This paper contributes to public and academic discussions on empowerment and social innovation by conceptualizing the mechanisms of empowerment from a social psychology perspective, and empirically exploring how people are empowered through both local and transnational linkages, i.e. translocal networks. Section 2 conceptualizes empowerment as the process through which actors gain the capacity to mobilize resources to achieve a goal, building on different power theories in relation to social change, combined with self-determination theory and intrinsic motivation research. Based on that conceptualization, empirical questions are formulated to be asked about cases under study. Section 3 then provides an empirical analysis of translocal networks that work with social innovation both at the global and local level. A total of five networks are analyzed: FEBEA, DESIS, the Global Ecovillage Network, Impact Hub and Slow Food. The embedded cases-study approach allows an exploration of how people are empowered through the transnational networking while also zooming in on the dynamics in local initiatives. In the final section, conceptual and empirical insights are synthesized into a characterization of the mechanisms of translocal empowerment, and challenges for future research are formulated.
Recent research projects have looked for social innovations, i.e., people creating solutions outside the mainstream patterns of production and consumption. An analysis of these innovations indicates the emergence of a particular kind of service configuration-defined here as relational serviceswhich requires intensive interpersonal relations to operate. Based on a comparative analysis between standard and relational services, we propose to the Service Design discipline an interpretative framework able to reinforce its ability to deal with the interpersonal relational qualities in services, indicating how these qualities can be understood and favored by design activities, as well as the limits of this design intervention. Martin
In recent decades neoliberalism has become a powerful narrative that has shaped processes of urban economic development across the globe. Any future attempts to steer urban transitions will need to engage with and potentially challenge this dominant approach. This paper reports on four nascent 'new economic' logics which represent fundamentally different imaginaries of the urban economy. In each case, the underlying narrative informs already existing urban experiments in transformative social innovation, leading to the production of new patterns of (economic) relation and practice. Each of these experiments offers a counterpoint to conventional understandings of the neoliberal urban economy across four key dimensions: What is the purpose of economic development? What are the preferred distributive mechanisms? Who governs the economy? What
T he world is filled with pressing social challenges that cry out for solution. On one side are issues related to natural resources, such as global climate change and adequate food supplies. On the other are problems with service systems, exemplified by issues with the cost and quality of healthcare as well as difficulties with transportation and improvements in education. Studying the social innovation phenomena through the point of view of design, the DESIS Group at the Rio de Janeiro Federal University ⁄ COPPE explores the role of design strategy to promote and support sustainable change in Brazil-socially, economically, environmentally, and institutionally.This article presents and analyzes four projects developed in Brazil under such an approach, and discusses the theoretical framework supporting these projects.Design for social innovation and the DESIS network
ABSTRACT. Social innovation is gaining attention for its potential for system transformations. It is often initiated by grassroots collectives, which can become successful through support from other actors and through certain game-changing events or developments. We highlight how transformative social innovation is a highly dispersed, coproduced process of changing social relations. This coproduction is unfolded through a case of interacting interventions in the socio-spatial structure of the city of Rio de Janeiro. Frequently referred to as a "broken city," the city suffers from various social challenges related to the socio-spatial cleavages between the welldeveloped and the marginalized areas, the favelas. Following a nested-case approach, we describe two policy measures and three social innovation initiatives intended to reconnect the broken city. We analyze their effects as well as their various interactions. The findings give reasons for considering the policy measures as "game-changers" that allow new courses of play. Still, the key observation about these intertwined socio-spatial interventions is that the broken city is undergoing more dispersed game-changing. Further observing how the reconnections constitute different kinds of changing mobility, we conclude with reflections on mobility-related game-changing.
IntroductionInformal settlements, such as favelas (slums), are complex social ecosystems, characterised by their lack of basic services and by their particular social ties. Favelas in Rio de Janeiro are undergoing rapid changes, and new organisations and relationships are beginning to appear. This is largely as a result of the Rio de Janeiro government's policy of 'pacification' -a strategy to occupy the favelas formerly controlled by drug dealers, aimed at extending citizens' rights (and duties) in these areas (Fleury, 2012).This chapter discusses these transformations, considering in particular if and how new services are emerging. This discussion is based on one significant case study -Light Recicla. Light Recicla, in Favela Santa Marta, Rio de Janeiro, is a service operated by the city's energy company that seeks to reduce the electricity bills of local residents by exchanging recyclable materials for energy credits, helping them to adjust to the new reality brought by pacification.Under the framework of the pacification strategy, commercial companies and favela residents are establishing new relationships. Light Recicla aims to define a new mode of collaboration between the energy company, Light, and its customers that addresses this new set of social relations. Light's initiative is considered in this chapter as an example that highlights specific issues related to social innovation, particularly in terms of new social relations. The focus here is on social innovation 'as new ideas (products, services and models) that simultaneously meet social needs and create new social relationships or collaborations' (Murray et al., 2010, p. 3). In the context of the emergence of new market-based relations within the pacification process, the Light Recicla service is examined as a type of service that meets the demands of informal settlements via new, hybrid and collaborative services. It is also argued that the effectiveness of these new types of services is based on specific socio-cultural qualities.In analysing informal settlements, this chapter draws on the work of the DESIS 1 Thematic Cluster, 2 'Formal, Informal, Collaborative (IFC)', which sets out a typology of actions based on two main issues:• Underserved communities. Informal settlements are complex social ecosystems, characterised by their lack of basic services (which has led to them being described as 'underserved' communities) and by the (relative) density of specific forms of social ties -from traditional ones, such as those of family, clan and village, to new ones that have emerged in the particular context of informal settlements, including those imposed by criminal gangs.• Informal settlements in transformation. Driven by different factors, several informal settlements have recently entered a phase of rapid change (Echeverri and Orsini, 2011). In this changing environment, new organisations and forms of relationships, both inside the settlements and between them and the rest of the city, are appearing. In some places, such as Brazil, the starting poi...
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