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Open AccessArticle

Cross-Sector Partnerships for Sustainability: How Mission-Driven Conveners Drive Change in National Coffee Platforms

1
Department of Organization Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2
IESEG School of Management and LEM-CNRS (UMR 9221), 59000 Lille, France
3
Center of Expertise Urban Governance and Social Innovation, Faculty of Applied Social Sciences and Law, Amsterdam, University of Applied Sciences, 1091 GC Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2846; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072846
Received: 30 January 2020 / Revised: 24 March 2020 / Accepted: 25 March 2020 / Published: 3 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs))
Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) have deployed various strategies in motivating businesses to source sustainably, such as the co-development and promotion of sustainability certification and direct collaboration in cross-sector partnerships (CSPs). This is an important current-day priority, given the ambitions set out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and SDG 17 in particular. Increasingly, NPOs have taken up a role as conveners of such CSPs. Research on CSPs has, to date, often considered conveners as a ‘resource’ to the CSP, contributing to its effectiveness. In this study, we shift the focus towards the convener by considering a case of a ‘mission-driven convener’, an NPO that initiates CSPs as a strategy to realize its own sustainability objectives. Our explorative case study—comparing the NPO’s efforts across six countries in setting up national coffee platforms—reviews the concept of a mission-driven convener vis-à-vis established notions on convening and identifies which strategies it applies to realize a CSP. These strategies comprise productively combining certification-driven efforts with CSPs, combining process and outcomes of CSPs, and drawing on cross-level dynamics derived from outsourcing of convening work to local actors. With our study, we contribute to research on CSP conveners by offering an alternative interpretation to the relation between the CSP and the convener, attributing more agency to the convener as a mission-driven organization. Strengthening our understanding of CSPs and conveners is an important means to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). View Full-Text
Keywords: cross-sector partnerships; convening; coffee; strategy; mission-driven organization; SDGs; sustainability; sustainable supply chains; certification; convener cross-sector partnerships; convening; coffee; strategy; mission-driven organization; SDGs; sustainability; sustainable supply chains; certification; convener
MDPI and ACS Style

van Hille, I.; de Bakker, F.G.; Ferguson, J.E.; Groenewegen, P. Cross-Sector Partnerships for Sustainability: How Mission-Driven Conveners Drive Change in National Coffee Platforms. Sustainability 2020, 12, 2846.

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