Learning with and from cases: A case-based Mutual Learning Session at the Leverage Points conference

By Moritz Engbers

Mutual learning is a fundamental aspect in transdisciplinary sustainability research. It is considered to increase the knowledge of participants, and at the same time appreciate the multiple perspectives co-existing in the process. Mutual learning is also one of the prerequisites for the creation of socially and culturally robust knowledge. In order to facilitate and reflect on those learning processes, we will have a case-based Mutual Learning Sessions (cbMLS) as part of the Leverage Points conference. This transdisciplinary workshop format aims to organize mutual learning, knowledge integration and knowledge transfer among people from different disciplines, fields of action and societal domains.

What is somewhat particular to cbMLS is that they are focusing on a single case or a set of cases as focal points of the research. A cbMLS involves case experts, practitioners, scientists, policymakers and further participants that learn from each other, from the case and with the case during the process. It is composed of three phases: 1) the preparation phase consists of forming a research team and writing a case booklet, 2) the case encounter, during which participants are engaged face-to-face in excursions and workshops in order to jointly develop outcomes and 3) the post-processing phase focuses on the dissemination of results. A goal is to support learning from, with and between cases and to develop a concrete outcome – such as policy orientations – for the case study sites.

The cbMLS at the Leverage Points 2019 conference will focus on two cases, one is related to the district of Oldenburg (Lower Saxony), Germany and the other is one is based in Southern Transylvania, Romania. Both case study areas are confronted with intensive landscape changes which have ecological, economic, social and cultural consequences. A focus of the cbMLS will be on reactions and attitudes towards these changes. Pro-active attitudes and beliefs are dependent on perceived agency in both cases. Therefore, participants from both cases will be present in the cbMLS. The session consists of the preparation of a shared booklet at the forefront, an excursion to the Oldenburg district on the day before the conference (5 Feb 2019), further sessions, and a presentation of results on the first conference day (6 Feb 2019).

Examples in which cbMLS have been implemented are the 1st Global TraPs conference, and a project on sustainable family farming practices in Colombia (Ortiz et al. 2018). For further information on the concept of cbMLS see Vilsmaier et al. 2015.


Abstract submission for this conference closes on 30 June — soon! Submit your Abstract here.

For more information please visit: http://leveragepoints2019.leuphana.de

If you have any specific enquiries about abstract submission please contact: Leveragepoints2019@leuphana.de

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