040: Amplification processes and incorporating local knowledge in sustainability research with David Lam

In this episode, Stefan Partelow interviews David Lam.

David is a PhD candidate at Leuphana University in Germany. His research focuses on the transferability and scalability of the transformational impact of sustainability initiatives. Before starting his PhD, David Lam studied Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science at Lund University and worked for three years as a corporate responsibility consultant for companies, federal ministries, and NGOs.


In the podcast we talk about a few different papers (links below) comprising David’s PhD research and thesis. This includes how sustainability transformations are fostered by local actors, but also how understandings of sustainability differs between actors. We also discuss a recent paper led by David on applications processes in the sustainability transformations literature. David has also conducted a review of local and indigensous knowledge, which leads us to discussion on plurality and the challenges on integrating different types of knowledge in transdisciplinary research processes.

Lam, D.P.M., Martín-López, B., Wiek, A. et al. Scaling the impact of sustainability initiatives: a typology of amplification processes. Urban Transform 2, 3 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42854-020-00007-9

Lam, D., E. Hinz, D. Lang, M. Tengö, H. von Wehrden, and B. Martín-López. 2020. Indigenous and local knowledge in sustainability transformations research: a literature review. Ecology and Society 25(1):3. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-11305-250103

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