An exploration of sustainability change agents as facilitators of nonformal learning: mapping a moving and intertwined landscape
Katrien Van Poeck, Centre for Sustainable Development, Department of Political Sciences, Ghent University
Jeppe Læssøe, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University
Thomas Block, Centre for Sustainable Development, Department of Political Sciences, Ghent University
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We explore the variety of ways in which change agents try to contribute to sustainable development and how, by doing so, they enable different forms of learning. Drawing on research literature as well as empirical studies, we distinguish a diversity of change agency roles. We then describe and develop an ideal typology of change agents according to how they relate to two fields of tension: that between instrumental vs. open-ended approaches to change and learning, and that between personal detachment vs. involvement. Finally, we compare the developed ideal types, i.e., Technician, Convincer, Mediator, and Concerned Explorer, with empirical examples and suggest a dynamic reading of the typology as a landscape in which change agents move between and across different positions according to changing and shifting contexts.
change agents; ideal typology; nonformal learning; sustainability; transition
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