Monday, February 11, 2019

A Relational Approach to Leadership for Multi-Actor Governance

As part of the special issue on "Dynamics of Interorganisational Collaborative Relationships" guest edited by Prof. Sandra Schruijer, our paper on complexity leadership for multi-actor governance has just been published in the journal Administrative Sciences.

A Relational Approach to Leadership for Multi-Actor Governance

Multi-actor governance, in which a broad mix of actors collaborates to deal with complex societal problems, requires a leadership approach that can take into account the dynamic interdependencies between the involved actors. A relational approach to leadership, focusing on processes and practices, is more adequate for that purpose than approaches focusing on individuals and positions. Complexity leadership theory offers such a relational approach to leadership within organizations. In this article, we use complexity leadership theory to capture the emergent leadership processes between organizations. We focus on the characteristics of the informal relations between representatives of different organizations that enable dealing with the often-conflicting goals and values in multi-actor governance. The case of a landfill mining initiative for sustainable materials governance is used as an illustration to clarify the main concepts and arguments.

The paper can be found here:

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Multi-stakeholder cooperation in research: myth or must?

The University of Leuven is organising a symposium on university development cooperation, with the title "Multi-stakeholder cooperation in research: myth or must?". This event takes place on 19 December 2018 in AGORA, Edward van Eventstraat 4 in Leuven. The announcement can be found at

The website describes the topic as follows:
'Multi-stakeholder cooperation' has become a buzzword in international development. In order to solve complex global challenges, collaboration between a range of stakeholders from different sectors is a must, so it is said. Only by breaking up disciplinary boundaries and searching for transdisciplinary knowledge creation can we evolve towards the 'systems thinking' and 'systemic change' that is required to solve these challenges. 
But how do such partnerships really work? Is a genuine participatory process in which solutions for development are co-created even possible? Or do power imbalances between, for example, partners from developing countries and those based in the North, persist? Do contexts for multistakeholder cooperation really offer an enabling environment for transdisciplinary research? How precisely are partners who look very differently at knowledge production able to find synergy and complementarity in a multi-stakeholder partnership?
Our very own Marc Craps is scheduled to give a keynote speech at this event, entitled "On Co-creation and Trandisciplinarity in Multi-stakeholder Research Processes".

Later in the afternoon, Enrique Santos, of the Ecuadorian Higher Education Council and PhD graduate from the University of Leuven, will take part in a closing Roundtable With Experts from the Global South. 

Registration is possible through the aforementioned website.

Here's the full programme:


09.30-09.45   Warming up with coffee & tea

09.45-10.00   Welcome by vicerector Chris Van Geet and prof. Stephan Parmentier

10.00-11.15   Interactive discussion of the multi-stakeholder projects (see the projects)

11.15-12.00   Plenary discussion: lessons learned

12.00-12.15   Presentation of the new call for proposals

12.15-13.00   Lunch break


13.00-13.30   Multi-stakeholdership as a New Dimension in Academic Capacity Building (with Q&A)

Mrs. Kristien Verbrugghen - Flemish Interuniversity Council for University Development Cooperation

13.30-14.10   Keynote 1: On Co-creation and Trandisciplinarity in Multi-stakeholder Research Processes (with Q&A)

Prof. Marc Craps (KU Leuven)

14.10-14.35   The Kabarole Research Institute - Bridging a Myriad of Interests (with Q&A)

Julius Mwanga - Director KRC, Uganda

14.35-15.00   Multi-stakeholder Cooperation and Our Common Humanity: Hopes and Challenges

Dr. Joshua Gariba (University of Ghana)

15.00-15.40   Keynote 2: Towards a Whole of Society Approach in International Development (with Q&A)

Prof. Patrick Develtere (European Political Strategy Centre)

15.40-16.00 Coffee break

16.00-17.00  Roundtable With Experts from the Global South

Moderated by prof. Ann Cassiman (KU Leuven)

17.00-18.00   Networking reception

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Collaborating for our future

A one-day workshop on the collaborative process of multi-stakeholder partnerships facilitated by Prof. Barbara Gray

Thursday 21 September 2017

Our world has become more interconnected than ever. There is a growing awareness that business companies, governments and civil society have to collaborate across social, cultural and geographic boundaries, to solve the challenges that threat our common future. Prof. Dr. Barbara Gray is the leading scholar in the domain of multi-actor collaboration. This one-day workshop offers a unique opportunity to learn from her insights as well as from the experiences of the participants.

Aim of the programme

■ To engage in an interactive working session on the challenges of collaboration with other stakeholders 
■ To bring together scholars and practitioners belonging to business, civil society and government. 

Programme overview

■  Plenary talk on Dr. Gray’s new book Collaborating for Our Future. 
■  Collective case study and group work, applying insights from book. 
■  Subgroup work on the cases of participants’ multi-stakeholder initiatives 
■  Plenary debate and reflections.


Experience with multi-stakeholder initiatives is required. Participants bring their own case.
■ Location: Stuk, Ensemblezaal, Naamsestraat 96, Leuven 
Registration fee: €90 | Deadline: 8 September
■ Please note the number of participants is limited to 25 to guarantee full participation of everyone. 

