Interactional theory as a keystone of learning in action, creativity, innovation, and democracy

Michael W.P. Fortunato, Theodore R. Alter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This reflexive practice article is about how we, the authors, have put Kenneth P. Wilkinson’s theories into use in our Community and Economic Development practice, particularly the interactional theory of community. It is our aim to discuss ways this theory has shaped how we view and work with communities in the hopes of supporting a purposive, reflexive, and democratic practice that fosters innovation, creativity, and learning, with the ultimate intention of supporting community members and communities in their journeys to improve their own collective well-being. In this article, we briefly discuss ways that interactional theory has been most useful in shaping our scholar-practitioner-educator’s mind-set, how our observations from dozens of communities have nuanced our understanding of interactional theory, and how we see the theory being applied in the future given our rapidly changing and unpredictable world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-455
Number of pages22
JournalLocal Development and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies

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