Topic: Social Innovation and the agri-food system: a literature review
This presentation will discuss social innovation conceptualised as the process through which it can contribute to a transformative agri-food system. Research on social innovation in the agri-food system is mainly carried out through case studies. This is due to the unique character of innovations, at least when they emerge, and the fact that the concept of social innovation in the agri-food system is still poorly understood. As a consequence, information on social innovation often remains isolated, restricting the sociological analysis of the social transformations that accompany these innovations while limiting the generalization of results. In order to fill this gap, an extensive literature review through different databases can shed light on the links between different forms of social innovation in the agri-food system (i.e. short food supply chains) and their configurations, evolution and distribution in time and space. The working hypothesis is that an extensive literature review of a large number of cases will reveal aspects of social innovation that had not been observed to date while also informing about the relationship between social innovation and social transformation in the agri-food system. With a focus on the methodological, theoretical and epistemological challenges of such an undertaking, this presentation will also discuss the potential scientific contribution that such an initiative will provide to the study of social innovation and social transformation in the current agriculture and food debate.