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Wälitalo, L., Callaghan, E., Robèrt, K.-H. & Broman, G. (2023). Understanding governance barriers and enablers for municipal and regional transition towards sustainability—Presenting a comprehensive diagnostic tool based on six case studies in Sweden. Geo: Geography and Environment, 10(1)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Understanding governance barriers and enablers for municipal and regional transition towards sustainability—Presenting a comprehensive diagnostic tool based on six case studies in Sweden
2023 (English)In: Geo: Geography and Environment, E-ISSN 2054-4049, Vol. 10, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Municipal and regional leaders' achievements for synchronised sustainability transitions are still not enough. Systemic, systematic and strategic cross-sectoral collaboration and co-creation are needed. However, sectors isolated in silos leads to suboptimal measures and strategies, and a reductionist view on what hinders and enables joint action towards full sustainability. Consequently, methodological support for addressing the coordinative challenge is often not asked for. This study investigates the observed reductionist perspective as foundation for developing enhanced methodological support for strategic sustainable development (SSD) and further aimed to gain insight into how leaders can be better supported to understand their current reality of barriers and enablers for cross-sectoral SSD work and to prototype such support. Results from fieldwork with leaders in six municipalities and regions suggest that both frequency and depth of barriers and enablers in relation to elements for SSD are insufficient. Nine categories were identified and combined with SSD core elements into a diagnostic tool.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2023
Keywords
barriers and enablers, diagnostic tool, municipalities and regions, strategic sustainable development, sustainability transition
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-20577 (URN)10.1002/geo2.118 (DOI)000938138200001 ()2-s2.0-85162155430 (Scopus ID)
Funder
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
Available from: 2020-10-23 Created: 2020-10-23 Last updated: 2023-06-30Bibliographically approved
Wälitalo, L., Robèrt, K.-H. & Broman, G. (2022). An approach to involve municipal leaders into strategic decision-making for sustainability—A case study. Frontiers in Sustainable Cities, 4, Article ID 895962.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An approach to involve municipal leaders into strategic decision-making for sustainability—A case study
2022 (English)In: Frontiers in Sustainable Cities, E-ISSN 2624-9634, Vol. 4, article id 895962Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To systematically address the sustainability challenge, local and regional government leaders are key actors to facilitate action-oriented dialogues between practitioners from different sectors and disciplines. However, to address sustainability in collaboration is a complex challenge and leaders as well as practitioners need methodological support. This study is an off shot of an Action Research project that tested and developed an implementation model for cross-sector strategic transitions towards sustainability. While the implementation model as such gained appreciation for the scientifically robust overarching approach, our learnings from four years of action research with ten Swedish municipalities and regions point to needs of additional support regarding application guidelines for the methodology to be autonomously viable after introductions and moderated sessions facilitated by the research team. Example needs include support for capacity building for strategic sustainable development (SSD), advise for how to recruit leaders into the process upfront and support for valuing and aligning previous and on-going work for sustainability. This paper presents such support. It is based on a combination of conceptual SSD analyses and dialogue with initiated people within local or regional governments. In the dialogue, participants were supported to identify gaps in terms of capacity for an SSD approach to improve cross-sector strategies towards the full scope of social and ecological sustainability, and to better align existing methods, processes, and routines into cohesive actions. The procedure was designed, tested, and refined through interaction within one municipality. The feedback was that through applying the support, government leaders can better prepare for and prioritize their strategic actions for sustainability and search for good examples and best practices with enhanced precision. Forthcoming research will test and further refine the support.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media S.A., 2022
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-20578 (URN)10.3389/frsc.2022.895962 (DOI)000911597800001 ()2-s2.0-85137245197 (Scopus ID)
Note

Open access

This research was funded by The National Association of Swedish Eco-municipalities and the municipalities of Hudiksvall, Karlskrona, and Lerum.

