Stakeholder Evolution: describing humankind towards addressing global challenges

Main Article Content

Lucilla Spini


Classifying people into different categories on the basis of many different features (e.g., skulls, race, language, culture, race, genes, and most recently big-data) has been common practice in the anthropological sciences. Furthermore, human beings have also been placed into different categories through the application of boundary terms, such as the term “stakeholder”. This term is now widely used in several different sectors: from business, politics, environmental programmes, to sustainability initiatives and governance of the United Nations (UN). However, its current utilization and interpretations within the framework of ongoing global crises and challenges affecting humankind have not been extensively discussed within current transformations at the societal and individual levels. The paper aims at providing an overview of the different meanings attributed to the term, starting with its initial use (in the gambling realm), its consolidated application in the corporate/business world, and current widespread use in UN activities and governance frameworks addressing global challenges. Building on this background, the paper calls on anthropologists to define a more dynamic and adaptive meaning of the term “stakeholder” which will enable to identify the immense diversity of humankind so as not to leave anybody behind when addressing global challenges. 

Article Details

How to Cite
Spini, L. (2020). Stakeholder Evolution: describing humankind towards addressing global challenges. Human Evolution , 35(3-4), 159-174.
Author Biography

Lucilla Spini

Spini L. 
Biological Anthropologist and Sustainability Scientist
Old Member, Linacre College (Oxford)