Transformative Research - A Concept in Transition
Those who research transformations, i.e. major processes of social change, not only observe and describe changes, but also contribute to change themselves. Research changes the researchers and those being researched in equal measure. Transformative research is aware of these many dimensions of change and engages with them. There is not THE one definition of transformative research. What unites the various definitions is the desire to understand and guide change in a positive direction through transformative research:
"Transformative research aims to develop technical, social, and organizational solutions to current problems in a collaborative process between scholars and practitioners" (Schader Foundation)
"Transformative research is oriented towards concrete social problems and is characterized by an explicit claim to intervention. The goal is to catalyze concrete change processes and to actively involve stakeholders in the research process" (Wuppertal Institute).
„Our mission is to develop transformative knowledge for pathways to sustainable societies. To this end, we conduct transdisciplinary, transformative and co-creative research in order to develop solutions to pressing sustainability problems together with our partners from science, society and politics and to support decision-making processes at national and international level.“ (IASS)
Listen to Barbara Schellhammers thoughts on Transformative Research. You can click on "show transcript" to read this text.
"Transformative research aims at change processes in at least three directions:
First, it aims to bring about change through the research process itself (rather than through its results). Second, the research project exposes itself to change by addressing concrete factual issues. This is continuously and critically accompanied on a meta-level. Third, the researchers themselves emerge differently from this process."
For more information:
We blog about transformative research on Kontrapunkte - global. solidarisch. transformativ.
Podcast Kontrapunkte - global. solidarisch. transformativ.
More about transformative research at the Center for Social and Development Studies
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