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The Change Point Toolkit for Teaching: Designing Creative Interventions
A practice-theoretical approach to sustainability intervention that helps students go beyond critiquing environmental challenges, to imagining solutions that account for complexity.


By: Alison L. Browne, Claire Hoolohan (both: University of Manchester), Katherine Ellsworth-Krebs (University of Saint Andrews), and Liz Sharp (University of Sheffield)

Session type: Single session, Multiple Session, or Extended Continuous Period session, Undergraduate/Graduate level, Medium size


  • Sustainability interventions

  • Social practice theories

  • Policy / Governance


Introduction to the teaching example:

The exercise aims to create interventions that take into account the intricate, relational aspects of daily life that influence our consumption patterns. 


The workshop entails four steps. First, participants decide on a shared vision of the future. Second, they explain how a series of routine activities (connected across various spaces and times) lead to the current state of unsustainable consumption. Third, they map the constellation of social and material aspects of daily practice and the dispersed assemblage of actors that affect these aspects both purposefully and not. Lastly, participants examine how physical ability, gender, working situation, and household structure diversify these daily practices.


Using the Change Points toolkit (Hoolohan et al., 2018) as a learning activity puts students in the role of creatives and inspires them to draw on their individual experiences of the world to contemplate the multifaceted and dispersed set of variables that shape the use of resources. This is achieved by working through a number of interactive exercises.  The session(s) will present students with both conceptual and practical tools needed for their future jobs, for instance, how theory shapes methods or how to lead a co-design project. In this way, the experience is linked to academic outcomes as well as the development of professional qualifications.

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