Cross-sector collaboration on climate change mitigation as a communicative challenge. What are the key success factors?
The Climate Council of the County Administrative Board of Jönköping, Sweden and the research environment Sustainable Communication are jointly funding a research project (2018-2022) which will produce novel knowledge about the challenges of cross-sector collaboration in the area of climate change mitigation. Since 2011, the County Administrative Board of Jönköping, which is led by Governor Helena Jonsson, has been successful in bringing together organisations, enterprises, municipalities and academia to collaborate on pre-defined climate change mitigation goals, such as becoming a plus energy county by 2050. The Climate Council includes all municipalities in the region, NGOs such as the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, and businesses such as Husqvarna and IKEA.
The promotion of cross-sector collaboration generates more extensive climate change mitigation work and projects than the efforts of a few actors would have achieved. But how do these activities develop and what make some actions more successful than others? What are the success factors and what are the challenges, viewed from a communication point of view? In which contexts does communication pave the way for successful collaboration? When do communication-related barriers appear, and why? Achieving a climate conversion within society is a matter of urgency, and there is a need for studies – regionally, nationally and internationally – that focus on what happens when actors with different knowledge backgrounds seek to collaborate in relation to climate change.
In this research project, different examples of cross-sector collaboration within the region are examined, as are activities in other parts of Sweden. The aim is to contribute knowledge which is relevant for the County Administrative Board of Jönköping and could make their Climate Council more successful, but also to deliver valuable knowledge for ongoing climate conversion activities elsewhere, including internationally.