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Student participation in the co-creation of knowledge and social experiments for advancing sustainability: experiences from the University of Tokyo

Trencher, Gregory, Terada, Toru, Yarime, Masaru
Current opinion in environmental sustainability 2015 v.16 pp. 56-63
elderly, knowledge, learning, models, research projects, universities
Universities around the world are increasingly engaging in multi-stakeholder collaborations for the co-creation of knowledge, tools and experiments with social and technical systems for advancing societal sustainability. With much of these initiatives conceived primarily as faculty research projects, implications of knowledge co-creation for student sustainability learning and education are largely under examined. This study analyses experiences from a multi-stakeholder partnership at the University of Tokyo that demonstrated a pathway towards a low-carbon and elderly citizen friendly reform of the neighbouring City of Kashiwa. Through a framework of four key models of student participation observed in this case, we examine how each contributes to the co-creation of knowledge and social experiments. We also consider for each the enabling conditions, potential barriers and strategies to overcome these, and lastly, how student sustainability learning may be enhanced.