Integrated Assessment, Vol 6, No 4 (2006)

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E-Dialogues: A Role in Interactive Sustainable Development?

Ann Dale, Lenore Lauri Newman


Human societies worldwide are dealing with messy, wicked problems beyond the capacity of any one sector, community or nation to solve. In such complex, turbulent environments (Trist 1983) there is even a greater need for collaboration between sectors, communities, and countries to solve the dynamically interconnected problems human societies are now facing. The world must become committed to unprecedented interaction and sustained dialogue around these interconnected, and interdependent public policy issues, particularly sustainable development. Yet, the transaction costs of face-to-face meetings are high. Also, one has to question the sustainability of current modes of travel, particularly the air travel required to bring together stakeholders on a global scale. Synchronous on-line electronic dialogues (e-Dialogues) are an emerging way of transcending place and time constraints, with the capacity for sustained connectivity between communities worldwide and the more rapid dissemination of research and
knowledge produced on the ground at the community level.

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Integrated Assessment. ISSN: 1389-5176