Key advantages of the leverage points perspective to shape human-nature relations

Summary

This perspective paper synthesises the special issue ‘Human-nature connectedness as a leverage point for sustainability transformation’. Based on the articles in this special issue, we aim to foster the operationalisation of the leverage points perspective to shape human-nature relations to enable sustainability transformations.

Specifically, we draw on four key advantages of the leverage points perspective: (i) the explicit recognition of deep leverage points; (ii) the ability to examine the interactions between shallow and deep system changes; (iii) the combination of causal and teleological modes of research; and (iv) the ability to function as a methodological boundary object. The contributions to this special issue revealed three deep leverage points addressing paradigm shifts in research and beyond: relational thinking and values, stewardship philosophy and shifting the economic growth paradigm to focus on human well-being.

We highlight interlinkages between leverage points to further strengthen the transformative potential of interventions that aim at triggering shifts in our understanding about human-nature relations. Further, we show a way to bridge causal and teleological approaches by envisioning desired futures. Lastly, we emphasise the potential of arts-based methodologies, including participatory, transdisciplinary research to foster sustainability transformation and how this can be combined within the leverage points perspective.

Information

Link to centre authors: West, Simon
Publication info: Riechers, M., Loos, J., Balazsi, A., Garcia-Llorente, M., Bieling, C., Burgos-Ayala, A., Chakroun, L., Mattijssen, T.J.M., Muhr, M.M., Perez-Ramirez, I., Raatikainen, K.J., Rana, S., Richardson, M., Rosengren, L. & West, S. 2021. Key advantages of the leverage points perspective to shape human-nature relations. Ecosystems and People 17(1), 205–214.

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