well as system dynamics (delay, feed-back loops, nonlinearity). Such phenomena cannot be approached and solved by conventional, reductionist and expert oriented methods. This paper introduces a novel systems thinking based methodology, called the Learning Lab, for complex and wicked problems and will demonstrate its application through a real case study. The Learning Lab engages diverse stakeholders in a scientific and unifying process of decision making, planning and cross agency collaboration leading to shared purpose and aligned goals and objectives. The Learning Lab has been adopted by UNESCO MAB Program as core methodology for sustainability for its Biosphere Reserves.