Transformation as Praxis: Exploring Socially Just and Transdisciplinary Pathways to Sustainability in Marginal Environments – TAPESTRY

‘Transformation as Praxis: Exploring Socially Just and Transdisciplinary Pathways to Sustainability in Marginal Environments’ (TAPESTRY) explores how transformation may arise ‘from below’ in marginal environments with high levels of uncertainty. It looks at transformative alliances between local communities, NGOs, scientists and state agencies, seeking socially just and ecologically sound alternatives based on local people’s understandings of what transformation entails.

TAPESTRY focuses on three ‘patches of transformation’ in India and Bangladesh – vulnerable coastal areas of Mumbai, the Sundarbans and Kutch. In these areas, we are exploring how hybrid alliances and innovative practices are reimagining sustainable development, and inspiring societal transformation.

Its conceptual innovation lies in studying transformation as praxis, by putting bottom-up change and the agency of marginalised people at the centre, and by analysing how co-produced transformations can be scaled up and out.


Image of Lars Otto Naess

Lars Otto Naess

Research Fellow

Image of Lyla Mehta

Lyla Mehta

Professorial Fellow

Image of Shilpi Srivastava

Shilpi Srivastava

Research Fellow

Image of Terry Cannon

Terry Cannon

Research Fellow

Recent work


New exhibition from the ‘sinking islands’

A unique art exhibition exploring the responses of those living with environmental uncertainty in the Sundarbans of India is being hosted at IDS this week (5 to 10 July). It features artwork co-created by academics and community groups from the Transformation as Praxis: Exploring Socially Just...

5 July 2022


Heatwave in India and Pakistan is affecting marginalised most severely

A devastating heatwave affecting South Asia over the past two months has persisted into this week, with temperatures in parts of Delhi hitting a record 49.2 degrees Celsius over the weekend. From as early as March this year daytime temperatures have frequently passed the 40 degrees Celsius mark...

16 May 2022


The Politics of Climate Change and Uncertainty in India

This book brings together diverse perspectives concerning uncertainty and climate change in India. Uncertainty is a key factor shaping climate and environmental policy at international, national and local levels. Climate change and events such as cyclones, floods, droughts and changing rainfall...

23 December 2021

Impact Story

Achieving climate justice in South Asia’s Sundarbans delta

An IDS research project in the Sundarbans delta of South Asia is showing how partnerships with local communities can yield new knowledge and ideas for more climate-resilient livelihoods. This year, the TAPESTRY project offered lessons for policymakers, practitioners, researchers and civil...

2 June 2021

Past Event

Transformations in and beyond Covid-19 in India and Bangladesh – Webinar

The coronavirus outbreak has disrupted almost all aspects of life in India and Bangladesh. Apart from the immediate impacts on victims of the virus, the lockdowns imposed by governments have affected the mobility, income, food security, and livelihoods of millions. For people in so-called...

16 July 2020