Difference between revisions of "Community-led initiatives"

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m (Tom Henfrey moved page Community-Led Initiatives to Community-led initiatives: to ensure correct capitalisation of page title)
 
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Locally organized groups of people who develop alternative ways of being and acting appear referred in different ways, across scientific and other institutional contexts. Terms often used include: Community-Led Initiatives; Community-Based Initiatives and Community-Led Initiatives for Local Development.  
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Community-led initiatives (CLIs) are activities that are self-initiated and self-managed by groups of people at the local and regional scale for the sake of actively sustaining, protecting and restoring ecological and social qualities.  
  
===== Social innovations =====   
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== CLI as a Concept: Theoretical Context and Conceptual Development ==   
  
According to EU project TRANSIT <ref>http://www.transitsocialinnovation.eu/</ref> local community initiatives are primarily approached as social innovations. Social innovation is defined in TRANSIT project as:  
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The first "[[Status Report]] on Community-Led Action on Sustainability and Climate Change in Europe" describes CLIs as follows:
  
"(...)as a qualitative property of ideas, objects, activities, and different groupings of people. We define a social innovation initiative as a collective of people working on ideas, objects or activities that are socially innovative and a social innovation network as a network of such initiatives. Two other important concepts that we use are social innovation agent and social innovation field. We refer to social innovations agents as any collection of individuals, initiatives, or networks that engage in social innovation, and the social innovation field as the web of constantly changing agents and social and material relations through which a social innovation takes place." <ref>(TRANSIT Brief 3 2017:7)</ref>
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<blockquote>“Community-led initiatives (CLIs) arise whenever people self-organise in the places where they live to take action on issues that concern them. These issues may range from local to global in scope, and often bridge these levels of scale. They may, for example, address local sustainability issues directly and at the same time consider them in global context, or pay attention both to the direct local impacts of climate change and its global causes and solutions. As well as being effective and important in their own right, they often inspire other people, within their home communities and elsewhere, to question and transform their ways of thinking, acting and being in the world.<ref>Penha-Lopes, Gil; Henfrey, Thomas (2019): Reshaping the Future: How Local Communities are Catalysing Social, Economic and Ecological Transformation in Europe. The First Status Report on Community-led Action on Sustainability and Climate Change. ECOLISE. Brussels.</ref></blockquote>  
  
Social Innovations are seen as changes in social relations, involving ‘new ways of doing, organising, knowing and framing’ <ref> Avelino, F; Wittmayer, J. , Pel. B; Weaver, P.; Dumitru A.; Haxeltine, A.;…& O’Riordan (2017) Transformative social innovation and (dis)empowerment. Technological forecasting and social change. p.3https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2017.05.002.</ref> Taking the example of energy communities, for instance, where a group of individuals produce and consumes renewable energy locally, despite the obvious tecnhological and ecological factors involved in this process, these energy communities are socially innovative. They found a ‘new way of doing’, through which they established new practices (e.g. installation of solar panels for self-consumption or selling electricity) and gained new knowledge (e.g. about technologies, energy regulations), new interpretative frames (e.g. the new word – Prosumption), and found new ways of organizing, such as energy cooperatives (although cooperatives are not new, the energy cooperative model re-utilizes an existing model in a new social context).  
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CLIs, as a concept, emphasises the role of “communities” as transformative actors and drivers of societal change. However, the meaning of the term [[“community”]] is ambiguous. As in the [[Status report]], it is understood as referring to collectives of individuals in both rural and urban contexts that intentionally join together to initiate a project that serves themselves, their wider community and their natural environment. This could for example be a group of committed people from an urban neighbourhood, inhabitants of traditional village communities or workers associations.  
  
Social innovations can be transformative when they ‘challenge, alter or replace the dominant ways of doing, thinking and organizating in society. <ref> Defourny, J. and Nyssens, M., 2010. Conceptions of social enterprise and social entrepreneurship in Europe and the United States: Convergences and divergences. Journal of social entrepreneurship, 1(1), pp.32-53.; Haxeltine, A.; Avelino, F., Pel, B., Dumitru, A.; Kemp, R.; Longhurst, N. Chilvers, J. & Wittmayer, J. M. (2016) A framework for Transformative Social Innovation, Working Paper # 5, TRANSIT: EU SSH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169. </ref>These initiatives are therefore studied as social innovations, because they have an impact in the dominant ways of doing, thinking and organizing within one specific domain of action (e.g. energy) or multiple domains (e.g. ecoconstruction, permaculture, transport, as in the case of some ecovillages, for instance). TRANSIT also approaches addresses the ways in which local initiatives are often organized within transnational networks (e.g. Transition Towns).
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The concept of CLIs, as used by [[ECOLISE]], depicts a wide range of activities. At the same, several defining criteria and common principles can be identified to unify all initiatives that fall under this umbrella term. Most fundamentally, CLIs are:
  
