Social Innovations for Sustainable Food Systems

Type: Paper
Theme:
Sponsor Groups: Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/8/2020
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Plaza Court 8, Sheraton, Concourse Level
Organizers: Diana Watts, Sabine Weiland, Yuki Kato
Chairs: Diana Watts

Call for Submissions

From the human issues of food insecurity and health to the cumulative environmental pressure on the food-water-energy nexus, current agro-industrial food systems are viewed as unsustainable. Yet, beyond analysis of these "wicked problems" there is growing interest in innovative solutions to address the environmental, health and social costs. This panel will address emergent initiatives in food system practices through a social innovation (SI) lens. Disagreement over the exact content of this approach continues. Is it a theory or phenomenon? Does it move beyond the narrow business and technology driven definition of innovation to encompass social change, particularly in areas that may be under served by market- driven solutions? How does it compare with earlier innovation research? (Moulaert & MacCallum, 2019) Similarly, questions may be raised concerning which actors are most likely to engage in social innovation well as which types of innovative may prove most promising? Moreover, are there limits to social innovation initiatives to transform or only revise the current food system?

For this panel, we will consider social innovation as “individuals and organization taking initiative to address social challenges” (Korosec & Bergman, 2006) with a focus on levels ranging from local community- based projects to national and international policies. Specifically, the framework developed by the TEPSI Project (2012) will be the starting point categorizing social innovation in terms of the following:
– social transformation
– a model of organizational management
– social entrepreneurship
– development of new product/services/programs
– a model of governance, empowerment and capacity building.

While this remains a broad stroke approach to capturing the range of potential analytic concerns (actors, innovations, outcomes), we invite papers that examine emerging initiatives that engage structural food system challenges from different cultural and political contexts through the social innovation framework. We invite a range of perspectives that focus on concrete innovative approaches especially those which address acute symptoms of food insecurity, food injustice and environmental stress. These may be in the realm of policies, activism, or private enterprises.


References
Korosec, R.L., & E. M Berman. (2006). Municipal Support for Social Entrepreneurship. Public Administration Review. 66 (3), 448-462.
Matteo, G., Caroli, E., Fracassi, R., M. & S. Carnini Pulino. (2018). Exploring social innovation components and attributes: A taxonomy proposal. Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 9:2, 94-109, DOI: 10.1080/19420676.2018.1448296.
Moulaert, F., & MacCallum. (2019). An advanced introduction to social innovation. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.
The Young Foundation. (2012). Social innovation overview: A deliverable of the project: “The theoretical, empirical and policy foundations for building social innovation in Europe (TEPSIE), European Commission – 7th Framework Programme, Brussels: European Commission, DG Research.


Description

From the human issues of food insecurity and health to the cumulative environmental pressure on the food-water-energy nexus, current agro-industrial food systems are viewed as unsustainable. Yet, beyond analysis of these "wicked problems" there is growing interest in innovative solutions to address the environmental, health and social costs. This panel will address emergent initiatives in food system practices through a social innovation (SI) lens. Disagreement over the exact content of this approach continues. Is it a theory or phenomenon? Does it move beyond the narrow business and technology driven definition of innovation to encompass social change, particularly in areas that may be under served by market- driven solutions? How does it compare with earlier innovation research? (Moulaert & MacCallum, 2019) Similarly, questions may be raised concerning which actors are most likely to engage in social innovation well as which types of innovative may prove most promising? Moreover, are there limits to social innovation initiatives to transform or only revise the current food system?


Agenda

Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Sabine Weiland*, , Policy coherence and integration as social innovations. Analysis of food in the UN Sustainable Development Goals 15 11:10 AM
Presenter Yuki Kato*, Georgetown University, Urban Agriculture as Social Innovation? 15 11:25 AM
Presenter Diana Watts*, Trinity University, Social Innovation and Hybrid Organizations: Reframing Food Waste Recovery 15 11:40 AM
Presenter Blaire O'Neal*, San Diego State University, Thinking and doing justice: urban agriculture in San Diego County 15 11:55 AM
Discussant Yuki Kato Georgetown University 15 12:10 PM

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