Arnim Wiek

Arnim Wiek
Arizona State University | ASU · School of Sustainability

Ph.D.
Sustainable Food Economy and Entrepreneurship

About

160
Publications
109,865
Reads
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13,562
Citations
Introduction
I am a full professor in the School of Sustainability and director of the Sustainable Food Economy Lab at Arizona State University, USA. I also hold guest professorships at Leuphana University of Lüneburg, and at the University of Freiburg, Germany. My team conducts research on sustainable solutions for local (food) businesses and economies in close collaboration with entrepreneurs, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and other stakeholders.
Additional affiliations
August 2013 - present
Arizona State University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • My research group conducts solution-oriented research on emerging technologies, urban development, resource governance, climate change, and public health.
August 2008 - July 2013
Arizona State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
May 2007 - July 2008
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Position
  • Visiting Scientist (Swiss National Science Foundation)
Education
May 2002 - May 2005
ETH Zurich
Field of study
  • Environmental Sciences

Publications

Publications (160)
Article
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Sustainability science still struggles with transitioning from problem-focused to solution-oriented endeavors that yield positive impacts on mitigating sustainability challenges. This article presents and compares three sustainability science studies on the reconstruction after the 2011 triple-disaster in Japan; limited energy and livelihood option...
Article
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The emerging academic field focused on sustainability has been engaged in a rich and converging debate to define what key competencies are considered critical for graduating students to possess. For more than a decade, sustainability courses have been developed and taught in higher education, yet comprehensive academic programs in sustainability, o...
Article
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To advance holistic corporate sustainability in small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) requires employees to fully engage in sustainability efforts, which, in return, means to develop employees' action competence for sustainability. Little empirical evidence, however, exists on how to do this considering well‐known constraints SMEs face (time, e...
Article
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Sustainable agrifood systems are critical to averting climate-driven social and ecological disasters, overcoming the growth paradigm and redefining the interactions of humanity and nature in the twenty-first century. This Perspective describes an agenda and examples for comprehensive agrifood system redesign according to principles of sufficiency,...
Article
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The unfolding COVID-19 pandemic, and the unprecedented social and economic costs it has inflicted, provide an important opportunity to scrutinize the interplay between the resilience of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the resilience of the communities they are embedded in. In this article, we articulate the specific ways that SMEs pla...
Article
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Sustainable food forests offer multiple benefits to urban sustainability challenges. Research to date mostly describes structure and services of individual food forests but provides little evidence and guidance for implementation. This study analyzes and evaluates an ongoing, multiyear, transdisciplinary project developing a sustainable urban food...
Article
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Food forests are multistrata ecosystems that pro­vide healthy food, livelihood opportunities, as well as social-cultural and environmental services. With these features, food forests address several prob­lems industrial food systems cause. While the overall number of food forests is continuously increasing worldwide, the rate of uptake is still low...
Article
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Advancing transformations towards sustainability calls for change agents equipped with a new set of competencies. Such sustainability competencies have been articulated with multiplicity and ambiguity, which is counterproductive to joint and accelerated progress. A unified framework of sustainability learning objectives would provide guidance to st...
Article
Purpose This research aims to investigate the role of project-based-learning within graduate sustainability curricula through the lens of key competence development. Project-based learning has become a widely recommended pedagogy for sustainability education. It is hypothesized that through collaboration, student autonomy and real-world application...
Article
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Project-based sustainability courses require and facilitate diverse interactions among students, instructors, stakeholders, and mentors. Most project-based courses take an instrumental approach to these interactions, so that they support the overall project deliverables. However, as courses primarily intend to build students’ key competencies in su...
Article
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B Corp certification is considered a viable instrument to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in adopting sustainable practices. However, there is a lack of evidence to what extent this instrument can anchor sustainability at the core of SMEs. This study investigates the B Corp certification process of a SME, a craft brewery in southe...
Article
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Industrialized food systems use unsustainable practices leading to climate change, natural resource depletion, economic disparities across the value chain, and detrimental impacts on public health. In contrast, alternative food solutions such as food forests have the potential to provide healthy food, sufficient livelihoods, environmental services,...
Article
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Despite improvements, international food supply in general and coffee supply in particular continue to cause significant greenhouse gas emissions, economic inequities, and negative impacts on human well-being. There is agreement that dominant economic paradigms need to change to comply with the sustainability principles of environmental integrity,...
Article
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Local grain economies are being developed in North America and Europe as alternatives to the global grain economy and its negative externalities. Little is known, however, about their size, structure, and sustainability, in particular as they evolve. This study offers such insights from a case study of the local grain economy in Arizona. The study...
Article
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Creating connections between consumers and producers (relational proximity) seems a promising approach to foster sustainable consumption behaviour in international food supply. In this intervention study, we tested three experiential marketing interventions to connect consumers to producers of an international community-supported agriculture (CSA)...
Article
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The sustainability challenges the world faces today call for concerted and immediate action. Complementing problem-oriented, descriptive-analytical research with solution-oriented research could strengthen sustainability science’s contribution to address these challenges. We introduce different types of solution-oriented sustainability research to...
Article
