ICT-enabled boundary spanning arrangements in collaborative sustainability governance

Termeer, Katrien; Bruinsma, Anne


Collaborative forms of governance are expected to be crucial for solving wicked sustainability problems. However, to realize their potential, various physical, cognitive, and social boundaries need to be bridged. This article addresses the question of the extent to which, and under which conditions, ICT-enabled boundary spanning arrangements (IBSAs) can help to cross boundaries and thus contribute to collaborative solutions to sustainability problems. It concludes that (1) the potential of IBSAs for crossing physical boundaries is most obvious; (2) balanced mixtures of on-line and off-line activities are most effective; (3) new forms of policy entrepreneurship by young boundary workers are important triggers; and (4) IBSAs more fundamentally change the relationships within and between governments, firms, NGOs, and civil society.