Community-based Sustainability Initiatives as Learning Systems

  • Andrew Mitchell


By means of an extended case study community-based sustainability initiative, Mitchell introduces original empirical research into how the project practitioners shifted from being a first-order learning project to a second-order learning project. Drawing on concepts from enactive cognitive science to augment the practice of developmental evaluation as an approach to support practitioners utilise their experiential learning as an asset under conditions of complexity, Mitchell describes the thematic analysis of the case study initiative in becoming self-aware as a learning project, and the process of using orthogonal interactions during action research meetings to help introduce a disruption to habituated practices of observation. From these sites of rupture, new insights were generated about learning how to learn under uncertain and dynamic conditions.


Communities living sustainably fund Thematic analysis Second-order learning systems Disruption Linguistic systems 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ADAPT ManagementLeicesterUK

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