International business collaboration between small islands to encourage sustainable development
Abstract: Since the world economy today is based on constant economic growth, essential challenges to business development have emerged regarding for example how to manage the growth rate in order to have the minimum environmental impact. The limitations of natural resources have become evidently clear in many different areas, and the need to find sustainable ways of developing societies has become a necessity. Sustainability can be described by three dimensions social, environmental and economical, and all three are equally important in order to reach sustainability. Through a joint collaboration with WCreate, a company based on the Swedish island of Gotland with the vision of generating value to the whole island, a case study was created. The case study where to investigating business development possibilities of NatWest Island Games, a multinational sport event which Gotland is hosting in the summer of 2017, and a research question was formed: How could a business collaboration between Gotland and the other member islands, originated from the International Island Games Association (IIGA), contribute to the islands business sectors? The purpose of this study has been to investigate the interests of a business collaboration between small islands to exchange experience of sustainable challenges for small islands specifically. This report explores all three dimensions of sustainability through three different methods. The social dimension was explored through a questionnaire sent to a representative of each island, investigating the local level of interests of a business collaboration. The environmental dimension was explored through an ecological research of i.e. the water management on Gotland, in order to investigate how Gotland could contribute with knowledge of managing limited natural resources. The economical dimension was explored through a data mining analysis of statistical data of member islands within IIGA, in order to investigate potential economic relations between the member islands. This study shows that the result could be achievable through the creation of a collaboration between the islands, in which incentive challenges as how to manage natural resources, attracting new residents and maintain a sustainable tourism industry can be communicated and discussed. Through exchange of retained knowledge and experience, the participating islands can attain new knowledge and take part of already possessed experiences. Furthermore, solutions to some islands challenges may already be invented and can in this way be shared to avoid reinvention of the same solution. By applying this concept of collaboration different aspects such as the freshwater management or the experience of theme packages for tourists on Gotland, can contribute to the business sectors on other islands. In similar ways other islands knowledge and experiences can contribute to the business sector of Gotland.
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