Action Research for Sustainable Development in a Turbulent World: Reflections and Future Perspectives


  • Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt
  • Lesley Wood
  • Bob Dick


Participatory action learning and action research, PALAR, sustainable social transformation/change, facilitative action leadership, turbulent world, reflections on future


The purpose of this article is to reflect on a panel discussion about an edited book launched at the 2012 ALARA Conference in Sydney. The majority of authors participated in the launch discussion and presented the message of their chapters, exploring real action possibilities for future sustainable development in their particular fields. Here three of them provide a brief account of their reflections: Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt writes the introduction and conclusion of the article, and comments on the background and conceptual framework of the book and its importance for the future; Bob Dick focuses on ‘facilitative action leadership and more flexible approaches to addressing “wicked” problems in an uncertain and complex world’; and Lesley Wood focuses on ‘action research for sustainable social transformation’. The overall message is that participatory action learning and action research (PALAR) and facilitative action leadership are effective and proven methods for sustainable development in our turbulent world in the 21st century. Readers are encouraged to apply and enhance a similar action research process and method to their collaborative work.