Laurens Klerkx

Laurens Klerkx
Wageningen University & Research | WUR · Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group

PhD
Enjoying a sabbatical leave.

About

279
Publications
214,006
Reads
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12,953
Citations
Citations since 2017
135 Research Items
10130 Citations
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Introduction
Laurens Klerkx is full professor at the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group, Wageningen University. doing social science research and teaching and supervision (at Bachelor, Master and PhD level) on various topics such as: Institutional change in research and advisory organizations; Roles and positions of organizations that broker multi-stakeholder networks for innovation; Implementation of transdisciplinary science and co-innovation approaches; Dynamics and politics of research and innovation agenda setting; Advisory service innovation and professional development; Division of public, private and industry roles in innovation; Internationalization of research and innovation; Digital agriculture innovation; Transformative innovation in agri-food systems; Innovation policy.
Additional affiliations
June 2008 - present
Wageningen University & Research
Education
November 2002 - January 2008
Wageningen University & Research
Field of study
  • Communication and Innovation Studies
September 1995 - September 2002
Wageningen University & Research
Field of study
  • Tropical Landuse

Publications

Publications (279)
Article
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Agroecological techniques (AET) have been recognized by many farmers, NGOs, and farmers’ organizations (FOs) as a promising solution for slowing down the persistent soil fertility degradation in West African drylands. In the context of Burkina, the promotion of AET is the result of the interactions between NGOs and farmers’ knowledge through the in...
Article
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CONTEXT Digital technologies nowadays play a major role in innovation within the agri-food domain. The evolution of IT systems has currently arrived at a level that involves complex systems integration and business ecosystems in which many stakeholders in different roles are involved. A new paradigm for digital innovation is needed that copes with...
Article
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In this paper, we discuss how agrifood systems transformation is addressed by the Aotearoa New Zealand agrifood innovation system, and to what extent it can be mission-oriented in view of emerging Agriculture 4.0 technologies. There are several initiatives that work on different transition pathways towards agrifood systems transformation, and hence...
Article
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Agri-food value chains are complex systems comprising of a network of interlinked and interdependent actors. To foster collaboration between these actors, trust between actors and in value chains is considered to be key. Despite growing scholarly attention an overview of to what extent and how trust is the role of trust in agri-food value chains is...
Article
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Digitalisation is a disruptive socio-technical process that goes beyond digital technologies and their use within an organisation, and involves besides (in many cases radical) technological change, social, institutional and economic change. This creates uncertainties for value chain actors and the trust relationships between them. In this paper we...
Article
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The implementation of climate mitigation measures at the farm level is highly dependent on farmers' willingness to make adjustments to their farms. While many studies have identified various barriers to climate mitigation in agriculture-among them farmers' weak interest in climate-there has been less research focused on the different kinds of influ...
Article
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This study is focused on unsustainable agri-food systems, especially intensive livestock farming and its resulting environmental harms. Specifically we focus on the development of technologies that seek to mitigate these environmental harms. These technologies are generally developed as incremental innovations in response to government regulation....
Article
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Artificial intelligence and robotics have increasingly been adopted in agri-food systems—from milking robots to self-driving tractors. New projects extend these technologies in an effort to automate skilled work that has previously been considered dependent on human expertise due to its complexity. In this paper, we draw on qualitative research car...
Article
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This paper explores the complex relationship between intellectual property (IP) and the transdisciplinary collaborative design (co-design) of new digital technologies for agriculture (AgTech). More specifically, it explores how prioritizing the capturing of IP as a central researcher responsibility can cause disruptions to research relationships an...
Article
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CONTEXT It is still an open question how to assess the contribution of digitalisation in agriculture to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, and how digitalisation then can be done in a responsible way. A socio-cyber-physical system (SCPS) concept can help this analysis, but little experience exists with its operationalisation and app...
