New perspectives for rethinking climate change from grassroots social innovation. A theoretical and methodological approach from the ideas of human development, ethics and learning to analyze innovative experiences with a technological dimension

Project facts

Project promoter
Polytechnic University of Valencia
Project Number:
Target groups
Researchers or scientists
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 7,799
The project is carried out in:

More information


The project departs from the recognition of the limits of dominant approaches of climate change (CC), that are not considering the diversity of conceptualisations and strategies to confront the problem. The partnership is expected to achieve a high quality theoretical and methodological framework to explore grassroots social innovations from the perspective of their contributions to climate change mitigation policies. The donor partner, Center for International Climate and Environmental Research, is a leading center in the production of knowledge about all aspects of the climate change. This partner has particularly experience in the dominant discourses on climate change and in alternative ones, development and climate ethics or sociology of knowledge. The project promoter will contribute with the expertise of CICERO staff in key issues of the project: climate change, community adaption, ethics and environment to develop the conceptual and methodological framework. The results will benefit to the people engaged in the grassroots social innovation processes under analysis and the policy makers working in climate change mitigation policies.

Summary of project results

The project was relevant to better understand and valorise social initiatives that are not usually considered as sources of knowledge generation of innovative responses in the search for solutions to climate change. It tried to offer a framework from which capture the possible contributions of these experiences to rethink and complement current policies for confronting climate change. The project also tried to make a contribution to the current efforts to link different disciplines to develop innovative approaches to climate change policies. Partners pointed at linking disciplines as development studies, innovation studies and education. In terms of the need of the project for the institutions involved, the project was very relevant to develop a new research line on climate change, innovation and human development at the Norwegian institution. Moreover, it was necessary both for CICERO and the Technical University of Valencia (UPV) to push new dynamics of joint research, as previous collaboration was still limited in this regard. As a result, a framework was built to approach grassroots social innovation processes where alternative infrastructures of provision of goods and services are built. This framework will serve to explore what and how emerges in the individuals and groups involved in this processes, through informal learning in social actions, in terms of “bottom-up” conceptualizations, capacities, strategies and tools which are relevant for a transformatory mitigation of climate change, coherent with human development principles. This framework was applied during the months following to the granted stay completion, in the context of other ongoing projects of the research group of the beneficiary at the Technical University of Valencia. Main beneficiaries of the project are researchers at partner institutions, but it shall also benefit, in the mid-term, students at the Technical University of Valencia, and mayo benefit policy makers, academic community and the networks of partners.

Summary of bilateral results

As the planned scientific outcomes of the project were essentially theoretical, conceptual and methodological, the contribution of the partnership was mainly related to the complementarities in the areas of expertise and academic approaches and profiles among the members of the institutions involved: Sergio Belda and the staff at his home institution had a long trajectory in issues as human development and capability approach, ethics, education for development, and social innovation. Researchers at CICERO engaged in the project had relevant expertise in the field of climate change, climate ethics, systems and policies. This helped to have very productive discussions. The activities carried out during the project helped widen the network of contacts beyond the relation between partners (Technical University of Valencia and CICERO), to include new academics and institutions in the University of Oslo. The project also benefited the students of the international course “Innovation Catalysts”, organized by Climate-KIC, and which are mainly youth entrepreneurs in the field of climate change. New relevant effects are expected in the near future after the stay completion: mainly, the results of the project will be the base of the new research line at Technical University of Valencia – which will be supported by project CSO2013-41985, this should produce relevant results in terms of policy recommendations, learning at the grassroots level, networking, etc.