Navigating transitions

January 7th, 2022

Project duration

December 2021 – June 2025

The challenge

Global system disruptions such as climate change and land degradation are driving demand in Australia and internationally for mitigation and adaptation strategies to support rapid transition to more sustainable states. We are seeing the emergence of specific responses (e.g., decarbonisation, biodiversity positive, natural capital protection) that are already significantly affecting communities and regions. Yet proposed solutions largely ignore the complex social-economic-ecological interactions that can substantially influence the short and long-term success of such transitions. Why do these interactions impact success? Because sectors, regions, and private individuals or households have differing motivations and capacities for transition, influenced by previous ecological and historical legacies, discourses, resources, and capabilities to collaborate.

Our response

Through this project we will work with communities facing the challenge of natural capital transitions necessary for agricultural sustainability and with industrial communities facing decarbonisation challenges. Our research is focusing on how to diagnose and catalyse sustainability transitions, to facilitate more inclusive and robust outcomes, and to support transitions through development and application of novel tools and methodologies. A key step will be working to identify information and governance frameworks that can reduce transition risk and enhance confidence in sustainable futures for communities and industries.


Building confidence and reducing risk in how to move from clearly unsustainable futures will help individuals, communities and regions embark on in successful transitions where environmental values can be maintained, and economic and social futures sustained. Through this project we will provide communities with the tools they need to successfully take the steps they need in transitioning economies and environments into a more sustainable future.


CSIRO: Stuart Whitten (L&W), Tira Foran (L&W), Nicky Grigg (L&W), Jody Bruce (TNZ Mission), Michael Battaglia (A&F), Michael Dunlop (L&W), Andy Wilkins (Minerals), Libby Pinkard (L&W), Daniel Mendham (L&W), Tony O’Grady (L&W).