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Actors for value-based engagement in sustainable consumption: Selected perspectives in innovation cases (Old Title: Sustainable Consumption: Collective.

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Presentation on theme: "Actors for value-based engagement in sustainable consumption: Selected perspectives in innovation cases (Old Title: Sustainable Consumption: Collective."— Presentation transcript:

1 Actors for value-based engagement in sustainable consumption: Selected perspectives in innovation cases (Old Title: Sustainable Consumption: Collective perspective from Institutional Actors in Europe) Shahzia M. KHAN Hue Nhu NGUYEN IIIEE, Lund University Sweden ECONOMIC DE-GROWTH FOR ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY AND SOCIAL EQUITY Paris, April 2008

2 Purpose  To seek responses from actors in social and technological innovations in selected Northern countries to identify potential factors for value-based changes Roles of actors Nature of relations Strategies to ‘consuming less’

3 Our Focus (De-Growth – Innovations – New Systems)  What are the challenges in sustainable consumption with respect to technological and social innovations?  What types of relations are being built in social innovations?

4 Perspectives (Actors divided either technological or social innovations) Research institutes – Sweden & Denmark (tech.) Companies – Sweden & Denmark (tech.) School educators – Lund, Sweden (tech. + soc.) Local authorities – Sk å ne, Sweden (soc.) Eco-village – Eco-phinney Seatlle, US & Findhorn Scotland (soc.) Civil Society/NGOs – Italy, US (soc.) Innovative communities (soc.) Simplicity movement leaders - US (soc.) Local Community – Malmo, Sweden (soc.)

5 Questions for audience… Social sustainability:  Can network enable sustainable solutions? Or, can create unintended power structure?  How to develop supportive climate for creative communities in SC agenda? Tech. growth:  What is “reasonable” level of continued technological growth?  What factors can possibly be changed without jeopardizing a “reasonable” level of continued technological growth?

6 Main Findings: Technology Innovation  Challenges Business actors: Narrowed vision of innovation Conventional perception of system change and downsizing possibility Education Mixed: values-based and technocratic pedagogic methods in respect to creativity and innovativeness and environmental issues Government Missing link: Innovation policy within resource constraints; and Innovation policy and social equity Consumption policy?

7 Business innovations for Sustainable Resource Consumption?  Networking for innovations: Vertical network No government ’ s role Lack of regional/international networks initiated by companies themselves  Business - research institutions: not for innovations, but for needs-based technical development and human resource development only

8 Observations  Government ’ s role: Important for start-up companies (seed money for continued research; infrastructure)  Networking: Cross-sectoral networking (for incubators)  Innovation policy in business (2000~): distinguish with R&D activities, but some overlapping  Trust and cooperation between business & research institutions with regards to innovation

9 Main findings: Social Innovation  Product & service systems: local food, shared resources/products, co-housing …  Findhorn & EcoPhinney Simple Living Eco- villages: motivation-action process, relations for well-being  Eco-town: green infrastructure, ethical consumption, top-down innovation intervention

10 Challenges  Language barrier Public health perspective Commercialization  Visioning  Short-term Problem-solutions  Research on motivational knowledge-building process  ‘ Simplicity is complex ’  Use of ‘ space ’  Unintended consequences: ‘ bad ’ competition  Support from promoting actors – Inspiration or reality?

11 Observations  Small Size matters (Visible & quality improvement)  External support mechanisms - diffuse & open Philanthropic Funding & financial guarantee Volunteer dependent Research support Infrastructure  Communities demand solutions from business: High technology & information society Reduce ambiguity in information for replacement of values

12 Is there an emerging pattern for value inclusion?  Government – Entrepreneur: Service: co-housing Economic: local investment, innovation policy Environmental-Social: guidance, legislations Consensus space: diverse structures  Government – Community: ‘ Loose ’ Network support: reduce isolation Security: unemployment vs. enthusiasts Sustainability Visioning: common areas Education with motivational & relational levels Leisure space

13  Community-Business-Government: Media role Venture capital Expert for R & D for ‘ visibility ’ & access Share diverse ‘ points to offer ’  Civil Society- Innovative communities: Strategic promotion Risk perception Assessment & tracking Knowledge transfer Conceptualizing ‘ change process ’… Is there an emerging pattern for value inclusion?

14 Transition?  Chaos - Breakthrough Levels of knowledge building: Ecovillage education Forms of social organization Transfer & incoming competence Exploratory framework: expressive, thriving creativity, diversity Cooperative climate & equality for uniqueness Unclog ‘ perceived ’ barriers Resistance is Natural!?

15 Remarks  Policy integration for social enterprise support  Sustainability criteria for innovations  Trust, reciprocity and confidence – build values  Identify nature of social relations  Create ‘spaces’ to link with the wellbeing concept (citizen-consumer transformation) THANK YOU!

16 Questions for audience Social sustainability:  Can networks enable sustainable solutions? Or, can create imbalanced power structure?  How to develop supportive climate in SCP for creative communities? Tech. growth:  What is “reasonable” level of continued technological growth?  What factors can possibly be changed without jeopardizing a “reasonable” level of continued technological growth?


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