Rather than studying local communities as an entry point to develop research on social innovation, EU project TESS <ref>http://www.tess-transition.eu/ </ref> has been, to our knowledge, the only research project which sought to investigate the impact of local communities on climate change and sustainability action. TESS used a simple and working definition for these communities, which TESS called ‘Community-based initiatives’: these are initiatives which are “initiated and managed by civil society actors/individuals; may or may not have received public money; may be not-for-profit as well as for-profit, but their overall objectives should serve the community; and have been up and running for at least one year"  <ref>TESS. (2017). TESS Final publishable summary report. Obtido 20 de Maio de 2017, de http://www.tess-transition.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/TESS-Final_report_2017.pdf; p.6 </ref>
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*community-driven
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*targeting the restoring of social and ecological qualities
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*operating at a the local or regional scale (small-scale and place-based)
  
=====Working definition for Community-Led Initiatives=====
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Furthermore, CLIs’ orientation ranges from adaptive approaches to transformative approaches. Adaptive CLIs aim to address specific societal challenges as a direct response to a perceived threat<ref>O'Brien, Karen (2014): Adaptation vs Transformation. CChange. Available online at https://cchange.no/2014/01/adaptation-vs-transformation/, checked on 5/18/2020.</ref>.  Transformative CLIs take a more systemic approach, as they do not only address societal challenges, but also challenge the systemic structures and institutions that created those challenges in the first place<ref>Wittmayer, Julia M.; Kemp, Rene; Haxeltine, Alex; Avelino, Flor; Pel, Bonno; Ruijsink, Saskia et al. (2017): Transformative Social Innovation. What have we learned in four years of research? Available online at http://www.transitsocialinnovation.eu/content/original/Book%20covers/Local%20PDFs/ 287%20TRANSIT%20brief%206%20final%20brief%20web.pdf, checked on 9/17/2019.</ref>.
  
Building on the TESS simple definition of local communities, this knowledge commons repository refers to community-led initiatives (rather than community-based), stressing the first part of the TESS definition, i.e. “an initiative managed by civil society actors/individuals”, and otherwise adopts the TESS working definition, adding that these community individuals share a ecological and sustainable principles.
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The term “community-led initiative” is so far underrepresented in the scientific literature. It has been used by ECOLISE in its publications, such as the [[Status report]], as well as in several other publications. Closely related concepts that appear in the scientific literature are:
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*[[community-based initiatives]]<ref>TESS (2017): TESS Final Publishable Summary Report. Available online at http://www.tess-transition.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/TESS-Final_report_2017.pdf.</ref>
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*[[Transformative social innovation]]<ref>Wittmayer, Julia M.; Kemp, Rene; Haxeltine, Alex; Avelino, Flor; Pel, Bonno; Ruijsink, Saskia et al. (2017): Transformative Social Innovation. What have we learned in four years of research? Available online at http://www.transitsocialinnovation.eu/content/original/Book%20covers/Local%20PDFs/ 287%20TRANSIT%20brief%206%20final%20brief%20web.pdf, checked on 9/17/2019.</ref>
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*[[Community-Led Local Development]]<ref>European Commission (2014): Community-led Local Development. Cohesion Policy 2014-2020.</ref> 
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*[[Grassroots innovation]]<ref>Grassroots Innovation (2020): Grassroots Innovation - Researching Sustainability from the Bottom Up. About. Available online at https://grassrootsinnovations.org/about/, checked on 5/18/2020.</ref>
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== CLIs as Real-World Phenomena: Types of CLIs and Exemplary Cases ==
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CLIs as real-world phenomena are as old as humankind and exist all over the globe. In practice these initiatives vary in terms of size, duration, thematic focus, and objectives. The [[Status report]] emphasises five major networks and movements of CLIs:
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*[[Transition]]
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*[[Ecovillages]]
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*[[Permaculture]]
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*[[Community Energy]]
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*[[Social Solidarity Economy]]
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Furthermore, CLIs can be classified according to particular thematic foci. For example, community-led economic initiatives (CLEIs) are those CLIs that have a strong orientation towards sustainable economic practices. Key principles of CLEIs are that they are primarily oriented towards human needs instead of profit and capital accumulation (even though they do not need to be non-profit), the means of production as well as goods and services are collectively owned (“commons”), the non-monetary sector plays a crucial role in social provisioning, and resulting consumption needs to be quantitatively and qualitatively assessed based on ecological considerations<ref>Dawson, Jonathan (2010): Economics of Solidarity. Good Practice from within the Ecovillage Family. In Jonathan Dawson, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Ross Jackson (Eds.): Gaian Economics. Living Well within Planetary Limits. Hampshire: Permanent Publications (Four Keys Series, Economic Key), pp. 192–194.</ref><ref>Esteves, Ana Margarida (2017): "Commoning" at the Borderland. Ecovillage Development, Socio-Economic Segregation and Institutional Mediation in Southwestern Alentejo, Portugal. In Journal of Political Ecology 24 (1), p. 968.</ref><ref>Jackson, Hildur (2010): Designing Your Local Economy. In Jonathan Dawson, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Ross Jackson (Eds.): Gaian Economics. Living Well within Planetary Limits. Hampshire: Permanent Publications (Four Keys Series, Economic Key), pp. 130–135.</ref><ref>Kunze, Iris (2019): Soziale Innovationen aus Gemeinschaftsinitiativen. Grundlagen für eine gemeinwohlorientierte Ökonomie. In Ines Peper, Iris Kunze, Elisabeth Mollenhauer-Klüber (Eds.): Jenseits von Wachstum und Nutzenmaximierung. Modelle für eine gemeinwohlorientierte Wirtschaft. Bielefeld: Aisthesis, pp. 149–172.</ref><ref>Penha-Lopes, Gil; Henfrey, Thomas (2019): Reshaping the Future: How Local Communities are Catalysing Social, Economic and Ecological Transformation in Europe. The First Status Report on Community-led Action on Sustainability and Climate Change. ECOLISE. Brussels.</ref>.
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The diversity of CLIs in the real world is illustrated by the following list of exemplary cases:
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*"[[Community Supported Agriculture]] initiatives
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*(Urban) [[Community gardens]] that unite neighbourhoods around gardening
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*Traditional local communities introducing sustainability and climate change action in their strategies and enacting that strategy effectively
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*[[Local Action Groups]] (LAGs) from the CLLD programme, especially those that actually uphold bottom-up community-led action in local communities
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*Community-driven businesses and cooperatives
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*Energy initiatives at community scale
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*"[[Social Solidarity Economy]]" initiatives
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*Co-housing, communes, squats, spiritual communities, …
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== References ==
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<references />
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[[Category:Status Report]]
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[[Category: Transferred to CfF wiki]]

