The overall focus of the SLIM Project was to understand the application of social learning as a conceptual framework, an operational principle, a policy instrument or governance mechanism, and a process of systemic change in the fields of natural resource management and water catchments in particular.
 A premise of SLIM research is that it is useful to view sustainability as an emergent property of stakeholder interaction and not as a technical property of the ecosystem; from this perspective, stakeholder interaction is not causal, i.e., it is necessary but may not be sufficient for sustainability outcomes to appear.