Multi-Sector Partnerships for the Public Good

Edited by:
Samuel Brown
Richard Greggory Johnson III, University of San Francisco

Call for Proposals

What is the way that societies improve and solve problems? What is the purpose of business in society? Is there a role for markets and business in issues of civic good, justice, equality, education, environment, health or collective action? Current economic principles, which underpin our trust in markets are not value neutral. Therefore, how we design “market solutions” to problems should be the focus of vigorous and open debate. Multi-sector Partnership is a concept that has re-focused us on the meaning of the goods and social practices we value as citizens in a global society. Multi-sector partners emerge in society to offer innovative approaches to dealing with pressing, yet complex, social, economic and weather-related 21st century challenges. The purpose of this edited volume is to provide academic and practitioners with the essential conceptual frameworks and tools for creating successful Multi-sector ventures, initiatives, programs or partnerships that seek to tackle global social issues and collective action problems.

Multi-sector partnerships, loosely defined as activities with an embedded social purpose, is about using skills from a range of sectors to craft innovative responses to address social problems. It aims at social impact but does not exclude economic wealth creation. Thus, it is not limited to the non-profit or social sectors but seeks to mobilize and align interests of diverse stakeholders in the social, public and private sectors by creating non-financial incentives for collective action. Multi-sector partnerships involve recognizing that social problems are potential opportunities for collaboration, building on existing social networks, harnessing market forces that combine and mobilize resources, inciting positive change in various domains, and designing solutions for sustainable development.

Paper proposals are due no later than March 30, 2021, and should include a working title, a 500-word description, organizational affiliation and contact information for the author(s). Additional proposal guidelines are included below. Authors will receive notification of their submission status by April 20, 2021. Selected authors will be invited to submit their full-length (20-25 page) manuscript with a firm submission deadline of September 30, 2021.

Submitted paper proposals should clearly include:

1. Identification of a specific Multi-sector partnership

2. Explanation of the social or public policy issue addressed (brief historical and political context)

3. Identification of a promising practice via a multi-sector collaboration to address the social issue or collective action problem

4. Assessment of evidence of progress

5. Note: Each proposal should focus on a single multi-sector collaboration, rather than a comparative perspective. The promising practices identified should derive from collaborative actions (rather than single sector initiatives).

Please submit questions or proposals to Sam Brown at When submitting proposals, please include “MultisectorPartnershipProposal_AuthorLastNames” in the subject line of the email.

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