Developing a Global Exchange for Accelerating Local Transitions

By Jenna A. Lamphere

Join the session, The Sustainability Action Platform: Developing a Global Exchange for Accelerating Local Transitions, at 10:00 pm Brisbane time on Tuesday June 15, 2021.

Local action is the real locus of transformation. Worldwide, local change agents have stepped up to meet challenges wrought by the compounding crises of climate change, social inequality, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Complicating such efforts, however, is a dearth in knowledge, resources, and support. The recent proliferation of online sustainability platforms is an outgrowth of these challenges, as change agents seek innovative strategies to exchange knowledge and resources in order to address local sustainability issues. The rapid growth of online platforms, however, has created a crowded and confusing landscape, leaving potential users to field among the hundreds that offer sundry services, tools, and products.

At this session, we present the Sustainability Action Platform (SAP). SAP is an open-source, multifaceted platform that allows local change agents to measure, track, and share progress towards their sustainability goals. SAP offers several sustainability enhancing features, including: a self-assessment tool, compendium of sustainability innovations, scientific knowledge repository, and peer connectivity portal. SAP also features an indexing tool, which aligns local indicators with the higher-level SDGs. Rather than recreate the wheel, SAP integrates the features that other platforms do well and links to existing and reliable datasets, so that users have the real-time information that they need for informed decision-making. Overall, the purpose of SAP is to simplify the online platform scene by providing local change agents with a one-stop shop, and thereby accelerating local-to-global sustainability transitions.

This session will also feature a lively discussion on the strengths and weakness of existing sustainability platforms, as well as on what is needed to push the online platform scene beyond its current phase of experimentation and towards stabilization in a dominant design.