A leverage points perspective on transformation: Invitation to a Global Conversation


From India to Mexico, from Bachelor students to senior scientists – people with a shared interest in social-ecological systems research from all over the world exchanged their ideas and discussed questions in four sessions of the online seminar series “Social-ecological systems: A global conversation”. Between October 2021 and February 2022 members of Leuphana University’s Social-Ecological Systems Institute shared their work with the world. This June, one more session will take place. Dave Abson and Julia Leventon will discuss the application of a leverage points lens as a way of exploring transformative change in complex adaptive social-ecological systems.

The notion of leverage points was first described by the systems thinker Donella Meadows, as places in complex systems where relatively small interventions can cause systemic changes. Meadows (1999) identified 12 leverage points from relatively easy places to intervene, but with limited capacity for systemic change (e.g., changing incentives, rules, or shortening system…

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