Experiments in practice

Selected Cases

Rationale for selecting case studies

Experiments are small-scale, co-creative learning-by-doing initiatives that can be situated in a research, governance or activist context, or at the intersection of the three. Based on this working definition of transformative experiments in the context of climate and sustainability issues – developed by the SIAMESE team (see more details in SIAMESE Working Paper 1) – an online survey was conducted in March and April 2022. In total a number of 116 representatives of selected experiments in Austria participated in the survey. This provided a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of transformative climate experiments.

Based on the results of the survey, five experiments were selected for in-depth analysis. The basic aim was to make the selection of experiments as diverse as possible.

The following principles and criteria were used for selection:

  • They correspond to an experimental approach as defined by SIAMESE.
  • The selection should cover a wide thematic range of approaches, sectors and policy areas,
  • with and without public funding,
  • in urban and rural contexts
  • and with different process designs (top-down/bottom-up, research/governance/activist).
  • The selection should include both completed and ongoing initiatives, but in any case the process should be advanced.

In addition to these principles and criteria, the possible access to specific knowledge (contacts, interest, openness) was essential for the selection.