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It has well been long been established that the generation and transfer of knowledge is not sufficient to enable action or influence change. Social and cultural values, norms, and priorities differ greatly based on a variety of issues, including varying degrees of perceptions of problem awareness, risk and urgency, as well as differences in value-based lenses, cognitive frames and integrative complexity, varying motivations, abilities, and constraints to taking actions. 

This is also reflected in the ways that people learn and communicate knowledge, especially around climate and sustainable development issues. Most recently, new forms of social media, coupled with ‘alternative facts’ and disinformation, are shaping public opinion, providing a more complex landscape for understanding how perceptions are 137 formed across diverse areas in society, ranging from climate to economy, well-being and the environment. This reality means that knowledge in combination with learning, both social and individual, is critical in catalysing the sense of urgency necessary to influence change.

The challenge is to determine if traction at political and social levels around ocean and coastal sustainability be catalysed by employing a transdisciplinary approach that embeds social justice at its core but also allow for geophysical, ecological, philosophical, cultural, and emotional connections to ocean and coastal spaces to be realised at different scales. This paper examines the utilisation of art-science collaborations as a mechanism to galvanise change by creating discourse drivers for transformations that are more centred on society rather than the more traditional science-policy-practice nexus. Catching a Wave, is designed to demonstrate the co-design potential of ocean and coastal sustainability while providing levers for both cultural identity and innovation is presented.

Focused on five SDGs including SDG13: Climate Action and SDG14: Life below Water, CaW was designed to increase awareness and resonance of the SDGs and oceanscapes with multiple audiences. While CaW deliberately set out to transform the way in which actors, stakeholders, and society interact with ocean and coastal spaces, the process of message development has remained dynamic and driven by an iterative co-design process. CaW has coupled elements more aligned with knowledge generation in natural systems with technological applications and innovative practices to enable more effective translation of actions into products that seek to influence society and society interaction. CaW can therefore act as a translation lens for both knowledge and ways of knowing that may help to catalyse both the spirit of enquiry as well as social learning over time.




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