The “Nutrire Trento” Living Lab through the lenses of Transdisciplinary Action Research
In the pursuit of resolving the challenge surrounding the diversification of the food system and with the goal of crafting a “diversification roadmap” by the project’s conclusion, one of FOOdIVERSE’s working packages is focused on establishing dedicated living labs in each of the five participating countries. The Italian Team’s chosen living lab is “Nutrire Trento” (Feeding Trento), a local sustainable food initiative that operates akin to a food council. Its primary objective is to collaboratively develop a comprehensive food policy for the city. The analysis of this living lab raises methodological questions spanning various academic and non-academic domains, actively involving institutions and civil society.
In this context, Transdisciplinary Action Research (TAR) emerges as a valuable methodological tool. TAR effectively amalgamates aspects of participatory action research, participatory democratic processes, and participant observation. This methodology proves particularly adept not only at dissecting intricate societal issues—such as those integral to food and socioecological transitions—but also at formulating practical solutions that yield tangible impacts on society.
A first methodological contribution in this sense has taken the form of an article published as “research proceedings” in JEOD (Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity), available here: https://jeodonline.com/jeod_articles/doing-transdisciplinary-action-research-a-critical-assessment-of-an-italian-lab-like-sustainable-food-initiative