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nascent - New opportunities for a sustainable food system through transformative enterprise models

In the recent years an increased interest in local or regional enterprises and projects of food production and consumption is identifiable. They try to develop a sustainable and resilient food industry. We can observe an increasing number and diversity of new enterprises and business models (e.g. urban gardening projects, food cooperatives, community supported agriculture, alternative food networks).

The project “nascent” explores their current and prospective potentials and chances for the development of a sustainable transformation of the food sector. Therefor one research goal is to characterize those new business forms. Is it possible for those small enterprises to transform the status quo of the agro-food system from the bottom-up by bringing up new forms of social entrepreneurship, social innovations and changed sustainability standards? Which barriers and needs for support for the promotion and stabilization of transformative projects can be identified? How can the role of those initiatives as change agents be estimated, how can existing socio-technical regimes be opened for innovative approaches and how can the mainstream practices be changed by the spread of alternative modes of action?

The project “nascent” is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, program “FONA”) and is realised in a research partnership with the University of Oldenburg and anstiftung & ertomis. It pursues a transdisciplinary and multi-methodical approach including qualitative and quantitative research methods in close and practical interaction with 27 transformative business cases from several regions of Germany.

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Project duration: June 2015 – March 2018
Staff: Prof. Dr. Cordula Kropp
Sven Stinner, M.A.
Contact: Sven Stinner
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