Conceptualising the systemic activities of intermediaries in sustainability transitions

Kanda, Wisdom, Kuisma, Mika, Kivimaa, Paula and Hjelm, Olof (2020) Conceptualising the systemic activities of intermediaries in sustainability transitions. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. ISSN 2210-4224

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This article contributes to the literature on sustainability transitions, innovation systems, and eco-innovation by addressing conceptual challenges regarding the systemic activities of intermediaries. Specifically, the article addresses a research gap pertaining to the ways in which the systemic activities of (eco-)innovation intermediaries can be conceptualised and empirically demonstrated. Empirically, the paper examines selected intermediaries in the context of support systems for eco-innovators in three regions across Finland, Germany, and Sweden. Drawing from our empirical findings and the literature on intermediaries, we conceptualise three system levels within which intermediation occurs: (i) in-between entities in a network, (ii) in-between networks of entities, and (iii) in-between actors, networks, and institutions. Our discussion suggests a heterogeneity of roles that individual intermediaries take at multiple system levels, complementing an emerging, more nuanced perspective of intermediaries in sustainability transitions. Thus, we suggest the term systemic intermediation for describing the system-level activities of intermediaries.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Systemic intermediation; Eco-innovation; Sustainability transitions; Eco-innovation intermediaries
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General) > T0173.2 Technological change
Depositing User: Paula Kivimaa
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2020 08:28
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2020 08:30

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