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Identifying Barriers to Sustainable Change: PowerPoint Presentation
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  1. Identifying Barriers to Sustainable Change: APractice Perspective A study of 35 Environmental Initiatives within Housing Energy, Transport and Food Anita Borch, Gunnar Vittersø and Eivind StøNational Institute for Consumer Research (SIFO)Paper presented at NCCR Conference in Gothenburg, 30.05.-01.06.2012.

  2. Sustainable initatives ; organisationswhichaim to changesociety in a more sustainabledirection Roles: Catalysts Bridges Sprinklers Small miniatures of future sustainable societies, and hence examples to be followed or avoided

  3. Questions of the paper Whatsuccessfactors and barrierscan be identified in currentsustainableinitiatives? How canthesebarriers be overcome? Plan ofthispresentation: Barriers Practicetheory Our practiceperspective Assumptionsaboutbarriers Methods Results Questions for furtherstudy

  4. Barriers A barrier is a factorthat hinder a condition to be realized ‘Factors’ Material/infrastructural Immaterial/social A barrier: Is manyfactorsworkingtogether is in varyingdegreesociallyshaped, intentional, and controllable operates at micro, meso and macrolevel Types ofbarriersdetermine types ofregulation

  5. Practice theory Broad (generalized) perspective: Practicemeans «anythingpeople do» (Ortner, 1984) Object ofstudy is individuals Focus is onthereleationshipbetweenindividals and structures Narrow (spesialised) perspective: Practice is routinizedactivities (mental, bodily, material, temporal, spatial) Thus, the internally differentiated and dynamic character of practices is also taken into account The objectofstudy is practices Individuals are ‘carriers’ ofpractices

  6. Our practice perspective Broad (Ortner) Using threetheoriesas resources: NarrowPraktik-perspective (Reckwitz) Actor-networktheory (ANT) (Latour, Callon) Translationtheory (Czarniawska and Sevón) Housingenergy, transport, foodsector; fieldsofpractices (or just practices) Sustainableinitiatives; innovationsaiming to changepractices Barriers; factorshinderinginitatives’ chanceofsuccess and hencesociety to move in a more sustainabledirection Knowledge based (Reckwitz, micro) Organizational (Latourand Callon, meso) Structural (Czarniawskaand Sevón, macro)

  7. Knowledge based barriers Reckwitz: «Practice (Praktik) is a routinised type of behaviour which consists of several elements, interconnected to one another: forms of bodily activities, forms of mental activities, ‘things’ and their use, a background knowledge in the form of understanding, know-how, states of emotion and motivational knowledge.” Possible barriers: ‘Trajectories of development’ Other practices ‘Identity’

  8. Organizational factors Practicetheory: Organizations aretheoutcomeofsocialpractices ANT: Organization arenetworksof actors driven by a shared desire to arrive at the same result (Callon, 1980: 211). Example: The car Mutually independent relationships No human and human actors Networks are potentially transient and conflicting. If relationships are not sufficiently performed, they will dissolve Potentialbarriers: Lackofsignificantparticipants Realtionshipsare not sufficientlyperformed

  9. Structural factors Practicetheory: Structuresareroutinisedactivities Problem: How can rapid structuralshifts be explained? Translationtheory by Czarniawska and Sevón: Translation is the vehicle for social change Translation is put in motion by shared desires and imitations People imitate ‘the superior’ People know what is superior through a collective mode known as ‘fashion’ Fashionhelpspeople to prepare for thefuture (reduceinsecurity and risk) Possiblebarriers: People followother superiors thantheideaof ‘sustainability’, e.g. materialism and ‘thefreedomofchoice’

  10. Methods Part of the EU-funded project ‘Creating Innovative Sustainability Pathways’ (CRISP) (2011-2014) which aims to identify potential pathways to a low-carbon Europe based on backcasting methodologies Involves research teams from England, the Netherlands, Greece, Hungary, and Norway Each research team has been responsible for collecting information about 1-2 different cases within housing energy, transport and food. For each case a template was filled in (1-2 pages) Totally 35 cases were selected (11 housing energy, 9 transport, 9 food, and 6 initiatives crossing the three sectors

  11. Results Organizational barriers are most frequently reported The relationships with consumers and financial supporters, including politicians, is emphasized Establish and perform relastionships with significant participants Knowledge based barriers were also reported, in particular in housing energy initiatives Producers and consumers Establish new or force old trajectories of developement Think small (create a ‘Diderot effect’) Think holistic (cross sectors and levels) Structural barriers were also reported, in particular economic barriers in transport and housing energy initiatives High level of costs and competition Identify structural barriers and evaluate if and how these barriers can be overcome

  12. Questions for further research Many types of sustainable barriers that have not been reported in this research: Barriers thataretaken for granted Material and infrastructural faktors ANT Barriers ofunpopular and seemingly «untouchable» changes