To which extent have translocal networks the potential to contribute to wider systemic changes? How can we better understand their development as well as their diffusion, as a basis for possible transition governance support? This paper develops a conceptual understanding of transformative innovation and explores development, translocal diffusion and transition governance strategies.
This paper develops a conceptual understanding of transformative innovations as shared activities, ideas and objects across locally rooted sustainability initiatives that explore and develop alternatives to incumbent and (perceived) unsustainable regimes that they seek to challenge, alter or replace. We synthesize empirical work from two European research projects (TRANSIT and ARTS), in which initiatives and networks were empirically studied, to develop a broader conceptual understanding of the emergence of transformative innovation. The development of initiatives can occur through growing, replicating, partnering, instrumentalising and embedding. This is supported through translocal networks that connect initiatives by sharing ideas, objects and activities across local contexts.
This translocal characteristic of transformative innovations harnesses an enormous potential for sustainability transitions, but requires further understanding as well as governance support. Transition governance should develop better strategies to facilitate and empower translocal diffusion as a way to contribute to sustainability transitions based on context-sensitive local and sustainable economies. The perspective we present provides a conceptual starting point to further explore the development and diffusion of transformative innovation as well as transition governance strategies.
Loorbach, D., Wittmayer, J., Avelino, F., Wirth, T. von, Frantzeskaki, N. (2020). Transformative innovation and translocal diffusion. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eist.2020.01.009
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February 18, 2020