Latest revision as of 23:25, 22 June 2021

Community-led initiatives (CLIs) are activities that are self-initiated and self-managed by groups of people at the local and regional scale for the sake of actively sustaining, protecting and restoring ecological and social qualities.

CLI as a Concept: Theoretical Context and Conceptual Development

The first "Status Report on Community-Led Action on Sustainability and Climate Change in Europe" describes CLIs as follows:

“Community-led initiatives (CLIs) arise whenever people self-organise in the places where they live to take action on issues that concern them. These issues may range from local to global in scope, and often bridge these levels of scale. They may, for example, address local sustainability issues directly and at the same time consider them in global context, or pay attention both to the direct local impacts of climate change and its global causes and solutions. As well as being effective and important in their own right, they often inspire other people, within their home communities and elsewhere, to question and transform their ways of thinking, acting and being in the world.”[1]

CLIs, as a concept, emphasises the role of “communities” as transformative actors and drivers of societal change. However, the meaning of the term “community” is ambiguous. As in the Status report, it is understood as referring to collectives of individuals in both rural and urban contexts that intentionally join together to initiate a project that serves themselves, their wider community and their natural environment. This could for example be a group of committed people from an urban neighbourhood, inhabitants of traditional village communities or workers associations.

The concept of CLIs, as used by ECOLISE, depicts a wide range of activities. At the same, several defining criteria and common principles can be identified to unify all initiatives that fall under this umbrella term. Most fundamentally, CLIs are:

  • community-driven
  • targeting the restoring of social and ecological qualities
  • operating at a the local or regional scale (small-scale and place-based)

Furthermore, CLIs’ orientation ranges from adaptive approaches to transformative approaches. Adaptive CLIs aim to address specific societal challenges as a direct response to a perceived threat[2]. Transformative CLIs take a more systemic approach, as they do not only address societal challenges, but also challenge the systemic structures and institutions that created those challenges in the first place[3].

