Steve Waddell—Learning and transformative networks to address wicked problems

Networks offer many benefits when it comes to tackling “wicked problems,” in contrast to traditional (hierarchical) organizational approaches. The shift in power relationships inherent in networks leads to shared accountability, creating an innovative environment in which new practices can be developed to address specific needs and problems. GOLDEN, a Global Action Network, has emerged to support development of a food and agriculture “industry” ecosystem strategy.

Steve-WaddellLearning & transformative networks to address wicked problems: A golden invitation. Steve Waddell, Milla McLachlan, and Domenico Dentoni. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 16(A), 23-32. Reprint: The Non-Profit Quarterly Fall/Winter 2013, 26-33.

This essay explores the role of learning networks in strengthening the transformative potential of multi-stakeholder initiatives in the agro-food sector. It begins with reflections on the learning needs of a regional multi-stakeholder initiative in the agro-food sector, the Southern Africa Food Lab (SAFL). Then, the essay introduces an emerging learning network, namely GOLDEN for Sustainability. GOLDEN is a global learning network currently developing outside the agricultural and food sector, but with the ambition of including the agro-food sector. The authors are all connected to GOLDEN, and through this article they aim to leverage the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review (IFAMR) platform as a tool for developing such networks (Dentoni et al. 2012) and to invite agro-food organizations to participate in learning networks such as GOLDEN.

Steve Waddell is keynote speaker for WINGS Forum 2014: The Power of Networks. Waddell supports organizational, network, and societal change and development, through consultation, education, research, and personal leadership. Look for the exclusive WINGS interview in February. Follow on Twitter with #WFnetworks.

Download Learning & Transformative Networks from the WINGS Knowledge Center today.

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