Inner Transformations

Inner Transformations Project Button


Progress towards sustainability is becoming increasingly challenging as a result of increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA). Responding to these challenges, WISIR is currently exploring the role of inner dimensions for systemic transformations. Scholars in this stream are focusing on how to identify, nurture, and assess the skills and capacities needed to support conditions for collective flourishing.

Research questions:

  • What kinds of skills, capacities, and competencies would be most generative for reducing unconscious barriers to change?
  • How do these capacities help to recognize and challenge normative ways of thinking and doing?
  • How might people cultivate affective, cognitive, and relational skills to cope with the discomfort of moving beyond unconscious normalcy and embrace uncertainty, chaos, and paradox as precursors for transformative change?
  • How might interventions for inner work support psycho-social transformations in organizations?


We have recently commenced a new research project looking at the inner dimensions of sustainability transformations. Our research partners include representatives from the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. We are also exploring these ideas in the context of complex inter-cultural spaces and collaborating with scholars from the Stockholm Resilience Center.

For more information on this area of WISIR research, please contact Kira Cooper

Recent publications:

Cooper, K.J., McIntyre, D.G., & McCarthy, D. (2024) Cultivating Pearls of Wisdom: Creating Protected Niche Spaces for Inner Transformations amidst the Metacrisis. Challenges. 15(1), Article 1.

McIntyre, D., Cloutis, G., and McCarthy, D. (2023). Indigenous trans-systemics: Changing the volume on systems. Sustainability Science.

Cooper, K. J., & Gibson, R. B. (2023). How do mindfulness offerings support inner-outer sustainability progress? A sustainability assessment of online mindfulness events. Challenges 14(2), 26,

Cooper, K. J., & Gibson, R. B. (2022). A Novel Framework for Inner-Outer Sustainability Assessment. Challenges 13(2), 64. pp.1-27. 

Daly CA, L’Hommecourt J, Arrobo B, Davies Post A, McCarthy D, Donald G, Gerlach SC. 2022. Gesturing towards co-visioning: A new approach for intercultural mine reclamation and closure planning. Special Issue of The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design.

Daly C, L’Hommecourt J, Arrobo B, McCarthy D, Donald G, Gerlach SC. 2021.  Toward a ‘co-reclamation’ framework in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples. Delta (BC): Landform Design Quarterly (Fall).