New paper: Participation in Transition(s)

In a new open access paper in the Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning Jason Chilvers and Noel Longhurst set out a new framework that reconceives public and civil society engagement in energy transitions as co-produced, relational and emergent. The paper speaks to the urgent challenge of transitioning to sustainable low carbon energy systems and debates…

New research briefing on Unleashing Grassroots Innovations

A newly-published research briefing discusses how we can unleash the transformative power of grassroots innovations, looking in particular at community currencies. Unleashing Grassroots Innovations: A Quest For Community Currency Growth How can grassroots innovations grow, achieve their potential, and increase their influence? Gill Seyfang presents findings of a 3-year quest to learn about diffusing community currencies.…

Unleashing Grassroots Innovations for Sustainability

The quest for sustainability’s holy grail will be the subject of a keynote presentation by Gill Seyfang (3S, UEA) at the European Society for Ecological Economics 2015 conference. Her challenge is to find the key to unleashing the transformative potential of grassroots innovations, such as sustainable money, food, energy, housing, transport and food systems, whose…

3S WP 2013-21 Seyfang et al – A Grassroots Sustainable Energy Niche? Reflections on community energy case studies

System-changing innovations for sustainability transitions are proposed to emerge in radical innovative niches. ‘Strategic Niche Management’ theory predicts that niche-level actors and networks will aggregate learning from local projects, distilling and disseminating best practice. This should lower the bar for new projects to form and establish, thereby encouraging the innovation to diffuse through replication. Within…

3S WP 2012-12 Hargreaves et al Exploring the role of intermediaries in UK community energy: grassroots innovations and niche development

Multiple sustainability challenges are increasingly seen as demanding a fundamental transition in the energy system. In this context, community energy projects attract interest as sources for radical innovations. Studies of such bottom-up, civil society-led ‘grassroots innovations’, however, frequently highlight the profound challenges they face in growing, diffusing or even simply surviving. Strategic niche management SNM)…

3S WP 2012-11 Seyfang et al – Community energy in the UK

Community energy has been proposed as a new policy tool to help achieve the transition to a low- carbon energy system, but the evidence base for this strategy is partial and fragmented. We therefore present new empirical evidence from the first independent UK-wide survey of community energy projects. Our survey investigates the objectives, origins and…

3S WP 2012-10 Seyfang Longhurst – Grassroots innovation for sustainability: A niche analysis of community currencies

Over the last decade, the nascent field of Sustainability Transitions has sought to explain the conditions under which technological innovations can diffuse and disrupt existing socio-technical systems through the successful scaling up of experimental ‘niches’. Building on this pioneering work, recent research on ‘grassroots innovations’ argues that civil society is a promising but under- researched…

3S WP 2012-02 Seyfang and Longhurst – Money, Money, Money? A Scoping Study of Grassroots Complementary Currencies for Sustainability

As a response to the unsustainability of current global financial systems, parallel sustainable monetary systems are being developed by civil society groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), informed by ecological economics perspectives on development, value, economic scale and growth. These parallel systems of exchange (or grassroots complementary currencies) are designed to promote sustainable development, by localising…

Postcards from Community Energy

Community energy is growing and making a difference. All around the country, more and more people are getting involved in projects that develop sustainable energy in their communities, and researchers in 3S(Science, Society and Sustainability Research Group) in ENV have been studying the potential and development of this emerging sector. Through awareness-raising discussion groups, renewable energy co-operatives, and…