Understanding Socio-Technological Systems Change through an Indigenous Community-Based Participatory Framework

Moving toward a sustainable global society requires substantial change in both social and technological systems. This sustainability is dependent not only on addressing the environmental impacts of current social and technological systems, but also on addressing the social, economic and political harms that continue to be perpetuated through systematic forms of oppression and the exclusion of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities. To adequately identify and address these harms, we argue that scientists, practitioners, and communities need a transdisciplinary framework that integrates multiple types of knowledge, in particular, Indigenous and experiential knowledge. Indigenous knowledge systems embrace relationality and reciprocity rather than extraction and oppression, and experiential knowledge grounds transition priorities in lived experiences rather than expert assessments. Here, we demonstrate how an Indigenous, experiential, and community-based participatory framework for understanding and advancing socio-technological system transitions can facilitate the co-design and co-development of community-owned energy systems.

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