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

Track chairs:

Peter Dobers. School of Social Sciences, Södertörn University, Sweden. peter.dobers@sh.se


Sustainable development, sustainability and Sustainable Development Goals are areas illustrating major societal challenge of utter importance for many actors to come together to collaborate and co-create. Also, for actors in the Higher Education sector it has become increasingly important to collaborate and co-create with actors from other societal fields such as public sector, industry and civil society; but also to enrol different scales of governance.

Since the 1950s, and together with technological and societal development, academic knowledge has exploded in size and the number of graduates from all levels has increased greatly. This development has created a plurality of knowledge perspectives with a potential for reflective knowledge development through meetings of unlike minds, both within and outside of academia.

Knowledge is always developed in a social and practical context (Etienne Wenger-Trayner, 2014; Wenger, 1999), which decides what is regarded as relevant and legitimate knowledge. Critical dialogue builds on respect for the experience of others. Thus, linking to the SDG 17 on "Partnerships for the goal", partnerships across vertical and horizontal sectors are in focus here.

Suggested readings include, but are not limited to: (Bason, 2010), (Ersoy, 2017), (Farmer, Hill, & Munoz, 2012), (Ramaswamy & Ozcan, 2014), (Torfing, 2016)

Goals and objectives 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, public sector, industry, civil society in general, and in the field of sustainable development in particular.

We encourage contributions that address for instance issues such as:

  • enablers and barriers to collaboration and co-creation between societal actors
  • identifying and discussing 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
  • 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 analyzing different scales of governance in collaboration and co-creation


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

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.

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. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.