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Diffusion patterns of grassroots innovations for sustainability

Feola, G., Butt, A, Him M. R. Diffusion patterns of grassroots innovations for sustainability. Annual International Conference of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers, 1-4 September 2015, University of Exeter, United Kingdom.


Grassroots movements can be influential agents of change in a transition to sustainability, but little research so far has been devoted to understanding the diffusion of grassroots innovation for sustainability across space. This poster explores and compares the spatial diffusion of two networks of grassroots innovations, the Transition Towns Network (TTN) and Gruppi di Acquisto Solidale (Solidarity Purchasing Groups - GAS), in Great Britain and Italy. Spatio-temporal diffusion data were mined from available datasets, and patterns of diffusion were uncovered through an exploratory data analysis. The analysis shows that GAS and TTN diffusion in Italy and Great Britain is spatially structured, and that the spatial structure has changed over time. TTN has diffused differently in Great Britain and Italy, while GAS and TTN have diffused similarly in central Italy. The uneven diffusion of these grassroots networks on the one hand challenges current narratives on the momentum of grassroots innovations, but on the other highlights important issues in the geography of grassroots innovations for sustainability, such as cross-movement transfers and collaborations, institutional thickness, and interplay of different types of proximity in grassroots innovation diffusion.

Giuseppe Feola,
26 Aug 2015, 02:53