Transforming knowledge systems for life on Earth: Visions of future systems and how to get there
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2020

Formalised knowledge systems, including universities and research institutes, are important for contemporary societies. They are, however, also arguably failing humanity when their impact is measured against the level of progress being made in stimulating the societal changes needed to address challenges like climate change. In this research we used a novel futures-oriented and participatory approach that asked what future envisioned knowledge systems might need to look like and how we might get there. Findings suggest that envisioned future systems will need to be much more collaborative, open, diverse, egalitarian, and able to work with values and systemic issues. They will also need to go beyond producing knowledge about our world to generating wisdom about how to act within it. To get to envisioned systems we will need to rapidly scale methodological innovations, connect innovators, and creatively accelerate learning about working with intractable challenges. We will also need to create new funding schemes, a global knowledge commons, and challenge deeply held assumptions. To genuinely be a creative force in supporting longevity of human and non-human life on our planet, the shift in knowledge systems will probably need to be at the scale of the enlightenment and speed of the scientific and technological revolution accompanying the second World War. This will require bold and strategic action from governments, scientists, civic society and sustained transformational intent.



Sustainability science

Climate and energy research


Social-technical transitions


Ioan Fazey

University of York

Niko Alexander Schäpke

Chalmers, Rymd-, geo- och miljövetenskap, Fysisk resursteori

Guido Caniglia

Konrad-Lorenz-Institut für Evolutions- und Kognitionsforschung

Anthony Hodgson


Ian Kendrick


Christopher Lyon

University of Leeds

Glenn Page


James Patterson

Universiteit Utrecht

Chris Riedy

University of Technology Sydney

Tim Strasser

Universiteit Maastricht

Stephan Verveen


David Adams


Bruce Goldstein

University of Colorado at Boulder

Matthias Klaes

University of Buckingham

Graham Leicester

International Futures Forum

Alison Linyard

International Futures Forum

Adrienne McCurdy


Paul Ryan

Australian Resilience Centre

Bill Sharpe

International Futures Forum

Giorgia Silvestri

Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam

Ali Yansyah Abdurrahim

Research Center for Population - Indonesian Institute of Sciences

David Abson

Leuphana Universitat Lüneburg

Olufemi Samson Adetunji

University of Newcastle

Paulina Aldunce

Universidad de Chile (UCH)

Carlos Alvarez-Pereira

Club of Rome

Jennifer Marie Amparo

Australian National University

Helene Amundsen

Cicero Senter for klimaforskning

Lakin Anderson

Uppsala universitet

Lotta Andersson


Michael Asquith

European Environment Agency

Karoline Augenstein

Bergische Universität Wuppertal

Jack Barrie

University of Strathclyde

David Bent

University College London (UCL)

Julia Bentz

Universidade de Lisboa

Arvid Bergsten

Independent Consultant

Carol Berzonsky


Olivia Bina

Universidade de Lisboa

Kirsty Blackstock

The James Hutton Institute

Joanna Boehnert

Loughborough University

Hilary Bradbury

Action Research Plus AR+ Foundation

Christine Brand


Jessica Böhme (born Sangmeister)

Leuphana Universitat Lüneburg

Marianne Mille Bøjer

Reos Partners

Esther Carmen

University of York

Lakshmi Charli-Joseph

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Sarah Choudhury

University of Queensland

Supot Chunhachoti-ananta

Srinakharinwirot University

Jessica Cockburn

Rhodes University

John Colvin

Emerald Network Ltd

Irena L.C. Connon

University of Dundee

Rosalind Cornforth

University of Reading

Robin S. Cox

Royal Roads University

Nicholas Cradock-Henry

Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research

Laura Cramer

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

Almendra Cremaschi

CENIT (Centro de Investigación para la transformación)

Halvor Dannevig

Western Norway Research Institute

Catherine T. Day

Stetson University

Cathel de Lima Hutchison

University of Dundee

Anke de Vrieze

Wageningen University and Research

Vikas Desai

Urban Health and Climate Resilience Center of Excellence

Jonathan Dolley

University of Sussex

Dominic Duckett

The James Hutton Institute

Rachael Amy Durrant

University of Sussex

Markus Egermann

Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development

Emily Elsner (Adams)

Elsner Research and Consulting

Chris Fremantle

Robert Gordon University

Jessica Fullwood-Thomas

Oxfam GB

Diego Galafassi

Lunds universitet

Jen Gobby

McGill University

Ami Golland

Stockholms universitet

Shiara Kirana González-Padrón

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Irmelin Gram-Hanssen

Universitetet i Oslo

Jakob Grandin

Universitetet i Bergen

Sara Grenni

Naturresursinstitutet (Luke)

Jade Lauren Gunnell

University of Dundee

Felipe Gusmao

Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo

Maike Hamann

University of Minnesota

Brian Harding

University of Massachusetts Boston

Gavin Harper

University of Birmingham

Mia Hesselgren

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)

