Applied Systems Thinking cluster
Combining research and knowledge from business, management, marketing, economics, public policy and the social sciences, the Applied Systems Thinking cluster researches pressing societal problems like climate action, sustainable consumption, sustainable tourism, antibiotic resistance and renewable energy.
The group looks for community and collective initiatives that bring about positive social change. It combines policy insight, stakeholder engagement and private sector expertise to develop innovative every day solutions, improved governance systems, and the capacity of the public to influence those who make decisions affecting their lives and well-being.
The research and teaching agenda of the Applied Systems Thinking cluster is as wide ranging as Sustainable Consumption. A combination of academic and practical methods, an understanding of provisioning systems, behavioural sciences, participatory processes and social movements, and use of community intervention and knowledge partnerships, has enabled the cluster to develop participant-led expertise on society-wide problems relevant to United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) #12.
For example, led by Prof Christine Domegan EU LIFE IP Peatlands and People is Ireland’s climate action catalyst, supporting the realisation of a carbon neutral, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable country. The vision for this 7.5-year project is to see our peatland landscapes and our lives transition and transform before our eyes, as our world advances towards a bio-diverse and sustainable society. The three project pillars, Ecology, Economic and Cultural/Social, work together to restore and rehabilitate peatlands across Ireland’s midlands as well as establish a business accelerator programme and design an immersive visitor attraction for educational and systemic transformation.
Peatlands are incredibly vital to our lives – they are our rain forests helping to fight climate change by capturing and storing carbon, but also improve water quality, reduce the risk of flooding, support habitats and protect biodiversity. They are places for amenity use and offer opportunities for sustainable tourism and low-carbon energy.
The People’s Discovery Visitor Experience will use the backdrop of Ireland’s peatlands to show what can be achieved, allowing you to step into a hidden world – a rich, physical, immersive and absorbing landscape that empowers imagination, creativity, curiosity, discovery, and innovation. It gives people a glimpse of this future, sending them home with the power to be agents of change through their workplaces, communities and lifestyle choices.
“Changing our behaviours and our systems is not an event nor a simple process. It takes time and understanding if sustainable outcomes are to be achieved for communities, their everyday lives and society. Change happens at ground level, where action is possible and new and exciting initiatives and collaborations take place. The People’s Discovery Visitor Experience will use fun, unique experiences and demonstrations that talk to the head, heart and hands to bring about this sustainable consumption change,” says Prof Christine Domegan.