Social innovation is an essential element of the low-carbon transition that complements technology-driven approaches. It emphasises the role of both behavioural/social change and technology, which are two sides of the ‘decarbonisation coin’. Due to its bottom-up character and its local embeddedness, social innovation develops and builds upon local social networks for decarbonisation. In addition, it also complements ‘top-down’ public policy-making on decarbonisation, while promoting various localised benefits such as job creation. Such grassroots innovation and social entrepreneurship can create local capacity, understanding and professional and/or commercialised networks or initiatives to support the local transition of communities towards low-carbon communities.
The workshop on “social innovation and lifestyle change for the decarbonisation of Europe”, facilitated by the DEEDS consortium, is aimed at bringing the recommendations of the High-Level Panel of the European Decarbonisation Pathways Initiative to a more concrete level. The participants of the workshop addressed current knowledge gaps and bottlenecks and identified priority areas for Research & Innovation (R&I) for the coming 5-10 years on social innovation.
The workshop took place on Thursday, 28 March at InnoEnergy’s offices in Brussels, Belgium and had 20 renowned participants, all experts in the field of social innovation and/or lifestyle change.