Projects per year
Grassroots innovations typically involve networks of activists and organisations generating novel bottom-up solutions for sustainable development; solutions that respond to the local situation and the interests and values of the communities involved (Seyfang and Smith, 2007). What they share is commitment on the part of those involved towards openness and inclusion in the processes of innovation and the outputs of innovation.
Research is still needed that considers whether and how grassroots innovators network with one another; the extent to which movements for grassroots innovation approaches exist and how they operate; whether and how innovations diffuse through processes of replication, scaling-up, and translation into institutions; and whether or not these developments constitute alternative pathways for sustainability. The empirical contributions in this special section consider the dilemmas of going to scale, the challenges of moving from innovation to institutionalisation, and the risks of capture and instrumentality when grassroots innovations encounter more powerful political economies of conventional innovation systems (see also Smith et al., 2013). A recurring theme is diversity in innovation for sustainability; which might be served best by resisting pressures to mainstream, yet simultaneously generates accusations of marginality.
In highlighting these themes and introducing the special section, we use a particular example, the Brighton Earthship, and which all contributing authors visited as part of a research workshop on grassroots innovation held at Sussex University in May 2012 and that led to the papers here.
- 2 Finished
31/10/10 → 31/03/14
1/03/10 → 31/07/13
Seyfang, G., Hielscher, S., Hargreaves, T., Martiskainen, M. & Smith, A., Dec 2014, In: Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. 13, p. 21-44 24 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review208 Citations (Scopus)
Longhurst, N. & Seyfang, G., 2011, In: International Journal of Community Currency Research. 15, D
Research output: Contribution to journal › Special issue › peer-review