Learnings from local collaborative transformations: Setting a basis for a sustainability framework

Pedro Macedo*, Ana Huertas, Cristiano Bottone, Juan del Río, Nicola Hillary, Tommaso Brazzini, Julia M. Wittmayer, Gil Penha-Lopes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The complexity of the sustainability challenge demands for collaboration between different actors, be they governments, businesses, or grassroots movements, at all levels. Nevertheless, and according to previous research, many tensions and obstacles to partnership still exist and results are far from meaningful. By investigating potential synergies, our purpose is to define a sustainability framework to promote better collaboration between community-based initiatives and local governments, in the context of transformation. Specifically, the research aim presented in this paper is to harvest learnings from existing collaborative experiments at the municipal level. As a starting point and using exploratory literature review concerning areas like policy (e.g., public administration) or business and management research, we propose a 'Compass for Collaborative Transformation'. This heuristic device can support the study of these sustainability experiments. We also introduce a method to map the governance imprint of these collaborations and to provide a 'proxy' of transformative efforts. We then present and discuss results from 71 surveyed cases happening in 16 countries in America and Europe, comparing distinctive frameworks involved. Finally, we consider the preconditions of a framework to improve these local collaborations-namely the capacity to support joint navigation through transformative efforts, facing high levels of uncertainty and complexity-and present ongoing efforts to codesign a new sustainability framework.

Original languageEnglish
Article number795
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: The Municipalities in Transition project is funded by the KR Foundation (Grant ID G-1610-01869). Pedro Macedo and Gil Penha-Lopes wish to acknowledge the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, the Portuguese public agency that supports science, technology and innovation (scholarship PD/BD/128170/2016 and contract number IF/00940/2015, respectively).

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the contribution of Jo?o Malato in the statistical analyses, all the people involved in data collection and everyone else that supported this research. The Municipalities in Transition project is funded by the KR Foundation (Grant ID G-1610-01869). Pedro Macedo and Gil Penha-Lopes wish to acknowledge the Funda??o para a Ci?ncia e a Tecnologia, the Portuguese public agency that supports science, technology and innovation (scholarship PD/BD/128170/2016 and contract number IF/00940/2015, respectively).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.

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