Available from: 2020-10-23 Created: 2020-10-23 Last updated: 2023-03-07Bibliographically approved
Wälitalo, L., Scott, E., Callaghan, E., Robèrt, K.-H. & Broman, G. (2022). Learnings from emerging implementation of strategic sustainable development in a regional context– the case of Åland. In: Peter Dobers, Malin Gawell, Gärde (Ed.), PROCEEDINGS of the 28th Annual Conference, International Sustainable Development Research Society: Sustainable Development and Courage: Culture, Art and Human Rights: . Paper presented at 28th Annual Conference, International Sustainable Development Research Society in Stockholm, Sweden, June 15-17, 2022.. Stockholm: Södertörns högskola
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Learnings from emerging implementation of strategic sustainable development in a regional context– the case of Åland
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2022 (English)In: PROCEEDINGS of the 28th Annual Conference, International Sustainable Development Research Society: Sustainable Development and Courage: Culture, Art and Human Rights / [ed] Peter Dobers, Malin Gawell, Gärde, Stockholm: Södertörns högskola, 2022Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

An implementation model for a systemic, systematic, and strategic approach to integrate sustainability across sectors has been tested and developed further within a four-years action research project. Valuable insights on how the approach can be best introduced to facilitate broad application can be gained already from test uses of the preliminary model and this study aims to evaluate and learn from one of the regions participating, Åland (an autonomous protectorate of the Republic of Finland). With a comprehensive sustainability initiative for the whole community, including funding and human resources in place, Åland had particularly favourable conditions and came out as best practice in the research project. We examined what had been done and how initiatives have been received through interviews with process leaders and stakeholders from different sectors of society and through desktop reviews. Key success factors and challenges for the work were put in relation to elements of the implementation model. Indeed, the work has come a long way in terms of collaboration platforms and structures, and much can be learnt from at the Åland case. However, parts of the strategic sustainable development (SSD) perspective are seemingly forgotten or in hibernation. Reintroducing and reinforcing concrete SSD informed processes and support could arguably address several of the expressed challenges while making use of key success factors, such as the capacity building centre.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Södertörns högskola, 2022
Keywords
Urban transition, Strategic sustainable development, Municipalities and Regions
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Strategic Sustainable Development
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-24350 (URN)978-91-89504-17-2 (ISBN)
Conference
28th Annual Conference, International Sustainable Development Research Society in Stockholm, Sweden, June 15-17, 2022.
Available from: 2023-03-06 Created: 2023-03-06 Last updated: 2023-03-21Bibliographically approved
Carlsson, L., Callaghan, E. & Broman, G. (2021). Assessing Community Contributions to Sustainable Food Systems: Dietitians Leverage Practice, Process and Paradigms. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 34(5), 575-601
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessing Community Contributions to Sustainable Food Systems: Dietitians Leverage Practice, Process and Paradigms
2021 (English)In: Systemic Practice and Action Research, ISSN 1094-429X, E-ISSN 1573-9295, Vol. 34, no 5, p. 575-601Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Food systems are not sustainable, and efforts to address this are paralyzed by the complex networks of food system actors and factors that interact across sectoral and geographic scales. Actions at the community level can positively contribute toward globally sustainable food systems (SFS). Assessing such contributions has two central challenges: 1) a lack of methods that support alignment between communities and across scales, balanced against the need to involve the community in developing relevant indicators; and 2) the absence of adequate, fine grained data relevant to the community. Addressing these two challenges, this paper illustrates a proposed procedure that supports community engagement with, and assessment of, their contributions. Engaged by a community of Canadian dietitians, researchers used the Delphi Inquiry method, guided by the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development, to address the first challenge, and causal loop diagrams informed by the Cultural Adaptation Template to address the second. Indicators were developed for dietitian-identified actions and outcomes for SFS. Modeling indicator interactions provide insight into how some actions are influenced by and reinforce the value placed on SFS within the professional cultural paradigm, as well as priority areas for action and measurement. Process-oriented assessment is useful in the context of partial and subjective understandings of a dynamic system, and supports continual adjustment in action. This article offers theoretical and practical insight for community engagement in addressing some of the systemic challenges in food systems. It accommodates community-based knowledge, applies process-indicators, and emphasizes the importance of cultural paradigms as a driving force of community-level actions, and overall system change. Under current conditions, facilitating SFS literacy among dietitians can amplify adaptations for broader SFS development. © 2020, The Author(s).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2021
Keywords
Assessment, Community, Cultural adaptation template, Delphi inquiry method, Dietitians, Framework for strategic sustainable development, Indicators, Sustainable diets, Sustainable food systems
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-18971 (URN)10.1007/s11213-020-09547-4 (DOI)000578591200001 ()2-s2.0-85092402652 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Vinnova, 2014-04990
Note