The term “community-led initiative” is so far underrepresented in the scientific literature. It has been used by ECOLISE in its publications, such as the Status report, as well as in several other publications. Closely related concepts that appear in the scientific literature are:

CLIs as Real-World Phenomena: Types of CLIs and Exemplary Cases

CLIs as real-world phenomena are as old as humankind and exist all over the globe. In practice these initiatives vary in terms of size, duration, thematic focus, and objectives. The Status report emphasises five major networks and movements of CLIs:

Furthermore, CLIs can be classified according to particular thematic foci. For example, community-led economic initiatives (CLEIs) are those CLIs that have a strong orientation towards sustainable economic practices. Key principles of CLEIs are that they are primarily oriented towards human needs instead of profit and capital accumulation (even though they do not need to be non-profit), the means of production as well as goods and services are collectively owned (“commons”), the non-monetary sector plays a crucial role in social provisioning, and resulting consumption needs to be quantitatively and qualitatively assessed based on ecological considerations[8][9][10][11][12].

The diversity of CLIs in the real world is illustrated by the following list of exemplary cases:

  • "Community Supported Agriculture initiatives
  • (Urban) Community gardens that unite neighbourhoods around gardening
  • Traditional local communities introducing sustainability and climate change action in their strategies and enacting that strategy effectively
  • Local Action Groups (LAGs) from the CLLD programme, especially those that actually uphold bottom-up community-led action in local communities
  • Community-driven businesses and cooperatives
  • Energy initiatives at community scale
  • "Social Solidarity Economy" initiatives
  • Co-housing, communes, squats, spiritual communities, …

References

  1. Penha-Lopes, Gil; Henfrey, Thomas (2019): Reshaping the Future: How Local Communities are Catalysing Social, Economic and Ecological Transformation in Europe. The First Status Report on Community-led Action on Sustainability and Climate Change. ECOLISE. Brussels.
  2. O'Brien, Karen (2014): Adaptation vs Transformation. CChange. Available online at https://cchange.no/2014/01/adaptation-vs-transformation/, checked on 5/18/2020.
  3. Wittmayer, Julia M.; Kemp, Rene; Haxeltine, Alex; Avelino, Flor; Pel, Bonno; Ruijsink, Saskia et al. (2017): Transformative Social Innovation. What have we learned in four years of research? Available online at http://www.transitsocialinnovation.eu/content/original/Book%20covers/Local%20PDFs/ 287%20TRANSIT%20brief%206%20final%20brief%20web.pdf, checked on 9/17/2019.
  4. TESS (2017): TESS Final Publishable Summary Report. Available online at http://www.tess-transition.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/TESS-Final_report_2017.pdf.
  5. Wittmayer, Julia M.; Kemp, Rene; Haxeltine, Alex; Avelino, Flor; Pel, Bonno; Ruijsink, Saskia et al. (2017): Transformative Social Innovation. What have we learned in four years of research? Available online at http://www.transitsocialinnovation.eu/content/original/Book%20covers/Local%20PDFs/ 287%20TRANSIT%20brief%206%20final%20brief%20web.pdf, checked on 9/17/2019.
  6. European Commission (2014): Community-led Local Development. Cohesion Policy 2014-2020.
  7. Grassroots Innovation (2020): Grassroots Innovation - Researching Sustainability from the Bottom Up. About. Available online at https://grassrootsinnovations.org/about/, checked on 5/18/2020.
  8. Dawson, Jonathan (2010): Economics of Solidarity. Good Practice from within the Ecovillage Family. In Jonathan Dawson, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Ross Jackson (Eds.): Gaian Economics. Living Well within Planetary Limits. Hampshire: Permanent Publications (Four Keys Series, Economic Key), pp. 192–194.
  9. Esteves, Ana Margarida (2017): "Commoning" at the Borderland. Ecovillage Development, Socio-Economic Segregation and Institutional Mediation in Southwestern Alentejo, Portugal. In Journal of Political Ecology 24 (1), p. 968.
  10. Jackson, Hildur (2010): Designing Your Local Economy. In Jonathan Dawson, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Ross Jackson (Eds.): Gaian Economics. Living Well within Planetary Limits. Hampshire: Permanent Publications (Four Keys Series, Economic Key), pp. 130–135.
  11. Kunze, Iris (2019): Soziale Innovationen aus Gemeinschaftsinitiativen. Grundlagen für eine gemeinwohlorientierte Ökonomie. In Ines Peper, Iris Kunze, Elisabeth Mollenhauer-Klüber (Eds.): Jenseits von Wachstum und Nutzenmaximierung. Modelle für eine gemeinwohlorientierte Wirtschaft. Bielefeld: Aisthesis, pp. 149–172.
  12. Penha-Lopes, Gil; Henfrey, Thomas (2019): Reshaping the Future: How Local Communities are Catalysing Social, Economic and Ecological Transformation in Europe. The First Status Report on Community-led Action on Sustainability and Climate Change. ECOLISE. Brussels.