Dina Hestad

University of Oxford

Cheryl Anne Heykoop

Royal Roads University

Johan Holmén

Kirsty Holstead

University of St Andrews

Claire Hoolohan

University of Manchester

Andra-Ioana Horcea-Milcu

Helsingin Yliopisto

Lummina Geertruida Horlings

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

Stuart Mark Howden

Australian National University

Rachel Angharad Howell

University of Edinburgh

Sarah Insia Huque

University of St Andrews

Mirna Liz Inturias Canedo

Nur University

Chidinma Yvonne Iro

University of Dundee

Christopher D. Ives

University of Nottingham

Beatrice John

Leuphana Universitat Lüneburg

Rajiv Joshi

The B Team

Sadhbh Juarez-Bourke

Leuphana Universitat Lüneburg

Dauglas Wafula Juma

Macquarie University

Bea Cecilie Karlsen

University of Dundee

Lea Kliem

Institut für Ökologische Wirtschaftsforschung

Andreas Kläy

Universität Bern

Petra Kuenkel

Collective Leadership Institute

Iris Kunze

Universität für Bodenkultur

David Patrick Michael Lam

Leuphana Universitat Lüneburg

Daniel J. Lang

Leuphana Universitat Lüneburg

Alice Larkin

University of Manchester

Ann Light

University of Sussex

Christopher Luederitz

University of Waterloo

Tobias Luthe

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH)

Cathy Maguire

European Environment Agency

Ana-Maria Mahecha-Groot

Rutgers University

Jackie Malcolm

University of Dundee

Fiona Marshall

University of Sussex

Yiheyis Maru

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Carly McLachlan

University of Manchester

Peter Mmbando

Epikaizo Care Initiative

Subhakanta Mohapatra

Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)

Michele-Lee Moore

Stockholms universitet

Angela Moriggi

Naturresursinstitutet (Luke)

Mark Morley-Fletcher

Independent Consultant

Susanne Moser

Susanne Moser Research and Consulting

Konstanze Marion Mueller

Independent Researcher

Mutizwa Mukute

Social Learning and Innovation Ltd

Susan Mühlemeier

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Lars Otto Naess

University of Sussex

Marta Nieto-Romero

Universidade de Aveiro

Paula Novo

Scotland's Rural College

Karen ÓBrien

Universitetet i Oslo

Deborah A. O'Connell

CSIRO Land and Water

Kathleen O'Donnell

8 Cranham Terrace

Per Olsson

Stockholms universitet

Kelli Rose Pearson

Wageningen University and Research

Laura Pereira

Universiteit Stellenbosch

Panos Petridis

Universität für Bodenkultur

Daniela Peukert

Leuphana Universitat Lüneburg

Nicky Phear

University of Montana

Siri Renée Pisters

Natural Resource Institute Finland/Wageningen School of Social Sciences

Matt Polsky

Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam

Diana Pound

Dialogue Matters

Rika Preiser

Universiteit Stellenbosch

Md. Sajidur Rahman

BRAC University

Mark S. Reed

Newcastle University

Philip Revell

Scottish Communities Climate Action Network

Iokiñe Rodriguez

Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences

Briony Cathryn Rogers

Monash University

Jascha Rohr

Institut für Partizipatives Gestalten

Milda Nordbø Rosenberg

Universitetet i Oslo

Helen Ross

University of Queensland

Shona Russell

University of St Andrews

Melanie Ryan

IUCN Conservation Centre

Probal Saha

University of Tennessee

Katharina Schleicher

Bergische Universität Wuppertal

Flurina Schneider

Universität Bern

Morgan Scoville-Simonds

Universitetet i Oslo

Beverley Searle

University of Dundee

Samuel Petros Sebhatu

Karlstads universitet

Elena Sesana

University of the West of Scotland

Howard Silverman

Pacific Northwest College of Art

Chandni Singh

Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS)

Eleanor Sterling

American Museum of Natural History

Sarah-Jane Stewart

SNC Lavalin

J. David Tàbara

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB)

Douglas Taylor

Wits Business School

P. Thornton

International Livestock Research Institute Nairobi

Theresa Margarete Tribaldos

Universität Bern

Petra Tschakert

University of Western Australia

Natalia Uribe-Calvo


Steve Waddell

SDG Transformations Forum

Sandra Waddock

Boston College

Liza van der Merwe

Barbara van Mierlo

Wageningen University and Research

Patrick van Zwanenberg

Escuela de Economía y Negocios

Sandra Judith Velarde


Carla-Leanne Washbourne

University College London (UCL)

Kerry Waylen

The James Hutton Institute

Annika Weiser

Leuphana Universitat Lüneburg

Ian Wight

University of Manitoba

Stephen Williams

Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS)

Mel Woods

University of Dundee

Ruth Wolstenholme


Ness Wright

Llwyngwern Quarry

Stefanie Wunder

Ecologic Institute

Alastair Wyllie

Ashridge Executive Education at Hult International Business School

Hannah R. Young

University of Reading

Energy Research and Social Science

2214-6296 (eISSN)

Vol. 70 101724


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