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Of solar collectors, wind power, and car sharing: Comparing and understanding successful cases of grassroots innovations
Institute of Technology Assessment of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria.
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3945-0183
2013 (English)In: Global Environmental Change, ISSN 0959-3780, Vol. 23, no 5, 856-867 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Grassroots activities so far have not been sufficiently appreciated as sources of innovation. Transition processes towards more sustainable socio-technical energy, transport or production systems, however, are hardly imaginable without a broader participation of engaged citizens. This paper presents and compares three cases of successful grassroots innovations for sustainability. In particular we compare the development of wind technology in Denmark, the solar collector do-it-yourself movement in Austria, and the development of car sharing in Switzerland. The paper aims at a better understanding of the preconditions, patterns of growth and change and factors of success of grassroots innovations for more sustainable socio-technical regimes such as energy and transport. In the analysis we focus on dimensions such as the structural conditions and resources of origin, motivations of social actors involved, learning processes and outcomes, competences and activities of those actors, processes of institution-building, and the relationships to mainstream market actors. Based on the empirical background the paper discusses implications for the theorisation of grassroots innovations for greater sustainability and draws implications for further research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2013. Vol. 23, no 5, 856-867 p.
Keyword [en]
Sustainability, Grassroots innovation, Energy, Transport, Socio-technical systems, Civil society
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-102986DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2012.12.007ISI: 000328179400005OAI: diva2:685433
Available from: 2014-01-09 Created: 2014-01-09 Last updated: 2015-03-05Bibliographically approved

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Rohracher, Harald
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