Lost in translation: A framework for analysing complexity of co-production settings in relation to epistemic communities, linguistic diversities and culture
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2019

• A conceptual framework for analysing complexity of transdisciplinary co-production settings with regards to three aspects.
• Selected aspects: epistemic communities, linguistic diversity, culture.
• Some aspects that a process leader/facilitator would likely need to deal with when preparing for a co-production process.
• Linguistic equality, disciplinary integrity, culture of mutual respect, simultaneous mitigation, informed facilitation.

Planning in modern urban environments requires skills to address complexity in order to move towards sustainability. Co-production of knowledge in transdisciplinary groups represents a useful tool in such contexts. Using the concepts of epistemic communities, linguistic diversity and culture, the article proposes a conceptual framework for analysing complexity of co-production settings, as an indispensable means of managing complex challenges, thus making these complexities visible for the project leader (facilitator) and the participants of the co-production process. We evaluate the framework on the basis of inclusivity, cross-sectoral understanding, applicability in different contexts and time perspectives. Based on the framework, we identify several aspects that a process leader (facilitator) would need to address when preparing for a co-production process: linguistic equality between participants, disciplinary integrity, a working culture of mutual respect, simultaneous mitigation and informed facilitation. Finally, the article suggests possible future research areas related to development of the framework, including (i) identification of levels of complexity and mapping specific tools to address complexity at each level; (ii) integration of other factors of complexity, such as political and institutional contexts, as well as diversity of gender and age in the facilitated group.

Multi-stakeholder dialogue

Epistemic communities

Linguistic diversity

urban planning




Varvara Nikulina

Mistra Urban Futures

Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, BTH

J. Larson Lindal

Mistra Urban Futures

Henrikke Baumann

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Miljösystemanalys

David Simon

Mistra Urban Futures

Henrik Ny

Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, BTH


0016-3287 (ISSN)

Vol. 113 102442


Hållbar utveckling


Annan naturresursteknik





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