Creativity, ethics and transformation: key factors in a transdisciplinary application of systems methodology to resolving wicked problems in sustainability

ISCE Publishing
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Systemic Development: Local solutions in a global environment, 2009, 1, pp. 69 - 77
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Sustainability is a wicked problem that requires a transdisciplinary approach. The deining characteristics of transdisciplinarity include collaborative, creative, higher order thinking which transcends discipline boundaries, the explicit contribution of an ethical or moral perspective to problem resolution, and the generation of new knowledge and new resolutions not available in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary environments. These characteristics align well with theories on transformative learning and Wilbers theories on consciousness evolution. However we need ways to translate this thinking into practice. Soft systems methodology could provide this practical element, but does not necessarily emphasise transformative learning, or moral perspectives aligned with sustainability i.e. valuing of ecologically restorative, socially just, economically proitable resolutions. This paper explores how integration of a transformative learning process with soft systems methodology might provide a useful transdisciplinary approach to sustainability.
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