The International Social Science Council (ISSC) has recently funded three “Transformative Knowledge Networks” as part of the innovative Transformations to Sustainability Programme. The research programme involves nine partners from four continents. The programme is led by Professor Heila Lotz-Sisitka, who holds a SARChI Chair in Global Change and Social Learning Systems at Rhodes University.

The first Workshop and Research School meeting of the Transformative Knowledge Network (TKN) took place at Rhodes University from 26

May to 30 May 2016. Here groups of individuals from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe, came together to discuss and share ways of doing research in the context of creating sustainable communities in times of climate change.

Working with civil society, youth, academic, government and community partners across the partner countries, the programme will examine how learning can initiate and expand

sustainability transformations in selected community sites which are responding to arising impacts at the climate-energy-food-water security and social justice nexus.

The need for more radical forms of learning- centred transformation is increasingly recognised in the SES. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014) has highlighted the

need for learning-centred approaches to climate change adaptation. These approaches to learning remain under-developed and under-theorised in the SES. Limited research has been done on this type of learning, or on how such learning emerges or can be expanded to strengthen agency for sustainability transformations at multi-levels.

“We need to better understand how to

co-enable emergence of transformative learning processes in social contexts, to strengthen

the emergence of collective social formations in response to the pressing social-ecological

challenges emerging in times of climate change. We hope that this international collaboration will provide insight on this question both from our own societal contexts, as well as contexts in other places” , says Prof Lotz-Sisitka.