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Learning through Evaluation: A Tentative Evaluative Scheme for Sustainability Transition Experiments

  • Christopher Luederitz
  • Niko Schäpke
  • Arnim Wiek
  • Daniel Lang
  • Matthias Bergmann
  • Joannette Bos
  • Sarah Burch
  • Anna Davies
  • James Evans
  • Ariane König
  • Megan Farrelly
  • Nigel Forrest
  • Niki Frantzeskaki
  • Robert Gibson
  • Braden Kay
  • Derk Loorbach
  • Kes McCormick
  • Oliver Parodi
  • Felix Rauschmayer
  • Uwe Schneidewind
  • Michael Stauffacher
  • Franziska Stelzer
  • Gregory Trencher
  • Johannes Venjakob
  • Philip Vergragt
  • Henrik von Wehrden
  • Frances Westley
Publishing year: 2017
Language: English
Pages: 61-76
Publication/Series: Journal of Cleaner Production
Volume: 169
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract english

Transitions towards sustainability are urgently needed to address the interconnected challenges of economic development, ecological integrity, and social justice, from local to global scales. Around the world, collaborative science-society initiatives are forming to conduct experiments in support of sustainability transitions. Such experiments, if carefully designed, provide significant learning opportunities for making progress on transition efforts. Yet, there is no broadly applicable evaluative scheme available to capture this critical information across a large number of cases, and to guide the design of transition experiments. To address this gap, the article develops such a scheme, in a tentative form, drawing on evaluative research and sustainability transitions scholarship, alongside insights from empirical cases. We critically discuss the scheme's key features of being generic, comprehensive, operational, and formative. Furthermore, we invite scholars and practitioners to apply, reflect and further develop the proposed tentative scheme – making evaluation and experiments objects of learning.


  • Social Sciences
  • urban
  • sustainability
  • transitions


  • ISSN: 0959-6526
Kes McCormick
E-mail: kes [dot] mccormick [at] iiiee [dot] lu [dot] se

The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE)

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