Spatial Patterns of Transformative Social Innovation: The example of alternative initiatives in Ardèche, France

Abstract : This paper discusses spatial patterns of transformative social innovation (TSI), based on an empirical case study of alternative initiatives in Ardèche, France. It notes that the spatialities of social innovations has been neglected in contemporary social innovation studies and argues that operating with geographical concepts can be particularly instructive when analysing the transformative potential of social innovations. The first section describes TSI in Ardèche as the spatial enactment of alternative values and principles, resulting in the emergence of places of difference. The second part of the paper explores then two distinct dynamics of scaling up that are stimulated by the actors of these places. The first is the dissemination of TSI-related knowledge within transnational alternative networks, encouraging the replication of such alternative initiatives elsewhere in the country and around the world. TSI places act here as nodal points in multi-scale networks. The second dynamic is the spreading of alternative principles into the immediate geographical environment. This happens by directly interacting with the local population and public authorities, but also in an indirect manner: Ardèche has acquired the image of an alternative territory, and public authorities started to act in favor of this image. It is argued that further research on scaling up (or rather scaling deep) of TSI should gain in analyzing such processes of territorialisation of ‘alternative’ values – in the sense of the spreading of principles with transformative potential in space.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - 11:20:49 AM
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Kirsten Koop, Marie-Christine Fourny, Pierre-Antoine Landel, Nicolas Senil. Spatial Patterns of Transformative Social Innovation: The example of alternative initiatives in Ardèche, France. Social Innovation 2015: Pathways to Social Change. Research, Policies and Practices in European and Global Perspectives, Nov 2015, Vienne, Austria. ⟨halshs-01973262⟩

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