Call For Papers

SPECIAL JOURNAL ISSUE IN

LOCAL ENVIRONMENT: THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF JUSTICE AND SUSTAINABILITY

Living Labs: Perspectives on Regenerative Approaches for Place-Based Socio-Ecological Transitions

  • We are no longer accepting expressions of interest. 
  • Full manuscripts due on July 1, 2022.

Ecological impacts of humans on earth are among the most pressing concerns of our generation. Issues such as climate change, soil degradation, water and air pollution, and deforestation paired with increasing social inequalities have devastating effects for all life on the planet. While there have been many efforts to address these challenges, existing solutions tend to work in disciplinary, jurisdictional, and sectoral isolation limiting their ability to impact the structural causes. Across the globe, universities, and colleges in partnership with civil society organizations and communities are engaging in efforts to establish Living Labs by integrating research, teaching and community engagement to advance regenerative social-ecological systems.

Living Labs are collaborative initiatives that aim to address a wide range of complex challenges with a focus on co-creation, innovation, experimentation, and scale. They work with a range of participants for social and environmental change through interdisciplinary, placed-based, experiential learning and action in the built and natural environments. They have been developed across a wide range of sectors and aim to address global concerns such as climate change, expanding inequities and injustices, degradation of living systems, and the degradation of meaningful relationships within and among the human and non-human worlds. Despite the increasing development and use of Living Labs, key knowledge and practice gaps exist and calls remain for additional research and reflection. Addressing these knowledge gaps is essential if Living Labs are to make meaningful contributions towards co-creating a healthy, sustainable, and just transition.

A Special Issue on “Living Labs: Perspectives on Regenerative Approaches for Place-Based Socio-Ecological Transitions” is being prepared for publication in Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability by Nairne Cameron (Algoma University), Charles Levkoe, Lindsay Galway and Rachel Portinga (Lakehead University). The Special Issue is intended to present a diverse range of Living Labs research conducted in multiple countries and include cross-cultural perspectives rooted in concepts of just sustainabilities (Agyeman, 2008).

Of particular interest are papers that are written from Global South perspectives, recognizing interpretations of the term ‘Living Lab’ may differ. Inclusion of the voices of community partners is also very important. We seek papers on Living Labs that address a wide range of proposed solutions to global concerns including, but not limited to: climate action, social and environmental justice, decolonization, food security and food sovereignty, participatory democracy, and health and wellbeing.

Authors are encouraged to address one the following aspects of Living Labs in their submissions: 

  1. analyzing governance and power dynamics;
  2. exploring how learning evolves via co-creation; and,
  3. examining how universities are impeding and/or supporting advances in relation to governance, co-creation, and justice in Living Labs work.

Please send expressions of interest including a 250-word abstract including title, up to five key words, author(s), institutional affiliation (if any), and contact details (including an email address) to Nairne Cameron (nairne.cameron@algomau.ca) by May 15, 2022.  The deadline for full manuscripts is July 1, 2022.

Articles & Publications

Galway, L.P., Levkoe, C.Z., Portinga, R.L.W., and Milun, K. (2021). A Scoping Review Examining Governance, Co-creation, and Social and Ecological Justice in Living Labs Literature (2015-2020). Challenges 13(1), 1-16.

Lowitt, K., Levkoe C.Z., Lauzon, R., Ryan, K. and Seyers, D. (2019). Indigenous Self-Determination and Food Sovereignty through Fisheries Governance in the Great Lakes Region. In: Andrée, P. Clark, J.K., Levkoe C.Z., Lowitt, K. (Eds.). Civil Society and Social Movements in Food System Governance. Routledge, Series on Food, Society and Environment.

Lowitt K., Levkoe C.Z., Song A.M., Hickey G.M., and Nelson C. (2019). Broadening the Knowledge Base of Small-Scale Fisheries through a Food Systems Framework: A Case Study of the Lake Superior Region. In: R. Chuenpagdee, and S. Jentoft. (Eds.). Transdisciplinarity for Small-Scale Fisheries Governance. MARE Publication Series. Springer.

Levkoe C.Z., Lowitt, K., and Nelson, C. (2017). “Fish as Food”: Exploring a Food Sovereignty Approach to Small-Scale Fisheries. Marine Policy 85: 65-70.

Presentations

American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting

Feb 2022

The LSLLN hosted two virtual paper sessions at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting on February 28, 2022. The sessions were titled Living Labs at the Forefront of Social and Environmental Change. The sessions focused on Living Labs as partnerships among civil society organizations and communities integrating research, teaching and engagement to advance regenerative social-ecological systems. Living Labs are collaborative initiatives that aim to address a wide range of complex challenges with a focus on co-creation, innovation, experimentation, and scale. They work with a range of participants for social and environmental change through interdisciplinary, placed-based, experiential learning and action in the built and natural environments. They have been developed across a wide range of sectors and aim to address global concerns such as climate change, expanding inequities and injustices, degradation of living systems, and the degradation of meaningful relationships within and among the human and non-human worlds. Despite the increasing development and use of Living Labs, key knowledge and practice gaps exist and calls remain for additional research and reflection. Addressing these knowledge gaps is essential if Living Labs are to make meaningful contributions towards co-creating a healthy, sustainable, and just transition. The session consisted of two parts:

 

Part I. Concepts and Perspectives

1)    A Relational Framework for Disrupting Discontinuities: Reflections on the Possibilities for a Lake Superior Living Labs Network and a Watershed Approach
Nairne Cameron, Charles Z. Levkoe, and the LSLLN Steering Committee

2)    A research agenda for Living Labs as a collaborative innovation model for environmental sustainability: gaps in research and practice
Vivian M. Nguyen, Steve Joncoux, Jean-Francois Jasmin, Christine Beaudoin, Albana Berberi, R. Sandra Schillo, Chris McPhee

3)    Just another tool for the post-political city? Reflecting the political potential of urban living labs for urban planning
Jana Weber, Le-Lina Kettner

4)    Using living labs to strengthen rural-urban linkages and transition to economies of well-being: reflections from a European multi-actor project
Damian Maye, Dan Keech, Matt Reed, Marina Knickel, Han Wiskerke

5)    Learning at the institutional liminality of transitions. Urban Living Labs as inter-boundary spaces of the food energy and water nexus
Richard Nunes with Jana Fried, Ester dal Poz, Kevin Winter, Timo von Wirth, Matt Johnston

Part II. Case Studies and Analysis

1)    Framing the issue, scaling the action: a tale of two tourism living lab on climate change
Dominic Lapointe, Alexis Guillemard, Jean-François Jasmin, David Guimont

2)    The Landscape Lab: exploring social, ecological, and technological adaptation to water scarcity and climate change through stormwater management at the University of Utah
Sarah Jack Hinners

3)    Experimentation in a post-earthquake living lab
Eric Pawson

4)    Re-placing Theological Knowledge Production
Emma Lietz Bilecky

5)    The Northland Solar Commons Living Lab: A Case Study in Piloting Place-Based Peer Governance of the Sun’s Commonwealth for Regenerative Community Economies
Kathryn Milun