Abstract for: DISCOVER: A systems-based approach for co-creation (work in progress)

Increasingly, we face complex challenges that require system based approach with involvement from varied stakeholders. Stakeholder groups can have different perspectives on routes forward, sometimes leading to conflict. While systems thinking helps with such issues, there remains little clear guidance on step-by-step ways to representatively select participants and collaboratively respond to complex problems. Participatory methods empower stakeholders and allow them to take ownership of the process and the outcome. Although guidance on this exist, e.g. group model building scripts, there is little published guidance on the entire process, from start to finish, particularly around the selection of participants. We have devised a strategic framework called DISCOVER to help guide researchers and stakeholders to co-create responses to complex problems. The framework is rooted within systems theory and integrates complementary approaches and well-established research methods from social network analysis and systems thinking literature. The eight steps are followed sequentially but can overlap. We are currently piloting DISCOVER. We aim to facilitate the co-creation of an action plan for revitalising urban blue spaces (water areas in cities). This work-in-progress paper details DISCOVER, providing context-specific examples which relate to our pilot project.