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The Role of Students in the Co-creation of Transformational Knowledge and Sustainability Experiments: Experiences from Sweden, Japan and the USA

  • Gregory Trencher
  • Daniel Rosenberg Daneri
  • Kes McCormick
  • Toru Terada
  • John Petersen
  • Masaru Yarime
  • Bernadett Kiss
  • Walter Leal Filho
  • Luciana Brandli
Publishing year: 2016
Language: English
Pages: 191-214
Publication/Series: Engaging Stakeholders in Education for Sustainable Development at University Level
Document type: Book chapter
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

Accompanying realisations that engagement of multiple societal sectors (academia, industry, government, citizenry) and disciplines is required for formulating effective responses to complex sustainability challenges, calls for new forms of knowledge production are increasing in magnitude, both inside and outside the university. In parallel, experiences from the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development have highlighted that collaborations with societal stakeholders and experiential approaches are desirable for effective sustainability education. This article examines activities at three institutions—Lund University, Oberlin College and the University of Tokyo—to identify potential models for integrating students into the co-creation

of transformational knowledge and sustainability experiments with faculty and multiple stakeholders. We examine the types of outputs that can ensue differing participation models, whilst also considering their impact on university and stakeholder efforts to advance societal sustainability. We argue that transformational sustainability partnerships integrating students can foster the alignment of the three university missions of education, research and community engagement with place-specific needs and sustainability challenges. Accordingly, efforts to promote experiential forms of sustainability education with societal stakeholders should refrain from focusing uniquely on education and encourage synergistic linking of all university missions.


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • Sustainability education
  • University partnerships
  • Students
  • Sustainability co-creation
  • Stakeholder collaboration
  • Transformational knowledge


  • Malmö Innovation Platform
Kes McCormick
E-mail: kes [dot] mccormick [at] iiiee [dot] lu [dot] se

The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE)

Lund University P.O. Box 196, 22100 Lund, Sweden
Visiting Address: Tegnérsplatsen 4,Lund

Telephone: + 46 46 222 00 00 Fax: + 46 46 222 02 10