[CONFERENCE] Panel on ‘Social innovations for sustainable food systems’ at the AAG Annual Meeting in Denver, CO.

Sabine Weiland is co-organising a panel on ‘Social innovations for sustainable food systems’ at the American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, to be held in Denver, Colorado, 6-10 April 2020.

Panel: Social innovations for sustainable food systems


  • Diana Watts, Trinity Washington University/Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C.
  • Sabine Weiland, Lille Catholic University, Lille, France
  • Yuki Kato, Center for Social Justice Food, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

From the human issues of food insecurity and health to the cumulative environmental pressure on the food-water-energy nexus, the current agro-industrial food system is viewed as unsustainable. Yet, beyond analysis of these wicked problems there is growing interest in innovative solutions to address the environmental, health and social costs. This panel will address emergent initiatives in the food system through a social innovation (SI) lens. Disagreement over the exact content of this approach continues. Is it a theory or phenomenon? Does it move beyond the narrow business and technology driven definition of innovation to encompass social change, particularly in areas that may be underserved by market driven solutions? How does it compare with earlier innovation research? Similarly, questions may be raised concerning which actors are most likely engage in social innovation, types of innovative approach which prove most promising/ challenging? Moreover, are there limits to the extent to which the social innovation initiatives contribute to transforming or simply revising the current food system?

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