Scaling the Impact of Sustainability Initiatives: A Typology of Amplification Processes

SCIENCE FOR SUSTAINABILITY

All over the world, small and large initiatives work on creating a more sustainable future. For societies to operate within the earth’s biophysical limits while simultaneously fostering justice and well-being, sustainability transformations are required. Such fundamental changes of interactions and feedbacks are crucial for ensuring long-term sustainable systems. Research on sustainability transformations is based in diverse research areas that draw on different theories and methods for investigation. This heterogeneity results in multiple understandings of transformations. In a recent paper, Lam et al. (2020) examine literature on sustainability transformations to provide a typology of amplification processes applied by sustainability initiatives to increase their impact.

Lam et al. (2020) highlight, that urban as well as rural sustainability transformations may be best understood when considering them as place-based societal changes driven by local actors. Here, so called sustainability initiatives act as local solutions to sustainability problems with global relevance. These initiatives are often…

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