Ir. Geesje Kuit: Transdisciplinary research and social learning

Development Policy27 Aug 2009Geesje Kuit

This session made clear the need and significance of ‘social learning’ in different contexts: for public matters, for sustainable development, and for corporate development looking for sustainability. Social learning is needed to improve adaptive capacity and societal change for sustainable development.

This is a very interesting topic: what is the relation between ‘change’ and ‘knowledge’? Because sometime we know but don’t change, or we change without knowing.

Of course, the question raised is: how do we bring in knowledge that is marginalized? ‘Share experiences, agree upon an experiment – that is social learning,’ says one. ‘But it is difficult to participate marginalized people, their knowledge is not evidenced, how to valorize,’ says the other. Here, I think, we have the proven methods of ‘popular education’ used in rural development, from where we can learn. ‘Not the solutions, but how to get them involved, interested, is the issue.’

Social learning – that’s for sure – goes beyond problem solving; it’s creating.