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Co-creating change: experimenting with values for sustainability transformation


There has been a growing discourse revolving around how sustainability science can reach the goal of transformational change in response to complex global problems such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and resource depletion. As one solution it has been suggested that sustainability science needs to bridge barriers to action by going beyond the co-production of knowledge to experimentation and testing of knowledge. At the same time, it has been argued that in order to achieve genuine transformational change it is necessary to shift values rather than simply generate ‘better’ actionable knowledge. COEXIST aims to join these two streams and to develop experimental settings that include values-based interventions to produce scientifically appropriate and socially relevant knowledge for sustainability transformations. Thus, COEXIST will be the first to integrate experimental interventions with the transformative power of values. I will identify theoretical frameworks that will inform a value-based experimental design and I will collect empirical evidence about key enabling factors and interventional practices that can operationalise such an experimental approach. By combining theory and practice, I will develop an integrated model of transformational experiments involving value-based interventions. I will implement the model within the real-world context of Transylvania, Romania, a region with a rich but threatened cultural and natural heritage. COEXIST combines my experience in transformational and transdisciplinary research modes and the host’s unique knowledge of place-based social-ecological systems research with the commitment of regional multi-sectoral stakeholders. This setup provides a strong theoretical and empirical foundation for the integrated model, which is expected to generate impact, and acts as a forum for communicating results to non-academic actors in Romania and Europe.




Mihail Kogalniceanu 1
400084 Cluj Napoca


Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 141 778,56

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 840207


Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    17 August 2020

  • End date

    16 August 2022

Funded under:


  • Overall budget:

    € 141 778,56

  • EU contribution

    € 141 778,56

Coordinated by: