Crowdsourcing sustainable development goals from global civil society
For the past several decades, members of global civil society have begun to play an increasing role in global environmental governance. Yet, important questions remain regarding how civil society should be incorporated into global policymaking. One recently implemented approach involves crowdsourcing comments through web-based platforms like e-discussions and social media. However, the viability of this approach and its implications for global governance has not been adequately assessed. In this chapter, I evaluate the potential efficacy of crowdsourcing as a means of increasing participation in global environmental governance through an analysis of data from the global MYWorld survey and UNinitiated e-discussions surrounding the inclusion of environmental sustainability in the post-2015 development agenda. I find that there exists a perceptible demographic imbalance among contributors to the MY World survey and considerable dissonance between the characteristics of participants in the ediscussions and those whose voices were included in the resulting summary report. This suggests that although crowdsourcing may be an attractive tool for widening participation in global governance, ultimately the democratic quality of that participation depends on the manner in which contributions are filtered by international institutions.
World Scientific Reference on Natural Resources and Environmental Policy in the Era of Global Change
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Gellers, J.C. (2016) Crowdsourcing sustainable development goals from global civil society in The WSPC Reference on Natural Resources and Environmental Policy in the Era of Global Change, 2, 415-438.