Gilles Evrard ESSUMAN, Department of Geography and Spatial Planning, UNIVERSITÉ DU LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg
Steffen et al. (2015) posit that mankind is on an unsustainable path and various global indicators are alarming. Climate change, biodiversity loss, nitrogen cycle changes, and a slew of other challenges significantly influence economic growth and social stability. According to Homer-Dixon et al. (2015), all of these changes coupled with society's unparalleled complexity are creating a climate in which crises have become frequent, severe and unpredictable. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic —another crisis that has hit the planet, many adaptation strategies have been reactively put in place to surmount the various socio-economic difficulties generated by the crisis. Indeed, at various socio-spatial levels, transformational approaches to adaptation are frequently necessary to deal with fast-changing circumstances, requiring a shift in institutions and approaches to restructure existing practices and contribute to a much-needed territorial resilience. The burgeoning field of transformative social innovation seeks to understand how new social interactions originate, are used, and evolve while challenging existing systems. To investigate this field, this research uses participatory action research methodology coupled with ethnography to investigate a group of local food producers in Puy de Dôme, where various local farmers created a coalition to sustain the local food supply system as a response to COVID-19. Participant observation, interviews, and surveys will facilitate understanding the transformative and adaptation process of social innovation at local levels in times of crisis. It is anticipated that innovative solutions and practices evolve to respond to crises' imperatives through a co-constructive process between the various local actors. This could be a lead on how transformative social innovation could contribute to territorial resilience and even development in times of crisis.
Keywords: social innovation|adaptation|territorial resilience|crises|covid-19