Article
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There is promising evidence that public food procurement from family farming (PFPF) can serve as a powerful policy instrument in transitions towards more sustainable food systems. Despite the evidence around PFPF, there is lack of systemic and actor-oriented approaches analysing the relational and interactional dynamics among the multiple and diver...
Article
This editorial observes 200 volumes of Agricultural Systems. Volume 1, dated January 1976, began with an article by the inaugural editor, C.R.W. Spedding (1976), that laid the foundations for this journal. We echo that first editorial with this contribution to begin Volume 201 and review some aspects of the history of the journal. To celebrate thos...
Article
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In remote peripheral regions like the Arctic, research networks have been identified as an important mechanism for nurturing science-informed innovation. Given that relatively little is known about the network structures that support Arctic innovation processes, we employ social network analysis techniques to examine the structural organization and...
Article
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While attention to how extension and education support learning and innovation on technical topics is and remains important, farming entails much more than managing technical issues. A range of social, economic, financial, and human resource issues as well as physical and mental health factors of farmers and other farm workers come into play in ove...
Article
CONTEXT In May 2020, approximately four months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the journal's editorial team realized there was an opportunity to collect information from a diverse range of agricultural systems on how the pandemic was playing out and affecting the functioning of agricultural systems worldwide. OBJECTIVE The objective of the special iss...
Article
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We witness a promotion of hybrid partnerships, where actors with different competences and resources collaborate for smallholder inclusive value chain development. To better understand the functioning of these partnerships, we used institutional theory and studied the context of a global and emerging regional food value chains in Ghana, the blendin...
Article
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The agricultural innovation systems (AIS) in many Sub-Sahara African (SSA) countries lack the structural capacities to support smallholder-inclusive innovation. Multi-stakeholder Innovation Platforms (IPs) have been proposed as systemic instruments to improve the functioning and building of the structural capacities of the Innovation System (IS). T...
Article
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In the context of emerging digital advisory services that can make a potential difference in sustainable farming practices, this article analyzes the connection between on-farm human interaction and digital advice. Based on an experimental case from China's largest ever national research initiative on reducing agrochemical use in agricultural produ...
Article
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Increased pressures on agri-food systems have indicated the importance of intermediaries to facilitate sustainability transitions. While producer organizations are acknowledged as intermediaries between individual producers and other food system actors, their role as sustainability transition intermediaries remains understudied. This paper explores...
Article
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With the concept of resilience being increasingly applied in farming systems research, there is general agreement that the resilience theory should be supported by sound assessment methodologies. Yet, in the extant literature, definitions and measures of resilience as a system outcome, a system capability or a process are often conflated, causing c...
Article
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This editorial introduces a special issue (SI) concerning quests for responsible digital agri‐food innovation. We present our interpretations of the concepts of responsible innovation and digital agri‐food innovation and show why they can and have been productively interrelated with social science theories and methods. First, each of the articles i...
Article
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Accelerating food systems transformation in the face of climate change and other global crises requires myriad changes across all levels, themes, and geographies. This calls for re-thinking the roles of agricultural research for development (AR4D). In this perspective article we use the metaphor of ‘swarms’ and ‘swarming’ to illustrate a more distr...
Article
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International agreements have been adopted in recent years to disseminate animal welfare standards worldwide, similar to the situation for environmental and social sustainability standards. Scholars who have analyzed such initiatives argue that this calls for contextualized strategies for a successful implementation of international animal welfare...
Article
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With a rise of 1.5°C in global temperature, climate change is projected to cause massive destabilized climatic events that will affect people’s health, environment, biodiversity, and food security. One of the most vulnerable sectors to climate change is agriculture because farming relies heavily on planning for weather and seasons according to expe...
Article
Vertical farming can produce food in a climate-resilient manner, potentially emitting zero pesticides and fertilizers, and with lower land and water use than conventional agriculture. Vertical farming systems (VFS) can meet daily consumer demands for nutritious fresh products, forming a part of resilient food systems—particularly in and around dens...
