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Research - local sustainability strategies
GENERAL FRAMEWORK - this general framework is meant as a basis for discussion

Stage 1

Theoretical and empirical research: what is the theory of local sustainable development strategies; what is the practice of local sustainable development strategies; what obstacles are there for sustainable development. May develop research together with local community ("bottom-up" development of hypothesis).
a. Environmental aspect

- Environmental Impact Assessment (?)
- The state of the environment
- …

Research on indicators of sustainability, for example:
- Good governance
- Access to information
- Way of development of transport infrastructure and local agenda 21
- How people perceive sustainability
- Mental models
- …

b. Economical aspect

- Analyse tools used to achieve sustainable development (policy, participation, …)
- Green marketing practices
- Eco-labeling
- Sustainable financial flows (inside communities; between rural and urban areas)

c. Social aspect

- Interaction between (among) various stakeholders
- Environmental attitudes (as possible obstacles for sustainable development)
- Participation rates, dynamics, structure

DATA

Stage 2

Critical interpretation of gathered data and new knowledge: looking for guidelines for removing existing obstacles (identified in the first stage)
Methods:
Comparative scientific analysis (statistical analysis and case studies (1))
Use simulation models for research
Communicating results in workshops, meetings, conferences

Working out and measuring indicators of unsustainability and sustainability thinking of ways for improvement
Sketch an institutional framework for local sustainable development and develop methodology of implementing and monitoring local development plans.

Stage 3

Recommendations for policy makers For example: service-learning; community-based learning; organise conferences for different stakeholders in a region; strengthening public participation; etc.

Organising new knowledge for educational programs:
Presenting different simulation games / models for sustainable development(2)
Presenting a book or a manual

Stage 4 – new projects new loop of the learning cycle

The learning cycle may be presented very shortly as follows: story question test experiments policy actions / practices monitoring story question test experiments and so on …


1 For the Opole region an example could be the Turawa lake. For example, show and explain causes of the deterioration of the environment in this area. How to solve the problems, what can be done in the future. A computer / simulation model can be created that explains / describes causes can create scenarios for simulation games based on comparative studies with other countries. Thus, develop computer models based on empirical data, and then test the computer models on data.

2 Computer simulation games / models may be used to connect interactive learning games to test empirical research. Simulation game may be used to get experience and feedback on how to remove obstacles for sustainability.

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