New SHOWCASE paper provides insights on transdisciplinary research supporting agrifood system transformation

30 March 2023

The understanding of how to restore and improve the resilience of agrifood systems could be enhanced by considering them as social-ecological systems, encompassing all living beings and their dynamic interactions with the earth system. Such a perspective calls not only for an interdisciplinary approach but also a transdisciplinary and transformative one which engages diverse stakeholders in knowledge co-creation and generates actual change.

To shed more light on how such transdisciplinary and transformative research can be conducted, a new methods paper presents the research agenda and geographical setting of the Aliment’Actions project in western France. The project is a pioneering initiative that aims to achieve a better understanding of the factors and conditions that can catalyse agrifood system transformation and increase its sustainability and resilience. It started in 2018 and is set to run for at least 10 years, seeking to engage stakeholders in a knowledge co-creation process, monitor interventions, and communicate findings.

The main characteristics of the Aliment'Actions project are its adoption of a social-ecological systems perspective, its place-based approach, its transdisciplinary and adaptive nature, its iterative process, and its research design based on experimentation and monitoring. This pioneering project's features were developed as it progressed, making its overall experience useful for future transdisciplinary projects with similar objectives, and providing insights on how to foster the engagement of non-academic actors in transdisciplinary research supporting agrifood system transformation.

Read the full paper here.

Photo: The main features of the Aliment’Actions project.