Accepted Paper:

Rethinking transformation to face climate change. Insights an energy grassroots experience  


Victoria Pellicer Sifres (Universitat Politècnica de València)
Sergio Belda Miquel (Universitat Politècnica de València)
Alejandra Boni (Ingenio (CSIC-UPV))

Paper short abstract:

The paper explores how socio-technical transitions to confront climate change occur and presents an empirical case on energy production and consumption. The analysis is connected with elements coming from human development, as agency or governance, and with questions of learning in social action

Paper long abstract:

Despite climate change (CC) is one of the greatest challenges our planet lives, many authors suggest that efforts made so far to address it don't seem to have been successful due to how CC is being perceived, interrogated and narrated from mainstream approaches. Considering this, we stand up for an alternative and complementary approach to CC, based on the idea that there exist grassroots initiatives which are articulating alternative actions and strategies to confront CC.

In order to build our framework, the paper develops original connections among ideas coming from three different fields: 1) in the field of innovation studies, grassroots innovation refers to networks of people and collectives that generate new bottom-up solutions for sustainable development. This approach is based on socio-technical transitions literature, and offers a multi-level and multidimensional approach to transform our socio-technical system, connecting macro, meso and microprocesses. 2) Human development approach, which helps us to build a framework based on people's aspirations, agency and normative values (equity, diversity, sustainability, participation, empowerment). 3) Learning in social action, connected with creation of knowledge based on ethical values and global citizenship.

In this paper we analyze the case of Som Energia, a national-scale green energy cooperative (Spain), which has contribute to a transformation on the governance of energy, promoting a democratic and responsible culture of energy consumption.

The field work will allow us to test the relevance of the framework, and evidence that grassroots initiatives connected with human development are more likely to produce transformation to combat CC

Panel T050
Conceptualizing transformational change in energy systems and the built environment