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The Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 marked a historical step toward sustainable development. Since then, the international community has explored and exercised a new type of governance that supports sustainable society”æ› multi-stakeholder process (MSP). This constitutes a framework for dialogue and consensus building among various stakeholders in society.
MSP has its political and philosophical origins in the international debates on sustainability and global governance. Since the 1990s, MSP has been practiced and refined in diverse areas, from the decision-making or standard-setting processes of international organizations to the implementation processes of rural development projects in developing countries.
MSP is essentially a platform for social innovation, where all relevant stakeholders are equally involved and accountable, experience a continuing process of social learning through dialogue with others, and share innovative solutions while taking ownership of them. Especially, small-scale, dispersed, problem-oriented MSP will be required in the near future, in which more diverse and segmentalized stakeholders, who do not fit into traditional categories of stakeholders, repeatedly and flexibly form and dissolve in order to solve social problems.
This article discusses the definition, functions, types, and significance of MSP, providing an overview of the challenges faced by the international community since the Earth Summit, and explores the new form of MSP that will be required in a new age.