How We Work

Transformative process

Our approaches

Transformative action and research: CREATES combines action and research on an equal level, utilizing iterative learning loops to drive transformative change and innovation.

Living Lab: We utilize living labs as dynamic spaces for innovation, embracing trial-and-error feedback loops. This real-world experimentation encourages collaborative problem-solving and the development of locally relevant sustainable solutions at the territorial scale. Our physical presence in living labs allows us to learn firsthand from hands-on experiences.

Participatory and transdisciplinary: We bridge social and natural sciences. We integrate diverse epistemologies, forms and sources of knowledge, beyond academia. We mobilize novel participatory approaches leveraging arts, creative communication, and participatory evidence-making to generate insights and enhance the participation of all groups.

Territorial approaches: Sustainable solutions must align with the cultural, environmental, and socioeconomic context. Territorial approaches enable holistic planning across sectors and claims, minimizing frictions and optimizing integration.

Qualitative and quantitative methods: We employ a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods, ensuring robust data collection, analysis, and interpretation to inform evidence-based decision-making.

Arts and Creative Communication: We harness artistic and creative mediums, such as photo, video, music, and theatre, to enrich both the research process and the communication of findings.


Transformative framework​

Our approach builds on three pillars combining action, research and stakeholder engagement to develop evidence-informed interventions with the aim to trigger systemic changes at territorial scale. 

Pillar 1: Solution-oriented and context-relevant knowledge

Together with key stakeholders, we identify knowledge gaps and needs, and co-design strategies to address them. We don’t only produce new knowledge: we also compile, synthesize existing knowledge, including non-academic forms (practical, traditional, indigenous knowledge).

Pillar 2: Evidence-based multistakeholder engagement

We work together with key actors in the food system to identify knowledge needs, fill the knowledge gaps, and put knowledge into action through the implementation of innovative solutions. We use the knowledge to negotiate common visions at territorial scale and engage in collective action to achieve progress towards the vision. We do not aim to add to the project-based proliferation of new platforms and process. Rather, we use existing mechanisms and work towards their strengthening.

Pillar 3: Incubate solutions in our living labs

In our two living labs, we experiment innovative solutions to fill the gaps and leverage the opportunities identified through our research. The solutions are co-designed and co-implemented to ensure ownership of relevant actors. The solutions are iterative. Rigorous monitoring, evaluation, and, more important, learning, is performed in order to improve and fine tune the knowledge base throughout and after the implementation. Solutions are communicated through our deliberative platforms and to the public via creative communication tools.



Tiafoura, Thies Region


(+221) 78 448 65 73