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Sustainability through Collaboration

Nyakongo2030 methodology is well grounded on  academic theories (drawn from existing literature) which conceptualize new frameworks for scholarly engagement, entrepreneurship and policy-making. The adopted theoretical frameworks are highlighted below.

1. Co-Creation for Sustainability

Nyakongo2030 is based on the emerging fourth mission of University education advanced by Trecher et al (2013). They envision an emerging function of universities as collaboration with diverse social actors to create social transformations in the goal of materializing SD in a specific location, region or societal sub-sector. This mission is to be executed through the following five channels:

  Objective Driver Mode Typical manifestations

1.       Knowledge management

  • To mobilize, create, process and disperse specific knowledge to relevant stakeholders and decision-makers
  • Knowledge and communication
  • Traditional
  • Collaborative research
  • Publications
  • Conferences
  • Discussion spaces
  • Consulting and training

2.       Technical demonstration projects and experiments

  • To mobilize, test, demonstrate and evaluate technical innovation
  • Science and Technology
Traditional
  • Pilot or verification projects
  • Demonstration and testing facilities
3.       Technology transfer and economic development
  • To disperse high-tech green innovation and stimulate sustainable, economic  development
  • Technology and economics
Post-traditional
  • Patenting and licensing to industry
  • Fostering of business ventures and employment
  • Green cluster zones
4.       Reform of built or natural environment
  • To transform or restore the built and natural environment
  • Environmental transformations
  • Post-traditional
  • Construction and development projects (e.g. real-estate and landscape)
  • Infrastructure upgrades (e.g. power grids, roads/paths, transport facilities)
  • Natural environment restoration
5.       Socio-technical experiments
  • To create a new social or socio-technical configuration
  • Multi-actor learning and social or socio-technical innovation
Post-traditional
  • Stakeholder-driven experiments with various social, technical, legal, financial and policy tools

2. Community-Campus Partnerships

Nyakongo2030 will be implemented through  participatory, community-based research and engaged scholarship around issues of sustainability. Although individual partnerships could conform  to any of the types outlined in the table below, WSCSD’s ultimate goal is to foster partnerships that result in transformative change in the individual lives and the community of Nyakongo.

INDICATOR

TYPE OF COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP

Supportive Collaborative Transformative
Scope
  • Addresses  a sustainability topic  or a specific aspect  of  sustainability (e.g. community garden, environmental remediation, community environmental health and education)
  • Addresses  one or more sustainability challenge  and may simultaneously support social equity and well-being, economic prosperity, and ecological health (e.g. a green jobs program in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood)
  • Catalyzes community resiliency and local/regional sustainability by simultaneously supporting social equity and well-being, economic prosperity, and ecological health on a community or regional scale (e.g. “transition” projects and partnerships focused on community adaptation to climate change)
Duration
  • May be time-limited (short-term projects and events), multi-year, or ongoing
  • May be time-limited, multi-year, or ongoing
  • Is multi-year or  ongoing  and proposes  or plans  for institutionalized and systemic change
Commitment
  • Institutional involvement may include financial and/or staff support or may be  limited to resource sharing and/or endorsement
  • Institution  provides  faculty/staff,  financial, and/or material support
  • Institution provides faculty/staff and financial or material support
Governance
  • Campus and community leaders or representatives are engaged in program/project development
  • Campus and local community members  are both engaged in program or project development, from agenda setting and planning to decision-making, implementation and review
  • Partnership has adopted a stakeholder engagement  framework through which community members, vulnerable populations, faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders are engaged in program/project development, from agenda setting and planning to decision-making, implementation and review

Table 1: Types of Community-Campus Partnerships adopted from AASHE (2014)[i]

3. Sustainable Entrepreneurship

Nyakongo2030 is also based on a typology of “sustainable entrepreneurship” (including social entrepreneurship and environmental entrepreneurship or ecopreneurship and institutional entrepreneurship) as conceptualized by Schaltegger and Wagner (2011)[ii]

  Ecopreneurship Social entrepreneurship Institutional entrepreneurship Sustainable entrepreneurship
Core motivation
  • Contribute to solving environmental problem and create economic value
  • Contribute to solving societal problem and create value for society
  • Contribute to changing  regulatory, societal and market institutions.
  • Contribute to solving societal and environmental problems through the realization of a successful business
Main goal
  • Earn money by solving environmental problems
  • Achieve societal goal and secure funding to achieve this
  • Changing institutions as  direct goal
  • Creating sustainable  development trough entrepreneurial corporate activities
Role of economic goals
  • Ends
  • Means
  • Means or Ends
  • Means and Ends
Role of non-market goals
  • Environmental issues as  integrated core element
  • Societal goals as ends
  • Changing institutions as core element
  • Core element of integrated end to contribute to sustainable development
Organisational development challenge
  • From focus on environmental issues to  integrating economic issues
  • From focus on societal issues to integrating economic issues
  • From changing institutions to integrating sustainability
  • From small contribution to large contribution to sustainable development

Table 2: Characterization of different kinds of sustainability oriented entrepreneurship

Nyakongo2030 will empower youth (especially college students) to lead community development programs distributing proven products, services and technologies that ensure a balance of social, environmental and economic objectives whilst promoting equal opportunities for current and future generations.

4. Practical Approach

Nyakongo 2030 is a youth-led, collaborative and integrated rural-ecovillage development project in Kenya. It is a unique student-initiated service learning process incorporating global-local, north-south and multidisciplinary collaboration among students, researchers, community volunteers, government agencies and private sector to ensure that sustainable social, ecological and economic wellbeing of Nyakongo village is attained by the year 2030.

Its implementation entails the following initiatives:

  1. Nyakongo Sustainable Development Conference (NCSDC)
  2. Nyakongo GREEN Center
  3. Do Good for Nyakongo Challenge
  4. Nyakongo Science Shop
  5. Nyakongo Community Currency and Sustainability Fund
  6. Nyakongo Sustainable Design Challenge
  7. Nyakongo Sustainable Human Settlement Planning
  8. Nyakongo Sustainable Entrepreneurship Program

[i] Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (2014), Stars Technical Manual Version 2.0.

[ii] Stefan Schaltegger and Marcus Wagner (2011), Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Innovation: Categories and Interactions, Business Strategy and the Environment, Leuphana University Lüneburg