White metal spiral staircase in a botanical garden

Nick Catahan from the Business School is progressing Transformative Service Research (TSR), applying TSR to botanic gardens. This cutting-edge TSR is concerned with UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)3 (Ensuring healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages) involving an ethnographic study of the representation and presentation of botanic gardens, as unique, diverse place-service-related ecosystems with actual and potential roles, responsibilities and impacts regarding sustainability.

Man standing in front of a flowering Corpse Flower

Botanic Gardens are faced with a range of challenges due to continued financial changes, changing roles and the need for strategic decision-making as they work toward measuring their achievement and impact toward meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, this study aims to address such challenges and acts as a point of reference with a focus on SDG 3 indicators but also place and services marketing opportunities to potentially engage a global footfall of 500 million visitors a year to botanic gardens among others. 

Building on Nicholas’s most recent paper ‘The View, Brew and Loo: Perceptions of Botanic Gardens?’, this TSR is hoped to develop a framework for managers and marketers to present botanic gardens as significant places of transformative services to change attitudes and lives as set out in SDG3, among others. It is intended that this TSR will inform not only place/service managers and marketers, and staff and visitors of botanic gardens but the wider community, policy makers and governments, highlighting significance, expertise, efficacy, opportunities and transformative services of botanic gardens worldwide.

Nick has a background in horticulture, the voluntary sector, ecosystem management, heritage, conservation, tourism, education, social enterprise, and place making, management and development.