In collaboration with

Friday, July 24, 2015

Course on collaborative governance for sustainability

Thanks to VLIR-UOS funding, Cycloop organises a 10-day course on Collaborative Governance for Sustainability, but this time in collaboration with ACORDES at the University of Cuenca (Ecuador), and in Spanish!

The course is for  mid-career professionals from the Andes region, and there are travel grants available for participants.

More information (in Spanish) can be found at

Friday, January 31, 2014

Publication on local participation in complex sustainability projects by Cycloop members

The following paper, written by Koen Sips, Marc Craps and Art Dewulf has been published in the December 2013 issue of the journal of Knowledge Management for Development:

Local participation in complex technological projects as bridging between different communities in Belgium.

Knowledge Management for Development Journal 9(3): 95-115 (

Local community participation in complex technological projects, where technological innovations and risks need to be managed, is notoriously challenging. Relations with local inhabitants easily take the form of exclusion, protest, controversy or litigation. While such projects represent opportunities for creating knowledge, business or societal benefits from the perspective of the community of driving actors, they often represent a potential threat to health, safety or prosperity from the perspective of the community of people who happen to live near the facilities. What are the challenges in dealing with this difference and which practices are helpful in bridging this gap? In this paper we analyse the functioning of an organised group of local inhabitants in the development of an Enhanced Landfill Mining project in Belgium where previously landfilled waste is going to be used for recycling and energy production. We find that setting up a multi-actor platform, organising a group of involved locals, combining formal and informal communication channels, maintaining a mutually credible dialogue and involving knowledgeable local people as bridging figures are important ingredients to bridge the gap in this case. We also discuss the emerging challenges of local community participation for all actors involved and especially for the organised group of ‘Locals’ who risk to become a victim of its own success by being incorporated too much in the project consortium and leaving a new gap to be bridged with the rest of the local community.

The paper can be found below or downloaded here.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Call for papers for MOPAN 2014 conference at Oxford

Call for papers for MOPAN 2014
The Collaborative Economy
Oxford Brookes University
14-16 July 2014

People in organisations are confronted by many challenges. They have to divide tasks, set rules, design (and redesign) organisational structures, mediate conflicts, and decide on strategies for change and innovation. In doing this, current societal, economic and technological developments have heightened interdependencies between organisations – raising interest in the inter-organisational domain. 

Partnerships, alliances and networks now proliferate both within and across the business, government and civil society sectors. Customers, too, are increasingly drawn into new patterns of collaboration and consumption. And in a world driven by real-time information provision, a globally interconnected economy, pressure on vulnerable ecosystems, and complex flows of people, ideas and resources, local issues can take on geopolitical dimensions.

The complexity of drivers, processes and outcomes at any given place and time make for wicked problems and profound uncertainties. All of this provides compelling rationales for engaging in multi-actor collaboration and investing in joint knowledge creation, in interactive sense-making and in the integrative negotiation of interests. 

This is the landscape that the 21st Conference on Multi-Organisational Partnerships, Alliances and Networks will be addressing on 14-16 July 2014 at Oxford Brookes University. Key themes will include:
·  Public sector collaboration in an era of austerity
·  Internationalisation of networks and alliances
·  Collaborative consumption: new models of purchasing and use
·  Digital technology in support of network forms of organisation
·  Collaboration for business model innovation
·  Leadership skills for networks and collaborations
·  University and industry collaboration: supporting research and innovation
·  Systems thinking in multi-organisational partnerships and networks.

Who Should Attend

Delegates from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives that address any of the areas above are welcome, including academics, practitioners and policy-makers. Papers from doctoral and early‑career researchers are especially welcome.


Oxford Brookes University Faculty of Business
Wheatley Campus
OX33 1HX

Paper Submission Details

Abstract deadline: 13 January 2014
Paper submission: 1 July 2014

Submission of abstracts
If you would like to present a paper at MOPAN 2014, please email an abstract to by 13 January 2014, putting the words “MOPAN Abstract” as the email  subject. Abstracts should be between 300-500 words long and contained in an attachment to your email. The abstract should include a title, 5-7 keywords, and names, affiliation and email addresses of authors.


Conference lead: Dr Paul Jackson, 

Event Price
£260: EARLYBIRD Registration (available until 31 March 2014)
£175: PhD Student Registration
£300: Standard fee

To book your place please go to:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Appreciative Inquiry in Spanish: new book by Miriam Subirana and David Cooperrider

Interesting announcements from Miriam Subirana on Spanish-language resources on the topic of Appreciative Inquiry:
"I am glad to inform you about the new and first Spanish book on AI by David Cooperrider and myself. You can see it in my website, and obtain it directly from the publisher 
We recently launched the book in Barcelona and Madrid, and soon, on 5th November, we will launch it in Santiago de Chile. See for information.
Also I would like to inform you of the new Institue IDEIA, Institute on Dialogue and Appreciative Inquiry. Please discover more about it at It is in Spanish and in English."