open access 

Available from: 2019-11-27 Created: 2019-11-27 Last updated: 2021-11-17Bibliographically approved
Bratt, C., Sroufe, R. & Broman, G. (2021). Implementing strategic sustainable supply chain management. Sustainability, 13(15), Article ID 8132.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Implementing strategic sustainable supply chain management
2021 (English)In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 13, no 15, article id 8132Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite increasing business interest in sustainability in general and in sustainable supply chain management (SSCM), the ability to increase suppliers’ ecological and social performance is generally insufficient for many companies. In this study, we outline an implementation process model for sustainable supply chain management. We do so by synthesizing insights from a review of the sustainable supply chain management and organizational learning literature and a case study with a company aspiring to become a global leader in sustainable lighting. By combining these insights, we find that successful implementation of sustainable supply chain management requires sustainability to be anchored in a company’s vision and integrated into all functions. We also argue that organizational learning, especially learning with external stakeholders such as suppliers, an operational definition of socioecological sustainability among stakeholders, and procedural support for the cocreation of strategic plans for change are vital for achieving a truly sustainable supply chain. This definition and cocreation allow for attention to be directed toward strategic ecological and social practices, along with the joint handling of tradeoffs and economic considerations among stakeholders. As we build a foundation for an SSCM implementation process model, we use a science-based framework for strategic sustainable development. We call for more action-based research to uncover the complex nature of sustainable supply chain management, as there are unique challenges and dynamic relationships in every supply chain. © 2021 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI AG, 2021
Keywords
Case study, Organizational learning, Strategic sustainable development, Sustainability, Sustainable supply chain management
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-22004 (URN)10.3390/su13158132 (DOI)000682220000001 ()2-s2.0-85111320857 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Note

open access

Available from: 2021-08-12 Created: 2021-08-12 Last updated: 2022-02-10Bibliographically approved
Bryant, J., Ayers, J., Missimer, M. & Broman, G. (2021). Transformational learning for sustainability leadership – essential components in synergy. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 22(8), 190-207
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Transformational learning for sustainability leadership – essential components in synergy
2021 (English)In: International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, ISSN 1467-6370, E-ISSN 1758-6739, Vol. 22, no 8, p. 190-207Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Transformative learning (TL) and leadership are key leverage points for supporting society’s transition toward sustainability. The purpose of this study is to identify essential components of TL within an international sustainability leadership master’s program in Sweden that has been described by many students as life-changing, empowering and transformational. Design/methodology/approach: Alumni spanning 15 cohorts provided answers to a survey and the responses were used to map components of TL as experienced by the students. Findings: The survey confirms the anecdotal assertions that the program is transformational. The findings suggest that community, place, pedagogy, concepts and content, disorientation and hope and agency are essential components, combined with the synergy of those into an integrated whole that support transformational change according to many respondents. Originality/value: This study provides program designers and educators with suggested components and emphasizes their integration and synergy, to support TL experiences for sustainability leaders. © 2021, Jayne Bryant, James Ayers, Merlina Missimer and Göran Broman.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Holdings Ltd., 2021
Keywords
Education for sustainable development, ESD, Leadership education, Strategic sustainable development, Sustainability, Sustainability leadership, Transformative/transformational learning
National Category
Pedagogy Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-22349 (URN)10.1108/IJSHE-01-2021-0014 (DOI)000711956200001 ()2-s2.0-85118275367 (Scopus ID)
Note

