Supporting Inclusiveness

We innovate knowledge co-creation and multi-level governance processes for empowering individual, government and commercial sector involvement in sustainability transformations in various contexts, including urban green space management, protected area management, fisheries and agriculture.


A variety of knowledge co-creation and multi-level governance processes exist for including the values and preferences of different stakeholders into sustainability planning. We support the development and evaluation of mosaic governance processes for involving diverse actors within and across sectors and organizations in supporting multi-functional landscape outcomes (Buijs et al. 2018), and new ways of understanding social inclusion, sense of place and regenerative place making (Raymond et al. 2017).

​We promote the concepts of knowledge weaving and relational knowledge co-production for sustainability which recognise the importance of promoting dialogues between multiple knowledge systems, including indigenous, local and scientific knowledge systems, to support sustainability outcomes (Figure 1, Tengo et al. 2017).​

​Figure 1 The five tasks of knowledge weaving for sustainability.

We also explore the complex and unpredictable nature of knowledge exchange processes and their outcomes for sustainability planning and management (Hakkarainen et al. 2019, Figure 2).

Figure 2 - the complete and unpredictable nature of knowledge exchange processes (Hakkarainen et al. 2019).


Despite these various processes, we lack understanding of how to develop, implement and evaluate knowledge co-production and multi-level governance processes for empowering individual, government and commercial sector involvement in sustainability transformations.

​We have recently proposed a multi-method approach for evaluating the effectiveness of mosaic governance processes (Figure 3), which is currently being tested in the VIVA-PLAN project.

Figure 3:The multiple method approach being used in the VIVA-PLAN project


  1. Develop mixed-method and multi-method approaches for assessing the social, ecological and technological impacts of engaging diverse actors in sustainability planning and management.

  2. Assess the relationships between place-based experiences (both sensory and socially constructed), biodiversity, social inclusion and well-being (including safety and security).

  3. Identify leverage points in social and ecological systems for strengthening adaptive capacity and promoting behaviour change and transformations toward sustainability.
  4. Recommend approaches for engaging diverse actors and citizens in the sustainable spatial planning and the future management of multi-functional landscapes.

Relevant Publications

Hakkarainen, V, Daw, T., Tengö, M (2019). On the other end of research: exploring community-level knowledge exchanges in small-scale fisheries in Zanzibar. Sustainability Science.​

Buijs et al. (2018). Mosaic governance for urban green infrastructure: Upscaling active citizenship from a local government perspective. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 40.

Tengö, M., Hill, R., Malmer, P., Raymond, CM., Spierenburg, M., Danielsen, F., Elmqvist, T., and Folke, C. (2017) Weaving knowledge systems in IPBES, CBD and beyond – lessons learned for sustainability Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 26-27: 17-25.