Article
Vertical farming can produce food in a climate-resilient manner, potentially emitting zero pesticides and fertilizers, and with lower land and water use than conventional agriculture. Vertical farming systems (VFS) can meet daily consumer demands for nutritious fresh products, forming a part of resilient food systems—particularly in and around dens...
Article
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Scholars have often applied the concept of boundary work and its conceptual progeny to explain how science, policy, and practice collaborate to introduce change into agrifood systems. However, previous studies focused primarily on specific boundary elements (i.e., boundary spanners, boundary organizations, and boundary objects) or particular innova...
Article
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Precision technologies and smart farming practices are spreading globally. However, there are still limited insights into how these technologies develop in newly adopted countries and adapt to different local systems, especially in emergent economies. This article aims to diagnose the technological innovation system of precision technologies within...
Article
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Agroecology has been recognized as a paradigm that can offer multiple ecological and socioeconomic benefits. In many developing countries, the promotion of agroecology is facilitated by intermediary organizations such as Farmers' Organizations (FOs). Detailed studies on how FOs support their farmers in the adoption of agroecology innovations are st...
Article
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Human-Centred Design (HCD) approaches are adopted to develop digital agriculture interventions inclusively and responsibly. Whether these approaches indeed lead to responsible designs remains unclear, especially for Low-Income Countries. Using a Rwandan case study, we contribute to debates on inclusive, participatory, and responsible design by deve...
Article
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Dominant agricultural and food systems lead to continuous resource depletion and unacceptable environmental and social impacts. While current calls for changing agrifood systems are increasingly framed in the context of sustainability transitions, they rarely make an explicit link to transition studies to address these systemic challenges, nor do t...
Article
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In the past few years, we have seen growing calls for a transformation in global food systems in response to multiple challenges, including climate change. Food systems are responsible for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions from human activity and agricultural yields are at risk due to climate change impacts. Although many proposals have be...
Chapter
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The use of digital technologies with the aim to improve African smallholder agriculture is a trend today, and expectations of the benefits and transformative capacity of these technologies are high. In practice, digitalisation comes with trade-offs, and benefits, and potential harm are not equally distributed. This chapter unravels how processes of...
Chapter
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With digital agriculture as a path to transforming the agricultural sector in the Global South, there has been a rise in digital service provision. To counteract potentially negative ethical, social justice, and environmental impacts of digital agriculture, Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has been offered as a possible solution. There are...
Article
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Transition scholars devote surprisingly little attention to the sustainability of digitalization. We call for more work on digitalization in transition studies. We offer a number of perspectives to study the roles of digitalization in sustainability transitions.
Article
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Purpose Digital extension is widely embraced in African agricultural development, promising unprecedented outcomes and impact. Especially phone-based services attract attention as tools for effective and efficient agricultural extension. To date, assessments of digital extension services are generally ex-post in nature, thus consideration of users...
Chapter
Full-text available
With digital agriculture as a path to transforming the agricultural sector in the Global South, there has been a rise in digital service provision. To counteract potentially negative ethical, social justice, and environmental impacts of digital agriculture, Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has been offered as a possible solution. There are...
Presentation
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While transition research (Konrad, Truffer, and Voß 2008; Raven 2007; Wirth and Markard 2011; Papachristos, Sofianos, and Adamides 2013; Geels 2007) and innovation studies (see e.g. Perez 2009; Freeman and Louçã 2001) have long recognized the importance of interactions across sociotechnical systems in shaping change processes, there has been limite...
Conference Paper
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The Mansholt lectures, named for the great Dutch European politician and thinker Sicco Mansholt, are organised by Wageningen University & Research to discuss European policy and issues in our domain: nutrition, agriculture and sustainable livelihoods. In 2016 WUR started to organise the annual Mansholt lectures. During the lectures WUR presents mu...
Article
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During the 2021 Mansholt Lecture, which was presented to the European Commission in Brussels on 22 September 2021, WUR presented the options and challenges for stakeholders in the transition towards a sustainable digital innovation ecosystem. In this accompanying policy article we argue that Europe needs to consider creating an integral European po...
