Florence – The immense diversity of humankind makes it difficult to place people into specific categories when we attempt to mobilize global collective actions such as the attainment of sustainable development. Boundary terms can be useful tools to this effect, as for instance the term Scatterlings, which has been popularized by the song “Scatterlings of Africa” by Johnny Clegg (1982) and can be used in a poetic way to represent all human beings in their wonderful diversity and common origin.
Stakeholders is another boundary term which was initially applied in the corporate world – in contrast to the term shareholders – to define people impacting and/or being impacted by corporations. Nowadays, it is also used in different sectors and with many different interpretations, even in the realm of the United Nations. In particular, it has become a buzzword within UN initiatives on environmental challenges and sustainable development; yet without a clear definition.
This book attempts to shed some light on existing definitions and uses through a historical lens on major sustainability-related events, such as the 1992 Rio Summit and 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. Then, it takes a closer look at the text of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals to illustrate how stakeholders are described in the actual text of the 2030 Agenda adopted in 2015 by the UN General Assembly. It then provides an overview of the related global governance including frameworks for engaging non-state actors and civil society organizations within the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. Through this account, the author details the groups currently active in the process (e.g., Women’s Major Group), highlights which groups are being left behind in the current stakeholder engagement (e.g., artists, writers, medical doctors and health professionals, and, of course, people living in poverty), and, thus, calls for an inclusive global stakeholder analysis.
In the conclusions it is highlighted the urgency to make sure that more Scatterlings become engaged as Stakeholders in the global pursuit of sustainable development – given the current challenges faced by Planet Earth and all its inhabitants. Therefore, this book is for all Scatterlings who want to become engaged Stakeholders, also by joining existing Stakeholder groups (or creating new ones!) towards establishing true transnational dialogues and actions towards attaining sustainable development, leaving no one behind.
Lucilla Spini / Bio:
Dr. Lucilla Spini is a bio-anthropologist with expertise in sustainable development, stakeholder engagement, and gender mainstreaming. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Spini has held various positions within the UN System and international NGOs, including as an Associate Expert at UNESCO, Executive Officer for the Global Environmental Change and Human Health Project at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), and Head of Science Programmes at the International Council for Science (ICSU). She is currently conducting research within the LabGeo of the University of Florence. Dr. Spini holds a B.A. (Honors) in anthropology from New York University (NYU), a Laurea in foreign languages and literature from the University of Florence, and a Master of Science (M.Sc.) in human biology and Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil.) in biological anthropology, both from the University of Oxford.
Of Scatterlings and Stakeholders: diversity, inclusion and transnational governance for sustainable development
by Lucilla Spini
Angelo Pontecorboli Editore, Firenze