Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education

2019 Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho

Sustainable Development Goals and Networks as a Collaboration Model

  • Lauren Barredo
  • Maria Cortes-Puch
  • Cheyenne MaddoxEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11352-0_530


A dictionary definition of a “network” is any system of interconnected things. However, this basic definition could also be applied to a multilateral agreement or any partnership with enough actors to be considered a system. For the purposes of this paper, the authors define networks as having several key attributes that differentiate them from multilateral agreements or partnerships. The intent of networks is one attribute; actors in networks come together to leverage each other’s strengths and pursue a common objective of mutual benefit to all participants. Another characteristic is their horizontal or lateral organizational structure, which allows members to come together as equals. Additional elements are the number of organizations involved, with a network placing no limit on the number of members, and an inclusive rather than exclusive membership structure. Clear guidelines for membership are another key attribute, including organized mechanisms for institutions or...


Sustainable development Sustainable development goals SDGs Networks Collaboration Partnership Organizational networks Institutions 
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren Barredo
    • 1
  • Maria Cortes-Puch
    • 1
  • Cheyenne Maddox
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)New YorkUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Petra Molthan-Hill
    • 1
  1. 1.Nottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK