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Community action for sustainability is a promising site of socio-technical innovation. Here we test the applicability of co-evolutionary niche theories of innovation diffusion (Strategic Niche Management, SNM) to the context of ‘grassroots innovations’. We present new empirical findings from an international study of 12 community currency niches (such as LETS, time banks, local currencies). These are parallel systems of exchange, designed to operate alongside mainstream money, meeting additional sustainability needs. Our findings confirm SNM predictions that niche-level activity correlates with diffusion success, but we highlight additional or confounding factors, and how niche theories might be adapted to better fit civil-society innovations. In so doing, we develop a model of grassroots innovation niche diffusion which builds on existing work and tailors it to this specific context. The paper concludes with a series of theoretically-informed recommendations for practitioners and policymakers to support the development and potential of grassroots innovations.
|Journal||Technology Analysis and Strategic Management|
|Early online date||25 Jul 2015|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
- sustainability transitions,
- social innovation
- Strategic niche management
- complementary currencies,
- grassroots innovation
- School of Environmental Sciences - Associate Professor
- Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE) - Member
- Environmental Social Sciences - Member
- Science, Society and Sustainability - Member
Person: Research Group Member, Research Centre Member, Academic, Teaching & Research
- 1 Finished
Harnessing Grassroots Innovations: Complementary Currencies And Sustainability
1/03/10 → 31/07/13
Desperately seeking niches: Grassroots innovations and niche development in the community currency fieldSeyfang, G. & Longhurst, N., Oct 2013, In: Global Environmental Change. 23, 5, p. 881-891 11 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile158 Citations (Scopus)13 Downloads (Pure)
Growing green money? Mapping community currencies for sustainable developmentSeyfang, G. & Longhurst, N., Feb 2013, In: Ecological Economics. 86, p. 65-77 13 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review152 Citations (Scopus)
Complementary Currencies: The state of the artLonghurst, N. & Seyfang, G., 2011, In: International Journal of Community Currency Research. 15, D
Research output: Contribution to journal › Special issue › peer-review