Introduction: Sustainability Science as Co-Creative Research Praxis

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This chapter explores the relationship between collaboration and creativity within social sustainability research. Aimed at stimulating further reflection and debate on the role of ‘co-creativity’ in enabling transformative sustainability agendas, the chapter acts also as an introduction to the entire edited collection. A key guiding question posed from the outset is how co-creative research practice, as a generative process, can best support the emergence of alternative—potentially even transformative—ways of being in the world. The discussion proceeds with a conceptual review of creativity, followed by a detailed explanation of how co-creativity is defined for the purposes of this edited collection. The remainder of the chapter looks towards the nurturing of co-creative practice within social sustainability research; particular attention is given to socially inclusive forms of co-creative and engaged research praxis. The term co-creativity is used in reference to both individual methods and overarching research approaches that, through action and reflection, stimulate alternative understandings of why and how things are, and how they could be. Accordingly, emphasis is placed throughout this chapter on co-creative research practice as requiring a retained sensitivity to the importance of researching ‘with’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCo-creativity and Engaged Scholarship
Subtitle of host publicationTransformative Methods in Social Sustainability Research
EditorsAlex Franklin
Number of pages42
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-84248-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-84247-5, 978-3-030-84250-5
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Dec 2021


  • Co-creativity
  • Creative methods
  • Engaged scholarship
  • Transformative
  • Transdisciplinary
  • Sustainability science


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