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Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) depends, in part, on the sustainability competencies of professionals in various fields, and thus, on the implementation of sustainability curricula in higher education. While many universities now offer sustainability curricula, and many more aspire to, there is a lack of evidence on what suppor...
Article
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Purpose For professional sustainability work, graduates need to be able to work in teams and collaborate with stakeholders; in other words, they need to have developed interpersonal competence. There is growing evidence that project-based sustainability courses facilitate interpersonal competence development. However, research so far has focused on...
Article
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While there is growing agreement on the competencies sustainability professionals should possess as well as the pedagogies to develop them, the practice of assessing students' sustainability competencies is still in its infancy. Despite growing interest among researchers, there has not yet been a systematic review of how students' sustainability co...
Article
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Many detrimental effects on the environment, economy, and society are associated with the structure and practices of food systems around the world. While there is increasing agreement on the need for substantive change in food systems towards sustainability, divergent perspectives exist on what the appropriate points of intervention and strategies...
Article
Semi-immersive visualization facilities support research, planning, and decision-making at the science-society-policy interface. Decision theaters, visualization studios, and similar installations—here referred to as Decision-Visualization Environments (DVEs)—facilitate human-computer-content interactions to explore climate change impacts, resource...
Article
Conventional water management systems seem increasingly unable to resolve the challenges of over-allocation, climate change, and urban growth facing cities such as those in the Colorado River Basin. Transformational urban water solutions matching the scale and urgency of the challenges are needed. An experimental water-independent house in Tucson,...
Article
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Abstract Amplifying the impact of sustainability initiatives to foster transformations in urban and rural contexts, has received increasing attention in resilience, social innovation, and sustainability transitions research. We review the literature on amplification frameworks and propose an integrative typology of eight processes, which aim to inc...
Article
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Employee-owned businesses, benefit corporations, and other efforts in sustainability entrepreneurship are responding to prevalent challenges such as climate change, economic inequalities, and unethical business behavior. Universities, however, often fall short in sufficiently equipping students with competencies in sustainability entrepreneurship....
Article
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Purpose Advanced skills in communication, teamwork and stakeholder engagement are widely recognized as important success factors for advancing sustainability. While project-based learning formats claim to advance such skills, there is little empirical evidence that demonstrates how interpersonal competence is being developed. This study aims to des...
Article
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International food supply is often associated with negative externalities including injustices across the economic value chain favoring trade over production and processing, significant transport‐related greenhouse gas emissions, and poor working conditions in the regions where food is being produced or processed. Relevant proxies for this situatio...
Preprint
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The Educating Future Change Agents project, a joint research initiative of Leuphana University, Germany and Arizona State University, USA, is seeking to generate generalizable insights about how university students can best develop key competencies in sustainability. Purposeful case overlap, a shared empirical framework, and methodological innovati...
Article
Cities in regions around the world, such as the Colorado River Basin, face severe water challenges and need solutions that deliver significant progress towards sustainable urban water systems. Real-world experiments help stakeholders learn about solutions and select the most promising for scaling and transfer, but the sustainability experiments lit...
Article
Cities worldwide are rising to the challenge of sustainable development, calling for large-scale and fast-paced transformations towards sustainability. Urban sustainability challenges are now being reframed as a lack of capacity of individuals and organizations to carry out such socio-technical transformations. This article expands on transformativ...
Preprint
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Various institutions and organizations offer semi-immersive decision-visualization environments to support research, planning, and decision-making at the science-society-policy interface. Decision theaters, visualization studios, and similar facilities-in this study summarized as Decision-Visualization Environments (DVEs)-facilitate human-computer-...
Article
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The urgency of climate change and other sustainability challenges makes transferring and scaling solutions between cities a necessity. However, solutions are deeply contextual. To accelerate solution efforts, there is a need to understand how context shapes the development of solutions. Universities are well positioned to work with cities on transf...
Article
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The most critical question for climate research is no longer about the problem, but about how to facilitate the transformative changes necessary to avoid catastrophic climate-induced change. Addressing this question, however, will require massive upscaling of research that can rapidly enhance learning about transformations. Ten essentials for guidi...
Article
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The next generation will be better prepared to cope with the daunting sustainability challenges if education for sustainable development is being taught and learned across educational sectors. K-12 school education will play a pivotal role in this process, most prominently, the teachers serving at these schools. While pre-service teachers’ educatio...
Article
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Technological innovation in general, and nanotechnology development in particular, happens often disconnected from people and places where these technologies eventually play out. Over the last decade, a diversity of approaches have been proposed and developed to engage people in the innovation process of nanotechnology much earlier than in their co...
Article
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Transdisciplinary research between diverse academic and societal actors is a core practice in sustainability science. However, it often seems to fail in delivering new scientific insights while also significantly contributing to sustainability transformations. It is also often experienced as a burden instead of adding value, which leads to fatigue...
Article
While federal action on climate change and renewable energy development has lagged in the United States, cities are undertaking ambitious sustainability initiatives. Motivation often flows from a resilience mindset - how cities can prepare for and be resilient to future shocks. The conflation of sustainability and resilience jeopardizes the success...
Article