Conference Paper
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El objetivo de este trabajo es realizar un diagnóstico y priorización de los factores DAFO (debilidades, amenazas, fortalezas y oportunidades) condicionantes de la TD en el corto/medio plazo en el olivar de Andalucía. Este documento presenta los principales hallazgos encontrados en el diagnóstico y las posibles líneas de acción que se deberían prom...
Article
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The field of research on agricultural and rural extension and education, also referred to as advisory services and intermediaries, has always engaged with different aspects of the spaces in which agricultural producers (farmers, growers, ranchers) are situated and operate. In this editorial, I will reflect on the elements and environments which joi...
Article
Despite the growing importance of the digital transformation (DT) of the agrifood sector on the political agenda, traditional policies are not enough to provide proactive responses to rapid technological changes and new approaches for policy planning are necessary especially at regional level. This manuscript proposes and illustrates the implementa...
Article
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Digital technologies are often seen as an opportunity to enable sustainable futures in agriculture and rural areas. However, this digital transformation process is not inherently good as it impacts on many aspects (e.g. economic, environmental, social, technological, institutional) and their relations. The responsible research and innovation approa...
Article
El objetivo de este trabajo es determinar los factores condicionantes del proceso de transformación digital del sector olivarero de Andalucía en el corto y medio plazo. Estos factores se pueden clasificar en debilidades, amenazas, fortalezas y oportunidades (DAFO) y en políticos, económicos, sociales, tecnológicos, legales y ambientales (PESTLE). A...
Article
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Existing research suggests that regions can develop their long-term competitive advantage through well-functioning interregional innovation cooperation. In this article, we use the example of innovation in small and medium-sized agri-food enterprises (SMEs) to scrutinise and compare regional innovation approaches on each side of the Dutch-German bo...
Article
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Purpose – This paper aims to contribute to deepening insights on social media in agricultural research by presenting a case study on how a research and education centre in Mexico connected, communicated, and interacted in a research and education community on Twitter. Design/methodology/approach – By using a Social Network Analysis (SNA) approach,...
Article
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Purpose This article addresses the gap in understanding the performance of emerging private agricultural advisory service (AAS) models in developing country contexts, in relation to their dual objectives of supporting farmer-clients and becoming profitable agribusinesses themselves. Methodology Multiple case study of Service Providers Enterprises...
Article
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While agency has received considerable attention in recent sustainability transitions studies, as well as in the literature on socio-ecological systems and sustainability transformations, the focus has been on the agency of humans. Given the emphasis on infrastructures and material culture in sustainability transitions studies, it is surprising tha...
Technical Report
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Resumen: El objetivo de este trabajo es determinar los factores condicionantes del proceso de transformación digital del sector olivarero de Andalucía en el corto y medio plazo. Estos factores se pueden clasificar en debilidades, amenazas, fortalezas y oportunidades (DAFO) y en políticos, económicos, sociales, tecnológicos, legales y ambientales (P...
Article
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As social media provides the opportunity for communication and knowledge exchange among rural actors and with better access to mobile devices and broadband, its popularity has grown in the rural sector. This paper explores rural actors' knowledge exchange from a preliminary investigation of advisors and farmers' social media use in a United Kingdom...
Article
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Supply chains are increasingly being virtualized in response to globalization and emerging market challenges. Virtualization requires technical innovation using IoT technologies such as smart sensors, and it allows to transmit quality information across the chain. Associated organizational innovation is complex, especially in SME-dominated supply c...
Article
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Intersectoral action is advocated as a social practice that can effectively address health inequalities and related social issues. Existing knowledge provides insight into factors that may facilitate or hinder successful intersectoral action, but not much is known about how intersectoral action evolves and becomes embedded in local health policies....
Article
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To operate within the safe and just operating space captured by the doughnut metaphor, sustainability transitions are needed in the food system. Niche food systems with highly distinct practices and organization constitute a treasure chest of alternatives from which society can build new futures. Policy has little awareness of niche food systems an...
