Talk:Diffusion and growth of community-led initiatives

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  • The socio-spatial politics of urban sustainability transitions: Grassroots initiatives in gentrifying Peckham
  • Grassroots Innovation for Urban Sustainability: Comparing the Diffusion Pathways of Three Ecovillage Projects (USA)

Gil Penha-Lopes (talk)

--Gil Penha-Lopes (talk) 10:50, 8 October 2018 (UTC) We need to develop Permaculture and Ecovillages sections --Gil Penha-Lopes (talk) 11:05, 8 October 2018 (UTC)

additional notes to integrate:

"The growth of CBIs has been adopted in TESS as another measure of success. Nevertheless the majority of the CBIs are replicating rather than growing (63% of the sample). A common pattern emerging among the CBIs observed by TESS is that once they grow beyond certain mature scale in terms of services, economy or members, they tend to replicate or introduce structural changes. The strategy of growth is preferred when initiatives opt for higher professionalisation and commercialization of their activities. The structural changes associated with growing often concern the introduction of certain level of organizational hierarchies which does not go without internal organisational tension. 
There are multiple manners by which groups deal with conflicts that accompany growth and established (internal) hierarchies. As the values that lead to the creation of a CBI tend to clash with the commitments needed for its growth, the evolution of grassroots initiatives that decide to up-scale requires mechanisms to monitor and tackle power imbalances establishing an open dialogue and spaces for feedback and reflection. Furthermore, while openness and participatory approaches contribute to growth in membership, these sometimes preclude generational continuity, which could be required for CBIs’ survival. As with the case of persistence, income generation and state support can be central for initiatives aiming at professional/service- and membership- growth, while not particularly important for the groups using a replication strategy, especially in the field of energy." [1]
*Growth and replication Replication of a CBI organizational format elsewhere is preferred to growth in numbers/members/income/activity (Italy, Spain) When a growth/expansion strategy is chosen, it tends to prioritize job-creation. There tends to be a clash between the values and commitments needed for CBIs' initiation and persistence and those needed for its growth and expansion (Germany, Italy, UK, Spain)". One internal limit to the wider impact of CBIs is their focus on operational and economic aspects required for survival, while leaving little leeway for sociopolitical interventions (all countries)". There seems to be a limit as to how big a co-operative can grow without changing • its original (horizontal, volunteer-based) organizational structure (Finland). [2]


TN

  • "The graphic shows that the number of transition initiatives in the four countries has steadily increased over the past eight years, but the rate of increase has slowed down in all countries, although more markedly in Great Britain" [3]
  • "The maps clearly show that in all four countries the diffusion of the Transition Network has been spatially uneven and has penetrated little in most of France, Germany and Italy, where the Network has a shorter history, with most units featuring one transition initiative." [3]
  • "This graphic suggests that transition initiatives may be more likely to emerge in some geographical areas than in others, identifies such hotand cold-spots and calls for better comprehending where grassroots innovations emerge. This will help to uncover possible common characteristics of transitions in place and support the emergence and diffusion of alternatives to the unsustainable economies of neoliberal capitalism." [3]

(from separate section in original page): "literature has highlighted several factors that hinder the diffusion of grassroots innovations. For example, it has been noted that grassroots innovations, like many volunteer organisations,

  • often struggle with securing and sustaining participation over time (Seyfang and Smith, 2007; Hoffman and High-Pippert, 2010; Middlemiss and Parrish, 2010; Smith, 2011; Wells, 2011). in [4]
  • Grassroots innovations often rely on volunteers, which limit their ability to promote innovation in the community (Kirwan et al., 2013; Ornetzelder and Rohracher, 2013), in [4]
  • often rely on low levels of financial resources (Middlemiss and Parrish, 2010), which have been shown to be key to supporting learning processes (Seyfang and Longhurst, 2013) in [4]
  • Ideological disputes, e.g. between political and apolitical strands, also have been identified to create internal conflict and to act as a barrier to the successful development of grassroots innovations (Smith, 2011) in [4]
  • while the management of expectations has been argued to be one of the most difficult aspects for the internal group governance of grassroots innovations (Seyfang and Longhurst, 2013) in [4]
  • Finally, grassroots innovations do not always mirror the diversity (e.g. ethnic) of local communities, consequently struggling to establish strong links with the wider community of place (Seyfang and Smith, 2007; Smith, 2011; Wells, 2011). in [4]


Growth and replication (notes to rationalise from TESS case study integration report) Replication of a CBI organizational format elsewhere is preferred to growth in numbers/members/income/activity (Italy, Spain) When a growth/expansion strategy is chosen, it tends to prioritize job-creation to more intangible services provision (such as environmental education) (Finland) Supportive working environment, trust in the personnel's skills, possibility to diversify tasks and plan CBI's work depending on given interest, low level of hierarchy and high possibility to participate in the development of the CBI are some of the factors that contribute to CBI's growth (Finland) There tends to be a clash between the values and commitments needed for CBIs' initiation and persistence and those needed for its growth and expansion (Germany, Italy, UK, Spain) Membership/ volunteer base Adopting a "small and beautiful" or "big and open" approach, or staying within a small group of like-minded individuals versus opening up to wider set of members is a common debate in CBIs (Spain, Italy, Germany) There is a tension between relying on volunteers vs. needing professional skills for fundraising and management (UK, Germany) Renewing CBIs' membership base is key for their long-term survival and social • contribution (UK, Germany, Romania) "Volunteering too little or too much - is there a balance?" Volunteering tends never to reach the fine balance between intensive work for a successful project with the risk of burnout, and superficial involvement resulting in little social impact (All countries) One of the biggest challenges for volunteer-based structures (e.g. food cooperatives) is how to carry on in a context of lower participation rates, where people prioritize low prices rather than commitment to a political agroecological project; and (for energy cooperatives) how to respond to the growth in members and keep momentum, without watering down transformational aspirations (Spain) Growth and replication Replication of a CBI organizational format elsewhere is preferred to growth in numbers/members/income/activity (Italy, Spain)

When a growth/expansion strategy is chosen, it tends to prioritize job-creation to more intangible services provision (such as environmental education) (Finland)

  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named TESS Final Report
  2. TESS. TESS D4.1 Case-study integration. (2016).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Feola, G., Him, M.R., 2016. The diffusion of the Transition Network in four European countries. Environ. Plan. A. https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518x16630989
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Feola, G., Nunes, R., 2013. Success and failure of grassroots innovations for addressing climate change: The case of the Transition Movement. Glob. Environ. Change 24, 232–250. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.11.011