Critical Features of Ecosystem Aiming Sustainability Impacts through Continuous Innovation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


In this paper, we discuss and argue that a continuously evolving ecosystem practice based on continuously assessed critical features is a viable basis for tackling sustainability challenges. Here, sustainability challenges represent example instances of wicked, i.e. multi-faceted problems. The paper builds on the main ideas of continuous innovation with three lenses: Sustainability, Ecosystem and Practice. Based on the comparison between three empirical ecosystem cases we recognized four features in multi-actor collaboration that seem to have an impact on how they progressed in solving the wicked problem of sustainability. These were: 1) openness – closeness, 2) planned – emergent 3) centralized – distributed and 4) self-interest – joint interest. The status of these features seemed to be relevant for the ecosystem to reach trust and maintain belief among participants on the ecosystem’s capability to realise its vision and achieve beneficial results. Based on the findings, we argue that the progress of creating an increasing sustainability impact requires practice that allows a dynamic adjustment of these features according to the continuously evolving understanding of the problem. This study is part of ongoing research and further studies are needed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication23rd Continuous Innovation Network (CINet) Conference
Subtitle of host publicationPursuing Innovation for a Smart & Sustainable Future
PublisherContinuous Innovation Network (CINet)
ISBN (Print)978-90-77360-25-5
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
Event23rd CINet Conference: Pursuing Innovation for a Smart & Sustainable Future - Pisa, Italy
Duration: 11 Sept 202213 Sept 2022


Conference23rd CINet Conference


  • ecosytem
  • practice
  • sustainabilty


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