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Learning & Transformative Networks to Address Wicked Problems: A Golden Invitation

December 20, 2013

Networks offer many benefits when it comes to tackling "wicked problems," in contrast to traditional (hierarchical) organizational approaches. The shift in power relationships inherent in networks leads to shared accountability, creating an innovative environment in which new practices can be developed to address specific needs and problems. GOLDEN, a Global Action Network, has emerged to support development of a food and agriculture "industry" ecosystem strategy.This essay explores the role of learning networks in strengthening the transformative potential of multi-stakeholder initiatives in the agro-food sector. It begins with reflections on the learning needs of a regional multi-stakeholder initiative in the agro-food sector, the Southern Africa Food Lab (SAFL). Then, the essay introduces an emerging learning network, namely GOLDEN for Sustainability. GOLDEN is a global learning network currently developing outside the agricultural and food sector, but with the ambition of including the agro-food sector. The authors are all connected to GOLDEN, and through this article they aim to leverage the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review (IFAMR) platform as a tool for developing such networks (Dentoni et al. 2012) and to invite agro-food organizations to participate in learning networks such as GOLDEN.This article was first published in "Managing Wicked Problems in Agribusiness: The Role of Multi-Stakeholder Engagement in Value Creation, Part Two," special issue, International Food and Agribusiness Management Review 16A (2013): 23 -- 31, www.ifama.org.

Multi-stakeholder collaboration and SDGs; Tools, frameworks, effectiveness

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