open access

Available from: 2021-11-11 Created: 2021-11-11 Last updated: 2023-06-07Bibliographically approved
Wälitalo, L., Robèrt, K.-H. & Broman, G. (2020). An overarching model for cross-sector strategic transitions towards sustainability in municipalities and regions. Sustainability, 12(17), Article ID 7046.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An overarching model for cross-sector strategic transitions towards sustainability in municipalities and regions
2020 (English)In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 12, no 17, article id 7046Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Municipal and regional governments can play a key role in global society's transition towards sustainability. However, municipal leaders often lack a sufficient overview of sustainability and thereby the capacity to coordinate efforts across sectors. Several municipal planning frameworks are available but vary greatly in terms of definitions, scope, and hands-on advice on processes. To complement and unify approaches, the framework for strategic sustainable development (FSSD) has been developed. It utilizes backcasting from operational boundary conditions for the full scope of social and ecological sustainability. This study aims to evaluate a recently developed model for long-term implementation of FSSD across sectors for more cohesive cooperation towards sustainability. This is done through participatory action research (PAR) in ten Swedish municipalities and regions. The evaluation is done to examine if the implementation model (i) lives up to its purpose to help sectors cooperate effectively by using the FSSD as a shared mental model, (ii) aid the handling of previously identified barriers to strategic sustainable development in municipalities and regions, (iii) may contain barriers of its own for appropriate use and (iv) has room for improvement. We used observations, dialogues, and surveys to capture the strengths, weaknesses, enablers, and barriers of the preliminary implementation model. While the compliance of the model varied, our findings show a general appreciation and identified the needs for the approach. From experiencing barriers for the application of the model, practitioners provided several ideas for additional support, such as assessment and alignment support of on-going work and further developed guiding material. In a second phase of the PAR project, application of the implementation model will continue, and such additional support will be developed and evaluated. © 2020 by the authors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI AG, 2020
Keywords
Cross-sector collaboration, Evaluation, Municipalities and regions, Participatory action research, Strategic sustainable development, compliance, model, participatory approach, strategic approach, sustainability, sustainable development, Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-20422 (URN)10.3390/su12177046 (DOI)000571103700001 ()
Note

open access

Available from: 2020-09-21 Created: 2020-09-21 Last updated: 2023-03-07Bibliographically approved
Carlsson, L., Callaghan, E. & Broman, G. (2019). How Can Dietitians Leverage Change for Sustainable Food Systems in Canada. Canadian journal of dietetic practice and research, 80(4), 164-171
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How Can Dietitians Leverage Change for Sustainable Food Systems in Canada
2019 (English)In: Canadian journal of dietetic practice and research, ISSN 2292-9592, Vol. 80, no 4, p. 164-171Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: In this paper, we begin to set out language defining sustainablefood systems (SFS) in Canada, through the voices of dietitians, andidentify leverage points where dietitians can affect change.Methods: Dietitians of Canada members were invited to a Delphi Inquiryprocess; questions explored a vision of SFS in Canada, barriers to thatvision, and actions. Results were independently analysed by 2 membersof the research team who used the Framework for Strategic SustainableDevelopment to structure the data.Results: Fifty-eight members participated. The resultant vision describesa future food system in 15 thematic areas of the social and ecologicalsystems. Barriers are described according to how they undermine sustainability.High-leverage actions areas included: (i) facilitating knowledgedevelopment within the profession and public, (ii) influencing organizationalpolicy to support SFS, and (iii) and influencing public policy.Approaches to such action included: (i) facilitating cross-sectoral collaborationand (ii) applying reflexive approaches.Conclusions: This research suggests a multidimensional understandingof food systems sustainability among dietitians. The vision provides somelanguage to describe what dietitians mean by SFS and can be used as acompass point to orient action. Action areas and approaches have thepotential to drive systemic change while avoiding unintendedconsequences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
DIETITIANS CANADA, 2019
Keywords
Sustainable Food System; Sustainable Diet; Nutrition; Dietetic
National Category
Nutrition and Dietetics Other Natural Sciences Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-17947 (URN)10.3148/cjdpr-2019-005 (DOI)000497687800002 ()30907124 (PubMedID)
Funder
Vinnova
Available from: 2019-05-31 Created: 2019-05-31 Last updated: 2023-06-30Bibliographically approved
Gould, R., Bratt, C., Svensson, M. & Broman, G. (2018). Shrinking and scaffolding: supporting behaviour change towards implementing sustainable design.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Shrinking and scaffolding: supporting behaviour change towards implementing sustainable design
2018 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