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Public participation is a common element in state-of-the-art urban development projects. Tailoring the public participation process to the local context is a popular strategy for ensuring sufficient turnout and meaningful engagement, but this strategy faces several challenges. Through a review of case studies of public participation in urban develo...
Article
We continue to understand little about how to best design and operate transnational collaborations between universities to advance research and education for sustainability. This article explores general practices in transnational research and teaching that can provide information and inspiration for the sustainability field. The article follows a...
Article
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Successful careers in sustainability are determined by positive real-world change towards sustainability. This success depends heavily on professional skills in effective and compassionate communication, collaborative teamwork, or impactful stakeholder engagement, among others. These professional skills extend beyond content knowledge and methodica...
Article
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Public funding agencies largely support aca- demic research as an effort to stimulate future product commercialization and foster broader societal benefits. Yet, translating research nurtured in academic settings into such outcomes is complex and demands functional interactions between government, academic, and indus- try, i.e., Btriple helix,^ org...
Article
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Multi-stakeholder collaboration among industry, government, the public, and researchers is widely acknowledged as a critical success factor for resolving sustainability problems. Proponents argue that pooling capacities and resources is necessary to cope with such wicked problems. Despite good intentions and attempts to follow best practices, the r...
Article
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Governance of technological innovation remains challenged by the dilemma of control. Two divergent responses seek to meet this challenge. The first regulates negative impacts once evidence is gathered. The second precludes dissemination of technologies until enough is known about outcomes. Recognizing limitations of each response, scholars are incr...
Article
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Purpose This paper aims to present an experience-based learning framework that provides a bottom-up, student-centered entrance point for the development of systems thinking, normative and collaborative competencies in sustainability. Design/methodology/approach The framework combines mental mapping with exploratory walking. It interweaves mappin...
Article
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A promising approach for addressing sustainability problems is to recognize the unique conditions of a particular place, such as problem features and solution capabilities, and adopt and adapt solutions developed at other places around the world. Therefore, research and teaching in international networks becomes critical, as it allows for accelerat...
Article
Despite repeated calls for novel forms of innovation and governance, including responsible innovation, anticipatory governance, and sustainability-oriented governance, nanotechnology continues to be mainly innovated following conventional schemes – with persistent shortcomings and negative impacts. Shifting these schemes towards sustainable and res...
Article
Sustainability science can roughly be differentiated into two distinct research streams – a “descriptive-analytical” and a “transformational” one. While the former is primarily concerned with describing and analyzing sustainability problems, the latter aims at developing evidence-supported solution options to solve these problems. This chapter pres...
Article
There is a need for specific knowledge of what people can do to mitigate harmful water conflicts. This need is evident in the rural dry tropics of Central America where people face climate change impacts, inefficient water management, and social tension. To address this need, we investigated why some local water conflicts escalated to violence and...
Chapter
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Universities hold a crucial responsibility and role to contribute to sustainable development, also in their education task. The concept of competencies for sustainable development and the idea of using real-world sustainability issues in education are promising approaches to transform sustainability programmes at universities into student-centred l...
Chapter
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Moving consumption toward sustainable patterns has been a key goal of sustainability science since the 1990s. However, a large knowledge gap remains between identified consumption problems that restrict social and ecological development and progress toward solutions. Unfortunately, “sustainable consumption” is generally discussed in a rational cont...
Chapter
Over the past four decades, approaches to persistent and complex sustainability challenges have relied on solutions developed through scientific problem analysis and subsequent decision-making. Recently, this assumption has been exposed to various criticisms pointing out flaws and a lack of success. Art occupies a different intellectual, creative,...
Book
This textbook provides a comprehensive compilation of conceptual perspectives, methodological approaches and empirical insights of inter- and transdisciplinary sustainability science. Written by an international team of authors from leading sustainability institutions, the textbook covers key perspectives and topics of the scientific discourse on s...
Article
Local and regional organizations are designing and implementing interventions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through various programs and projects. These efforts have been less effective than anticipated, and emissions have continued to rise. Because awareness, intent, planning, and actions are all present, yet results not being achieved, the...
Article
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Many new forms of water governance are emerging in response to economic and social needs and wants, as well as water-related problems such as scarcity, injustice, and conflict. However, there is little evidence on how sustainable these governance regimes are, which would be critical for making progress toward sustainable and just water governance....
Article
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In public planning processes for sustainable urban development, planners and experts often face the challenge of engaging a public that is not familiar with sustainability principles or does not subscribe to sustainability values. Although there are calls to build the public's sustainability literacy through social learning, such efforts require su...
Conference Paper
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Transitions towards sustainability are urgently needed to address the interconnected challenges of economic development, ecological integrity, and social justice from the local to the global level. Around the world, collaborative science-society initiatives have emerged that develop, test, and implement experiments in support of sustainability tran...
Article
Initiatives pursuing sustainability transitions of small-scale communities offer rich learning opportunities on: to what extent they are making progress toward sustainability; what success depends on; and how success can be replicated in other communities. Yet, there is little empirical research addressing these questions. This article presents a c...
Article
The future of the American West depends on sustainable water resource governance. A variety of uncertainties assoc