Self-organisation in innovation networks. Implications for enhancinresilience in agro systems
07 / 2006 - 04 / 2011
We currently witness many governement initiatives to support societal innovation. An important concern hereby is to create innovation networks in which societal actors become linked effectively with universities, research institutes and other sources of expertise, amongst others through knowledge brokers, advisors, facilitators and other intermediaries. When studying and evaluating such initiatives and arrangements, the tendency has been to look at them from the prespective of the (governmental) objectives and problem definitions that have led to their emergence. This study starts from the assumption that societal actors are actively engaged in solving emergent problems and tensions. In doing so they interact with other stakeholders, build their own networks and device their own strategies vis-Ã -vis their environment. The proposed research sets out to study the self organizational practices and processes through which societal stakeholders solve problems and achieve innovation. In particular we are interested in how they mobilize knowledge and expertise in support of specific problem perceptions and solutions. If and when societal initiatives encounter governmental perspectives and new arrangements for innovation support, we are interested in finding out how these are interpreted, translated, appropriated, ignored, utilized and perhaps "re- negotiated" or "re-designed" in the subsequent confrontation between sef-organization and formal innovation support strategies. Moreover, we would like to assess to what extent new arrangements and innovations that result from such confrontations and interactions fit with private and public goals (such as sustainability improvement). Based on these analysis we will draw conclusions about whether or not (and under what conditions) new arrangements help to indeed enhance stakeholder influence, and about whether or not such empowement is indeed beneficial to realizing public goals.