Applying Sustainability Transition Research in Social Work tackling Major Societal Challenge of Social Inclusion
A sustainable social foundation for human life can only develop in an inherent interdependence with the overall ecological ceiling and regenerative economy. ASTRA paves the way for a radically new approach to tackle the major societal challenges faced with social work. This is done by combining transdisciplinary sustainability transition research, policies and practices in social work. The combination creates a novel scientific domain and establishes new transformative standards of social work doctoral training in Europe. Within this frame, the recruited Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) focus on the challenge of social inclusion of young people in precariousness situations as well as people with a migration background in vulnerable communities. In participatory research with the target groups, social work methods are co-created as steps of the transition towards sustainable and inclusive society. The potential of the following methodic models are investigated: naturebased well-being, environmental justice, circular and solidarity economy, sustainable food policies in vulnerable communities, ecosocial innovations and contributive justice. The practice-research methodology of social work is applied by the ASTRA consortium, which consists of leading European social work academics involved in sustainability transition research and two non-academic research organisations for environmental and economic sustainability. The diversity of the partner organisations working on sustainability transition in practice deepens the transdisciplinary approach. The innovative practice-related solutions and fundamentally new types of research-based knowledge will have a long-term impact not only on social work but on society and science at large. ASTRA offers the ESRs novel career perspectives in transdisciplinary research, cross-sectoral policy-making and new economic models at the local, national and European level.