9b. Collaboration and Co-creation for Sustainability, SDG Initiatives and Scale of Governance

NB! This track text is confirmed and approved by track chairs.

Track Chairs

  • Peter Dobers, School of Social Sciences, Södertörn University, Sweden. 
  • Malin Gawell, School of Social Sciences, Södertörn University, Sweden.
  • Sebastian Thomas, Sustainable Engineering Group, Curtin University, Australia.
  • Gyula Zilahy, Department of Environmental Economics, Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences, Budapest University of Technology and Economics.

Goals and objectives and areas of the track

The goal of this track is to discuss principles, programs, key concepts, methods and applications of collaboration and co-creation between universities, the public sector, industry, civil society in general, and in the field of sustainable development in particular.

We encourage contributions that address issues including:

  • enablers of and barriers to collaboration and co-creation between societal actors
  • skill sets for successful collaboration and co-creation
  • thematic areas where collaboration and co-creation are most important
  • empirical cases of collaboration and co-creation
  • mobility across sectoral borders between universities, the public sector, industry, civil society
  • strategic partnerships between quadruple helix partners
  • theoretical perspectives on collaboration and co-creation
  • identifying and discussing specific programs to encouraging academic mobility between actors enabling collaboration and co-creation
  • presenting educational programs on any or all three levels (undergraduate, graduate, doctoral) that incorporate collaboration and co-creation
  • presenting research methods enabling collaboration and co-creation between actors
  • identifying and analysing different scales of governance in collaboration and co-creation

Efforts to achieve sustainable development, sustainability, and the Sustainable Development Goals require many actors to collaborate in projects and co-create knowledge. For actors in the Higher Education sector it has become increasingly important to collaborate and co-create with stakeholders from other societal fields including the public sector, industry, and civil society, and to operate effectively across different scales of governance.

Since the 1950s, and together with technological and societal development, academic knowledge has grown explosively and the number of graduates from all levels has increased greatly. This development has created a plurality of knowledge perspectives with the potential for reflective knowledge development through meetings of unlike minds, both within and outside of academia. Inter- and transdisciplinary approaches to research and organizational behaviour are recognized as important and ‘best-practice’ ways to achieve inclusive, equitable, and enduring outcomes. Other labels of co-production, such as action research, enactive or activist research, inventive social research or citizen science are also being used and set focus on slightly different aspects within this emerging field.

Knowledge is always developed in social and practical contexts (Etienne Wenger-Trayner, 2014; Wenger, 1999), which determine what is regarded as relevant and legitimate knowledge. Critical dialogue builds on respect for the experience of others. Linking to SDG 17 (“Partnerships for the Goals”), this track is focused on partnerships across different scales or levels of governance and between stakeholders in different sectors, geographies, and cultures.

Suggested readings include, but are not limited to:

Back, L. & Sinha, S., with Bryan, C., Baraku, V. & Yembi, M. (2018). Migrant City. Routledge.

Bason, C. (2010). Leading public sector innovation. Co-creating for a better society. Bristol: Policy Press.

Cash, D. W., Adger, W. N., Berkes, F., Garden, P., Lebel, L., Olsson, P., … & Young, O. (2006). Scale and cross-scale dynamics: governance and information in a multilevel world. Ecology and Society, 11(2).

Ersoy, A. (2017). The impact of co-production. From community engagement to social justice. Bristol: Policy Press.

Etienne Wenger-Trayner, M. F.-O. C., Steven Hutchinson, Chris Kubiak, Beverly Wenger-Trayner. (2014). Learning in Landscapes of practice. Boundaries, identity, and knowledgeability in practice-based learning. London: Routledge.

Farmer, J., Hill, C., & Munoz, S.-A. (Eds.). (2012). Community co-production. Social enterprise in remote and rural communities. Aldershot: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.

Johannisson, B. (2018). Disclosing Entrepreneurship as Practice. The Enactive Approach. Edwards Elgar.

Max-Neef, M. A. (2005). Foundations of transdisciplinarity. Ecological Economics, 53(1), 5-16.

Ramaswamy, V., & Ozcan, K. (2014). The co-creation paradigm. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Torfing, J. (2016). Collaborative innovation in the public sector. Georgetown: Georgetown University Press.

Wenger, E. (1999). Communities of practice. Learning, meaning and identity. Cam.

Length and content of the proposed abstract to the track

Each proposed abstract (in connection to an area pointed out above) of between 300 and 500 words (including all aspects),

  1. shall be best organized (without headlines) along usual structures (e.g. intro/method/findings or results/ discussion/conclusions)
  2. does not need to, but can include references
  3. shall provide in a final section
    a. to which SDG(s) and SDG-target(s) their proposed abstract especially relate to (e.g. “SDG+Target: 14.1.”).
    b. a brief indication how the proposed contribution relates to the topic of the Conference (“SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND COURAGE: CULTURE, ART AND HUMAN RIGHTS”).

Abstracts which do not outline points 3.a.) AND 3.b.) might not be given special consideration in the selection for potential publications and might be considered less relevant in the Review.

Potential publication channels

With regard to potential publications, depending on the number and quality of contributions the following publication opportunities can be envisaged:

  1. Business Strategies and the Environment (see also http://isdrs.org/journals-test/) and Journal of Cleaner Production (https://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-cleaner-production)
  2. Routledge ISDRS series (http://isdrs.org/routledge/)


Deadline for submitting abstracts: See Submissions