B3: Strengthen cooperation structures between public and private sector

Adaptation to climate change is a complex change and transformation process and needs good cooperation and coordination between the private and public sector who usually have different understandings, priorities, and work cultures. In many cases there is even a history of failed cooperation attempts and an underlying sense of mistrust or prejudice. To overcome those obstacles and to build a strong cooperation structure between its counterparts, ADAPTUR followed the Collective Leadership Model from the Collective Leadership Institute in Potsdam, Germany.


The model understands change as a longer process with several phases and includes key elements from creating a shared vision, building cooperation structures, consolidating agreements, and implementing learning mechanisms. The result was integration of smaller groups of well selected change agents of private, public and social sectors (so called “containers”) who show strong support for the envisioned change, act as first movers and at a later point in time motivate other actors in the sector to join the initiative or movement.

  • Deep understanding of issues, positions and relationships between key stakeholders and their history and past experiences with similar processes.
  • Ability to act as a neutral agent and facilitator who can build bridges between different stakeholder groups and institutions.
  • Create a vision of the future that is shared and supported by different project stakeholders (e.g., business leaders, government representatives, civil society leaders, academic experts).
  • Capability to gain the trust of important sector leaders and to convince them to promote the project.
  • Creating a trustful relationship with the private sector is a long process that requires sensitivity and patience. Working with business leaders as change agents may be an excellent strategy to gain trust and initiate a change process "from within.". For example, ADAPTUR´s Regional Advisor helped to create relationships by facilitation meetings between the tourism industry, environmental organization and civil society.
  • Scientific data is very important to build your case for adaptation. But as human beings we are also inspired, moved and motivated by emotions. In ADAPTUR we worked a lot with photos, videos, and stories to create an emotional connection with the project.
  • Success is maybe the strongest motivator. It is important to have some quick wins at an early stage of the cooperation and to celebrate even smaller achievements with your project partners and target group.
  • Change is a journey. Keep the actors updated and interested (newsletters, communication of best practices, intersectoral dialogues, workshops) and celebrate your achievements.