To start to include sustainability in a design project is a transition. This transition requires change in how people do things, that is, behaviour change, and it takes place in the midst of the usual pressures of product design. Prior research on sustainable design has mostly explored the so-called technical side – identifying what tasks should be performed, such as specifics of including sustainability criteria when analysing product concepts. Recent studies have advocated the consideration of the human nature of the people who are to implement these ‘technical’ tasks, to undergo and drive the transition.

We therefore embarked on an action research project to support behaviour change towards implementing sustainable design in the individual members of design project teams. Our action research partner was a design consultancy who wanted to begin working with sustainable design. Our research question was: How might the partner organisation support individual behaviour change towards implementing sustainable design?

Firstly, we identified some barriers to behaviour change; these barriers were related to motivation, capability and opportunity to apply sustainable design. Secondly, to investigate how to address the barriers and support individual behaviour change, we integrated concepts on behaviour change, motivation, learning for sustainability and climate communication to form a conceptual system (a theoretical model). In parallel, we undertook a participatory action research project with the consultancy, where we iteratively and collaboratively employed our model to develop ideas for specific actions that the organisation could take. We also tried out some of these actions and observed the outcomes.

We learnt that it is important to not just define what ‘technical’ tasks project teams should ideally perform, but to also scaffold the journey as a series of simpler steps. Shrinking the ‘technical’ tasks into meaningful steps that are within reach helps individuals to feel confident and competent, which in turn leads to increased intrinsic motivation and behaviour change. Progressively achieving small steps aligned with their values reduces the risk of dissonance and denial, and therefore increases the potential for action.

In this article, we present our model and our learnings.

National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-17038 (URN)
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2018-09-25 Created: 2018-09-25 Last updated: 2022-11-18Bibliographically approved
Broman, G. & Robèrt, K.-H. (2017). A framework for strategic sustainable development. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140(Part 1), 17-31
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A framework for strategic sustainable development
2017 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, no Part 1, p. 17-31Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to give a comprehensive and cohesive description of the most recent version of the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD), and also to describe and discuss the overall method for developing the FSSD, elaborate on the general rational for and general benefits of a framework of this type, and Validate benefits of the FSSD through examples of its application. The purpose is also to point to pertinent future work. In preparation of this paper, we have reviewed previous publications and other documents related to the FSSD and reflected on the 25-year learning process between scientists and practitioners. We conclude that the FSSD has proven to aid organizations in thoroughly understanding and putting themselves in context of the global sustainability challenge, and to move themselves strategically towards sustainability, i.e., to stepwise reduce their negative impacts on ecological and social systems at large while strengthening the own organization through capturing of innovation opportunities, including new business models, exploration of new markets and winning of new market shares, and through reduced risks and operation costs. Specifically, we conclude that the FSSD aids more effective management of system boundaries and trade-offs, makes it possible to model and assess sustainable potentials for various materials and practices before investments are made, and offers the possibility for more effective collaboration across disciplines and sectors, regions, value-chains and stakeholder groups. We also conclude that the FSSD makes it possible to prevent damages, even from yet unknown problems, and not the least, to guide selection, development and combination of supplementary methods, tools, and other forms of support, which makes it possible to increase their utility for strategic sustainable development. Finally, we have shown that the FSSD is useful for structuring transdisciplinary academic education and research. Several examples of ongoing FSSD related research, as well as ideas for future work, are given. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2017
Keywords
Backcasting, FSSD, Strategic sustainable development, Sustainability principles, Sustainability science
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-15163 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.10.121 (DOI)000388775100003 ()
Available from: 2017-09-21 Created: 2017-09-21 Last updated: 2021-01-07Bibliographically approved
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Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-3870-5375

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