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Open Access Pattern languages as a design tool to tackle “wicked problems” in sustainability science

This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY licence.

Humanity is facing global and local sustainability challenges that call for the involvement of a wide range of expertise drawn from academia, civil society, the private sector, as well as funding and development agencies. The challenge will be to leverage this diversity to nurture decision making. To make such discussions successful we propose a pattern language approach. It can be used as a practical step-by-step process to guide interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers and to facilitate transdisciplinary interactions between the academic and nonacademic worlds. The patterns are documented and freely accessible online in the Sustainable Science Pattern database.

Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals; knowledge system; pattern languages; sustainability science; value creating systems; wicked problem

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 16, 2021

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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