Summary and Info
I've never found a book on this topic before; I was turned on to it by a colleague of the authors since I'm working in an area that needs a "megacommunity" in order to truly address the enormous issues at hand. This book is a fantastic guide for how to recognize and think about multistakeholder issues, and how to begin to address them.
Too often stakeholder groups, particularly industry and NGOs, just come right out fighting. If they really and truly understood each others' points and situations they may in fact find that they can align to have similar goals and achieve their ends more readily, at lower cost, and in a mutually satisfying manner. The book provides many examples.
However, the book suffers from three problems:
First, many of the examples are more "microcommunity" than "megacommunity"; for instance - a single company in a single location dealing with a single issue. The example of a power company building a plant in a small town in Italy, while demonstrating the negatives of not working together vs. working together with different stakeholders gives an inkling of the concept but it is not "mega" by any stretch.
Second, the authors have apparently not yet had to deal with massive international multistakeholder issues like global warming or chemical regulation. Examples in those areas are needed, but are not yet available so it's no fault of the authors, it's the fault of the stakeholders. We have yet to construct our "megacommunity" and start working to get things done.
Third, the definition of stakeholders in a "megacommunity" is perhaps too narrow; only three are defined: industry, NGOs, and government. There is at least one example in the book that includes academia, a fourth (and often very important) stakeholder group. Two more, necessary for chemicals and global warming, include labor and standards development organizations.
So I want to see the next volume in the series!
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