Glocalisation: think global, act local. An exploration into the interplay between the global United Nation"s Sustainable Development Goals and a local Amsterdam based social enterprise and how they speak to each other (inlfuencing the operationalisation of glocal action)

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2021-08-27
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en
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As evidence continues to emerge identifying human activities as the root-cause for the deterioration of the earth there is an increasing need for societal-change and a transition towards more sustainable modes of operation. Research has found that social enterprises play a crucial role in this solution, and in achieving the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2019, the UN Secretary General called upon all sectors of society to mobilise for a Decade of Action (DoA) over three levels (global, local, and people) to generate an unstoppable movement pushing forward the required transitions for the achievement of the SDGs. This people action, including groups such as civil-society, private-sector, and academia can be linked to the bottom-up action undertaken by social enterprises. Understanding how social enterprises are able to contribute to the achievement of these goals remains understudied, as does the communication and link between the local and the global, known within the literature as glocalisation. Several concepts are introduced and critically reviewed within this research in order to explore the role of glocal communities as partners in promoting sustainable social change and contributing towards the achievement of the SDGs. The overall objective of this research is to contribute to and gain an insight into the local contributions of a social enterprise, to the global goals of the UN’s SDGs and the DoA, in order to understand how the global speaks to the local and vice versa. In doing so, the aim of this research is to gain an understanding of glocalisation in action, achieved via a single case-study strategy, with primary data obtained via participant-observation at Sapient Social & Environmental Enterprises in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This research builds upon the existing literature of glocalisation, local action, the SDGs, and social enterprises. Applying a bottom-up approach, providing insights into the micro-level dynamics of the operationalisation of macro-level institutions in accordance with the theory of glocalisation in relation to the SDGs, revealing that while the strength of the tie between the glocal action of a social enterprise may be weak, it does exist. There is something which can be built upon, and this small local ripple in the pool of global sustainability has the potential to create a wave of transformation if only it is continued and cultivated and supported effectively. The conclusions of this research therefore also have the potential to impact efforts to inspire change toward these important global sustainable goals (the SDGs), by helping groups develop more effective strategies to better communicate their importance to the wider public. Due to the inductive nature of this research, and its use of a single case-study in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, somewhat limited conclusions can be made. However, this experience demonstrates at least one way in which the SDGs have manifested at the glocal level and hence can inform our understanding of the SDGs and the glocal action which they represent. This study could therefore be used as a starting point for other research concerning glocalisation in regard to social enterprises and their realisation of reaching global social and environmental goals such as the SDGs.Key words: sustainability, sustainable development goals (SDGs), glocalisation, glocal, social enterprise
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Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen