Shared Governance for Sustainable Working Landscapes  book cover
1st Edition

Shared Governance for Sustainable Working Landscapes

ISBN 9781138495524
Published February 12, 2018 by CRC Press
284 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $74.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Sustaining our agricultural landscapes is no longer just a technical, scientific or even political problem, but it has evolved into a socially complex, so-called wicked problem of conflicting social governance and economics. This creates an extreme economic obstacle where the value of ecosystem services remains low and diffuse and the transactions costs remain high and multiple.Using Uber-like business platform technology and a shared governance model, a symbiotic demand for environmental benefits is created. Enabling multi-sector transactions for environmental benefits, this platform innovation would remedy the "tragedy of the commons"; the economic nemesis to achieving landscape sustainability. In a nutshell, to sustain our agricultural landscapes a transdisciplinary approach supported by a shared governance model housed within a multi-sided platform in needed. This book introduces an assessment framework identifying governance actors, styles and ratios for socio-ecological systems. The assessment uses a new governance compass to identify the types of actors completing which tasks and identifies the styles of governance used to complete the tasks. It is aimed to anyone involved in sustainability science, agricultural policy planning, or integrated landscape design.

Table of Contents




Chapter 1 Introduction

Agricultural transition phases

A paradigm shift

A wicked problem

Sustainability science

The wicked features of agriculture sustainability

Ecological–economic disconnections

Conflicting governance styles

Disparate stakeholder values

Variable natural capital

Putting sustainability science to practice

An environmental market signal

Spatially based trading platform

Path to agricultural landscape sustainability

Assessing wicked problems

Devising wicked solutions

Recognizing the glocal commons

Global perspectives

Glocal and regional perspectives

The grand economic challenge

Section I: An enduring wicked problem

Chapter 2 An enduring wicked problem

A wicked problem

Sources of wicked (landscape sustainability) problems

Varied scope and scale of natural capital outputs and outcome

Growing number of disparate stakeholder values

Conflicting governance styles

The complex agriculture landscape system

The simple and complicated

The complex

The system as it is

Natural capital

System stakeholders

Production group

Organizational governance styles

Transdisciplinary challenge

Disciplinary evolution

Application challenges

A wicked resilient problem

Chapter 3 Natural capital outputs and outcomes

A natural economic capital

Not a new idea

The landscape as a living factory floor

An automobile factory

A drinking water factory

The conditionally renewable earth factory






Outputs and outcomes

Varied ecosystem service definitions

Categorize goods and services as same

Categorize goods and services as different

Identify ecosystem services as SPUs

Ecosystem services as FEGS and BRIs

Compatible definitions?

Chapter 4 Disparate stakeholder strategies and values

Agriculture’s four phases

Stakeholder shift and expansion

Incompatible strategies

Public utility sector

Seattle public utilities and the GASB

Des Moines Water Works and county drainage boards

Government agency sector

USDA federal farm policy

EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Protection and

Restoration Order

Agriculture Water Quality Certainty Program

Agriculture industry sector

United Suppliers’ SUSTAIN

NGOs and the corporate sector

The Sustainability Consortium

Field to Market

EPRI water quality trading

Following Carlson’s Law?

Top-down [dis]orderly

Bottom-up chaos

Disparity rooted in culture and governance

Chapter 5 Conflicting governance styles


Organizational evolution

Conformist hierarchy

Incentivized hierarchy

Pluralistic hierarchy

Network structure

Organizational structure–governance styles connections


Governance cultures

Governance styles

Hierarchy governance

Market governance

Network governance

Governance conflicts

Governance trilemma

Governance conflicts in the system as it is

Section II: Devising a wicked solution

Chapter 6 Devising a wicked solution

A transdisciplinary approach

Acquiring system knowledge

Imagination as a wicked solution strategy

Identifying wicked solution sources

Six pilot project case studies


Minnesota Project’s conservation innovation

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s conservation bridge

Minnesota department of agriculture’s EQA

EPA–USDA–MN Ag water quality certainty program

Chicago SWCD’s AgEQATM

A [Compiled] transdisciplinary approach

Retelling the transdisciplinary story

Transformational knowledge

The system as it ought to be

Identifying the wicked problem and solution partners

Wicked solution sources

Shared governance platform

Enabling communities of practice

Chapter 7 A landscape language

Index-based language form

Landscape data

Data collection

Smart assessments

Index calculations

Creating language content

Landscape intelligence

Simple and compound indices

Natural capital asset portfolio

Purposeful uses

Another market marvel?

Useful applications

Defining eco-services

Natural capital units

Mapping earth’s factory floor

Natural capital values and GDP

Agricultural NCC values

Disruption toward harmonization

Global environmental mechanism

Global environmental asset portfolio

Harmonizing natural capital valuation

Imagining a common landscape language

Chapter 8 Aligning sustainability activities

Governance actors

Shifting actor roles

Governance shifts



Governance frameworks

Case study analysis

Case assessment strategy

Governance actors

Governance styles, frameworks, and footprints

Group I case studies—USDA conservation delivery system

Soil Conservation Service CDS

Project components

Assessment and discussion

Natural Resources Conservation Service CDS

Project components

Assessment and discussion

Group I discussion

Group II case studies—Minnesota EQAs

Minnesota Milk Producers Association EQA

Project components

Assessment and discussion

Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s LEQA

Project components

Assessment and discussion

Chicago SWCD’s AgEQA

Project components

Assessment and discussion

Group II discussion

Group III case studies—emerging strategies

MDA’s Ag Water Quality Certainty Program

Project components

Assessment and discussion

Chesapeake Bay Program BMP Verification

Project components

Assessment and discussion

EPRI’s Ohio River Basin water quality trading

Program components

Assessment and discussion

The Sustainability Consortium

Project components

Assessment and discussion

Field to Market

Project components

Assessment and discussion

United supplier’s SUSTAIN

Project components

Assessment and discussion

Group III discussion

Overall case study findings

Governance of project components





Governance footprints

Aligning governance actors and styles

Chapter 9 A shared governance platform

Shared governance

Shared governance principles

Multisided platforms

Network community

Technology infrastructure

Database and content

Multisided shared governance platform

Creating a new supply

Nonexcludable goods

Excludable goods

"Converting" nonexcludable goods to excludable goods

New user behaviors

Enabling new transactions

Identify transaction costs

Reduce transaction costs

Shared transaction costs and values

MSSG platform transactions

Sustainability 1.0

Sustainability 1.5

Sustainability 2.0

Symbiotic demand versus conflicting governance

Disparate stakeholder governance

Symbiotic demand

Section III: Designing a glocal business ecosystem

Chapter 10 Governance of the glocal commons

Glocalization phenomenon

Social effect

Sustainability supply chain effect

Local + global = glocal commons

Glocal governance pathways

Bottom-up sustainability governance

Top-down sustainability governance

Private sector sustainability governance

Public–private partnerships

Solely private sector

Adaptive pathway

Glocal common governance

Local commons

Glocal commons

Chapter 11 Designing a business ecosystem

Evolving ecosystems

Business ecosystems

e-Commerce ecosystems

An eco-commerce ecosystem concept

Interface of ecoservice value

Ecosystem design layers

Participant layers

Leaders’ layer

Users layer

Contributor layer

Risk management assessment

Strategies for an eco-commerce ecosystem

User magnet

Technology toolbox


Matchmaking, incentives, and trust

Ecosystem emergence considerations

Chapter 12 Enabling an eco-commerce ecosystem

Three phases of transformation

Preparing the system

Adaptive comanagement

Minimal viable platform

A first platform interaction

The next platform interaction

A prepared system

Window of opportunity

Case study windows

Too many "little" windows?

Too big of a window?

Opening a WQ trading window

Entering a WQ trading window

Navigating the transition

Navigating the first WQ transaction

Transforming water quality trading

Enabling symbiotic transactions

Glocal sustainability portfolios

Antithesis of the tragedy of the commons

Building resiliency

Compelling visions

Chapter 13 Conclusion

Wicked principles

Sustainability science

A DNA solution

Platform biomimicry

Stable core

Variable complementary component


A generic wicked solution platform

A resolutionary path

Chapter 14 Bibliography


View More



Timothy M. Gieseke’s interdisciplinary career is reflected in the research and insights of his writings. A master’s degree in environmental sciences is a cornerstone for his perspective on agriculture sustainability. He also brings experience in agriculture production, governmental experience in conservation planning, policy analysis at state and federal levels, political endeavors, and agribusiness management. With this near panoramic view of landscape sustainability, Tim recognized the need for a transdisciplinary approach to enable practitioners and policy- makers to transcend and blur the lines between their traditional organizational boundaries. He has carried this vision through several of his local to global efforts.


