Grassroots innovation movements: challenges and contributions

Smith, Adrian, Fressoli, Mariano and Thomas, Hernán (2014) Grassroots innovation movements: challenges and contributions. Journal of Cleaner Production, 63. pp. 114-124. ISSN 0959-6526

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Abstract

Technologies for social inclusion in Latin America are a recent manifestation of grassroots innovation movements whose activities go back to appropriate technology in the 1970s and earlier. Common to these movements is a vision for innovation processes more inclusive towards local communities in terms of knowledge, processes and outcomes. A comparison in this article between movements for technologies for social inclusion now and appropriate technology in the past reveals three enduring challenges for grassroots innovation: attending to local specificities whilst simultaneously seeking wide-scale diffusion; being appropriate to existing situations that one ultimately seeks to transform; and, working with project-based solutions to goals (of social justice) whose root causes rest in structures of economic and political power. Each challenge effectively frames grassroots knowledge creation differently: local ingenuity; local empowerment; and structural critique. Overall, these movements’ contribute valuable plurality and reflexivity to innovation policy and politics.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: Adrian Smith
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2013 09:47
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2014 12:13
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/42360
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