The role of sustainability knowledge-action platforms in advancing multi-stakeholder engagement on sustainability

Article


Bream McIntosh, O., Burnett, A., Feldman, I., Lamphere, J., Reuter, T. and Vital, E. 2023. The role of sustainability knowledge-action platforms in advancing multi-stakeholder engagement on sustainability. Data and Policy. 5. https://doi.org/10.1017/dap.2023.27
TypeArticle
TitleThe role of sustainability knowledge-action platforms in advancing multi-stakeholder engagement on sustainability
AuthorsBream McIntosh, O., Burnett, A., Feldman, I., Lamphere, J., Reuter, T. and Vital, E.
Abstract

Within the last decade, online sustainability knowledge-action platforms have proliferated. We surveyed 198 sustainability-oriented sites and conducted a review of 41 knowledge-action platforms, which we define as digital tools that advance sustainability through organized activities and knowledge dissemination. We analyzed platform structure and functionality through a systematic coding process based on key issues identified in three bodies of literature: (a) the emergence of digital platforms, (b) the localization of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and (c) the importance of multi-level governance to sustainability action. While online collaborative tools offer an array of resources, our analysis indicates that they struggle to provide context-sensitivity and higher-level analysis of the trade-offs and synergies between sustainability actions. SDG localization adds another layer of complexity where multi-level governance, actor, and institutional priorities may generate tensions as well as opportunities for intra- and cross-sectoral alignment. On the basis of our analysis, we advocate for the development of integrative open-source and dynamic global online data management tools that would enable the monitoring of progress and facilitate peer-to-peer exchange of ideas and experience among local government, community, and business stakeholders. We argue that by showcasing and exemplifying local actions, an integrative platform that leverages existing content from multiple extant platforms through effective data interoperability can provide additional functionality and significantly empower local actors to accelerate local to global actions, while also complex system change.

Keywordsdigital platforms; interoperability; multi-level governance; SDG localization; translocalustainability
Sustainable Development Goals11 Sustainable cities and communities
Middlesex University ThemeSustainability
PublisherCambridge University Press
JournalData and Policy
ISSN
Electronic2632-3249
Publication dates
Online16 Oct 2023
Publication process dates
Submitted18 Jan 2022
Accepted25 Jul 2023
Deposited07 Mar 2024
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Supplemental file
License
File Access Level
Open
Copyright Statement

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.

Additional information

Research funded by ESRC under post-doctoral research fellowship at the Centre for Environment and Sustainability, University of Surrey and finalised while at Middlesex University. Other funding included the Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (T.A.R.).

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/dap.2023.27
LanguageEnglish
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