"I like the clear communication style as Timothy Gieseke takes readers on a journey. He systematically builds his arguments and clarifies the issues in a field that has evolved to be very complex and confusing."
—Leon Cavalli, Hannabell Electronics, Queensland, Australia

"Timothy M. Gieseke brings fresh new insights and understanding to the problem of how to create sustainable forms of agriculture. A compulsory read for anyone involved in sustainability science, agricultural policy planning, or integrated landscape design."
—Valerie Payn, Integrated Landscape Designer, Port Shepstone Area, South Africa

"This is a superbly researched and written text."
—Joseph M. Bradley, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA

"This book is a timely contribution to sustainability in agricultural and rural landscapes."
—Alan Carter, Celto Canadian, Vancouver, Canada

"The strength of the book lies in the application of the model of sustainability governance to eleven case studies, which greatly enriches understanding of processes necessary for the environmental market signal to have meaning."
— Cornelia Butler Flora, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA

"Tim Gieseke has authored an important big picture contribution to the scientific literature on today’s seemingly intractable, environmental problems associated with agricultural production. The book provides an excellent overview of the nature of landscape-scale ecological problems, often referred to in government regulatory terms as non-point source problems."
— Andrew Manale, US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Policy (retired), Washington, D.C., USA

"Timothy Gieseke’s book Shared Governance for Sustainable Working Landscapes is a tour de force on how to effectively manage the 'wicked problems' of unsustainable agricultural systems. This book, which is a novel addition to the growing library of books on sustainability, would be highly useful to policy makers on agricultural systems as well as conservation planners and managers. Also, the book is great for practitioners who are interested in recognizing and managing wicked problems in domains other than agriculture."
— Rod King, Consultant on conversational project management, Clovis, California, USA

"Tim Gieseke’s book takes us exactly in the direction we need to go – exploring new business models for investing in and sustaining the wide range of goods and services provided by landscapes. Overall, this book is an ambitious effort to develop actionable ways forward for sustaining the lands and waters on which we all rely."
— Brad Gentry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

"In simple language, following in the footsteps of Ostrom and Meadows, Gieseke explains "easy-to-use" systems-level frameworks so you too can analyze, assess, and determine sustainable landscape strategies. Whether you work as a financial analyst, urban planner, corporate strategist, or in agriculture production, Shared Governance for Sustainable Working Landscapes adds one more excellent set of tools to add to your sustainability tool chest."
— Gabriel Thoumi, CFA, Climate Advisers, Washington, DC, USA

"The author sets out to test whether a multisided shared governance platform, supporting an eco-commerce ecosystem, could deliver a solution that all reasonable stakeholder groups might embrace. Starting at the landscape – as the "point of service" – is interesting; whether governance systems can be designed with sophistication to deliver the desired, share outcome, readers will need to establish for themselves. Even more intriguing is the possibility that valued landscape components might be delivered through the creation of e-commerce ecosystem service values."
— Richard Wakeford, Birmingham City University, United Kingdom

"Farmers and all the players in the Ag game have, different visions, different solutions, different problems, different motives, different interests. Mr. Gieseke writes of the wicked problems that come from conflicting interests and provides solutions with his talk of Platforms and E-Commerce Ecosystems, Shared Governance and Environmental Market Signals. Mr. Gieseke spent long nights studying and developing his ideas on Sustainability. Through it all, Tim never forgets his roots as a fourth generation farmer, providing solutions so that fifth generation can smell the smells of a barn in the morning and walk in the footsteps of their forefathers."
— Merle Hanson, Author of Portraits, Winona, Minnesota, USA

"Through the nodes of ecology, economy, natural capitals, governance, and stakeholder values, this volume converges towards the definition of glocal business ecosystem, a concept transcending sector boundaries. More than a set of ingenious suggestions and opportunities to change resource management, this book is a source of inspiration to tackle current challenges with a holistic vision. It is a manual with guidelines to innovate and renew our way of building society, with approaches suggested by nature itself, and a license to rethink our world imaginatively."
— Fanny Barsics, Formerly of the University of Liège, Belgium

"On many levels, rich and thought-provoking writing. Indigenous innovation and science partnerships engage millennia old landscapes, and its critical, egalitarian customary governance and management practices. Tim’s writing raises a unique question for sustainability science: ‘What can we learn in terms of policy, planning and management?’ from the dynamic function of customary governance and its transdisciplinary approaches to sustaining complex natural capital."
— John Locke, BioCultural Consulting Pty Ltd, Queensland, Australia