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Social Innovations for Sustainable Food Systems

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group
Organizers: Diana Watts, Sabine Weiland, Yuki Kato
Chairs: Diana Watts


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?


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 12:00 AM
Presenter Yuki Kato*, Georgetown University, Urban Agriculture as Social Innovation? 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Diana Watts*, Trinity University, Social Innovation and Hybrid Organizations: Reframing Food Waste Recovery 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Blaire O'Neal*, San Diego State University, Thinking and doing justice: urban agriculture in San Diego County 15 12:00 AM
Discussant Yuki Kato Georgetown University 15 12:00 AM

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