By David P. M. Lam
How can the impact of sustainability and other initiatives be scaled or amplified to achieve transformative change?
There are hundreds of promising sustainability initiatives emerging around the world. A sustainability initiative is, for example, a local food initiative from citizens and farmers who promote healthy and organic food production and consumption. Another example is the installation of solar panels by a community to support the use of renewable energies. Such initiatives provide potential solutions for urgent sustainability problems, for instance, biodiversity loss, climate change, social injustice, and poverty in rural areas or cities.
This blog post is based on a review of the literature to understand how sustainability transformations research is currently conceptualizing the scaling or amplifying of impact from initiatives. Although our focus was on sustainability, the processes are likely to also be pertinent for other initiatives.
We synthesized eight processes that describe how initiatives can purposively amplify their impact: stabilizing, speeding up, growing, replicating, transferring, spreading, scaling up, and scaling deep.