The role of trust, commitment and reframing in social learning

The research of Jifke Sol is focused on social learning processes in regional multi-actor innovation networks, also regarded as governance networks. The aim of this research is to find out more about the role of trust, reframing and commitment in social learning. Second the role of reflexivity is regarded as important. The studies take place in Dutch regional networks.

The first study took place in Groningen, Westerkwartier, where the start of regional network can be witnessed during an action oriented research project by students. Remarkable is that de students can be regarded as boundary objects.

The second study is a retrospective study in the same region and reveals the role of trust, commitment and reframing in the multi-actor learning process. Here we can see the behaviour of different actors, such as roles of farmers and roles of governments. This study leads to a hypothetical model about trust, commitment and reframing in social learning processes.

The third study takes place in the context of a National Programme on Biodiversity. The focus is on Child-city, a child care context where awareness on biodiversity is promoted by different interventions and learning activities for children. Tipping point in time is the planting of a willow tree hut after a series of small tipping points in a long decision making and learning process.

The fourth and last study takes places in three regional sustainability networks in the Netherlands in the context of The national ‘Duurzaam Door’(Moving Forward Sustainably) Policy Programme. We regard these networks as generative governance arrangements where new knowledge, actions and relations can co-evolve together with new insights in governance and learning within sustainability transitions. In order to understand the dynamics of the learning in these networks we have monitored emergent properties of social learning between 2014 and 2016. Our focus is particularly on the interrelated role of trust, commitment, reframing and reflexivity. We used a retrospective analysis with Reflexive Monitoring in Action (RMA) which we combined with the Most Significant Change approach. We found that reflexivity in particular is a critical property at moments that can make or break the process.

Project team