In this chapter, we introduce nomadic thematic analysis, a community-based research method informed by systems thinking and complex systems epistemology. nomadic thematic analysis combines both data production and analysis/synthesis phases into an integrated method. Participants work collaboratively to produce and analyze the data, and to identify and interconnect, in a nomadic way, the themes produced. The researchers are responsible for facilitating and catalyzing the whole process; to set the research collective into motion. Meanwhile, they intervene when necessary to maintain the optimal conditions for the group to work and evolve. The proposed method engages participants in meaningful interactions, catalyzing the further development of the community. Participants reflect on the research questions, share their reflections, work in small groups to co-create multimodal artifacts, synthesize, and share their contributions in a plenary session. Research facilitators provide their feedback, and the research cycle can be repeated. Repeated cycles of making and sharing, along with dense group interactions, help participants in fostering meaningful bonds, negotiating collective meaning, and developing their community. In this way, nomadic thematic analysis moves beyond a process for merely producing and analyzing data; it becomes a transformative process for individual and collective development.

“Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.”

Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1937.