Design for sustainable co-creation

Stockholm and Hjulsjö

SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communitiesSDG 12: Responsible consumption and production
Back to the Land 2.0 is an international multi-disciplinary design course about re-connecting urban activities with rural activities as one way to enhance food culture and security. Using a collaborative creative learning platform for preparatory work, and in a live week together shaped by the Theory U process, students will learn together with international experts and local partners engaged in food systems.


Good Practices & Solutions

As an innovative way of creating and managing sustainable food systems through creative disciplines, Konstfack University college of Arts, Crafts and Design coordinates an international course consisting of creative methodology learning integrated with real life testing of solutions. The course teaches and uses the Theory U-process, a model developed at MIT for transformative leadership in organisations. The fundamental statement on which the theory is based is that the inner and deeper mechanisms of leadership are a “blind spot” and need to be discovered.

The process consists of five stages: co-initiating, co-sensing, presencing, co-creating, and co-evolving. Co-initiating means to build common intent and engagement through dialogue and listening to other participants’ wishes. Co-sensing is an observing stage in which relevant places and stakeholders are approached, listened to, and analysed. Presencing is the problem-formulating stage in which the process connects its observations to its initial inspiration and will. Co-creating is a prototyping stage of designing solutions in real life situations. Co-evolving means achieving impact on a macro scale, in this case by reaching out to the particular organisation as a whole.

Outcome & Opportunities

The first half of the course consists of individual preparatory work, followed by an on- site, collaborative workshop series lasting one week. During the second half, students share their insights and co-create with the local stakeholders and other actors such as leading international and national experts.

Related SDG targets
  • 11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
  • 11.3.2 Proportion of cities with a direct participation structure of civil society in urban planning and management that operate regularly and democratically
  • 11. A Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
  • 11.B By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels
  • 12.2 By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
  • 12.7 Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities
Further reading

Konstfack – Summer Course: Design for Sustainable Co-Creation 

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Project: Stockholm Co-creation