Conclusion and Way Forward
Our world has attained a level of civilization underpinned by sophisticated sciences and technologies. And yet, contemporary societies continue to face a range of complex and “wicked” problems. We still have a long way to go in redressing our increasingly degraded global environment, as well as eradicating the disparities of equity that continue to polarize societies around the world. Efforts to effect a societal transformation toward sustainable futures have thus far been largely insufficient, but progress has been made. To date, a number of serious root causes limit progress towards societal transformations. In an effort to achieve a breakthrough that will help overcome this grave situation, we have investigated forms of knowledge and knowledge co-production processes with the potential to provide effective support for decision-making toward sustainability and contribute to resolving difficult challenges at a range of spatial scales and governance levels from the local to the global. A main question throughout this book is what new kinds of science as knowledge production systems are needed to address the complex and difficult challenges facing societies? One of the answers to this fundamental question is the form of transdisciplinary science with knowledge co-creation processes which we have pursued and illustrated through the case studies presented in this book. We endeavor to reveal the characteristics of such a transdisciplinary science using case studies highlighting various forms of knowledge co-creation that are being put into practice in many instances across the world.