Article
Ecosystem services delivery is influenced by food systems and vice versa. As the application of digital technologies in agriculture continues to expand, digital technologies might affect the delivery of ecosystem services in view of the sorts of food systems in which they are embedded. The direction food systems develop towards the future, and the...
Chapter
A number of diagnostic tools (e.g., value-chain analysis, social-network analysis, rapid system appraisals, and net-mapping) are already in use to support and coordinate actors at a systemic level towards the achievement of SDGs. Yet, none of them assesses the configuration of the actors in a system (i.e., networks of actors beyond one value chain)...
Article
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Agricultural innovation systems has become a popular approach to understand and facilitate agricultural innovation. However, there is often no explicit reflection on the role of agricultural innovation systems in food systems transformation and how they relate to transformative concepts and visions (e.g. agroecology, digital agriculture, Agricultur...
Chapter
Scaling generalizable solutions delivered through science, technology, and innovation has become a dominant paradigm for achieving the sustainable development goals. In many cases, organizations articulate theories of change that are intended to support the strategic design and guidance of agricultural research and innovation to contribute to impac...
Article
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The effect of proximity to markets on dairy farming intensity and market participation traditionally has been viewed as a market quality effect stemming from distance to end-markets with resultant travel time. This study departs from this by distinguishing three travel time components: travel time to local service center for inputs and services, to...
Article
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Inclusive innovation remains an under-conceptualised and ambiguous concept despite garnering political and academic interest in recent decades. This paper explores the narratives of inclusive innovation that exist in literature and how these are framed in practice, using a case study of the Kenyan agricultural sector. Findings indicate that while t...
Article
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Research for development (R4D) projects increasingly engage in multi-stakeholder innovation platforms (IPs) as an innovation methodology, but there is limited knowledge of how the IP methodology spreads from one context to another. That is, how experimentation with an IP approach in one context leads to it being succesfully replicated in other cont...
Article
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Innovation platforms (IPs) that support agricultural innovation to enable transition processes towards more sustainable agriculture provide a space where conflicts of interest among actors in the existing agricultural system (the so called incumbent regime) may play out. Sometimes these conflicts over how actors will benefit from an action are not...
Article
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Crop and livestock production have become spatially decoupled in existing commercial agricultural regimes throughout the world. These segregated high input production systems contribute to some of the world's most pressing sustainability challenges, including climate change, nutrient imbalances, water pollution, biodiversity decline, and increasing...
Article
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This article outlines a new research agenda for extension and education scholars, in a context of technologically disruptive forces such as digitalization and new paradigms such as circularity. In view of the need to transform agriculture and food systems, and embracing plurality in current and future ways of producing food, new questions are posed...
Article
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How do systemic intermediaries obtain legitimate roles for themselves in innovation systems and transition processes? This is still an understudied question in the study of systemic intermediaries. We start from the observation that roles, or positions, are not given, but emerge in interactions as a negotiated set of rights and obligations. Inspire...
Article
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Ecological intensification has been proposed as a promising lever for a transition towards more sustainable food systems. Various food systems exist that are based on ecological intensification and may have potential for a sustainability transition. Little is known, however, about their diversity and about how they perform against dominant systems...
Article
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There is a growing consensus that one of the key priorities to address food and nutrition security is to aim at the transformation of agriculture and food systems. The private sector can fulfil an important role in this. It is often argued that the success at low income markets (denoted here as Bottom of the Pyramid - BOP) requires innovative and i...
Article
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A common avenue to enable adoption of technologies and practices by small-scale producers is by means of farmer clusters. These are achieved by building networks and partnerships between farmers and other actors within the supply chain. This paper examines the role that farmer clusters play in the adoption of practices and technologies by shrimp fa...
Article
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Agriculture 4.0 is comprised of different already operational or developing technologies such as robotics, na-notechnology, synthetic protein, cellular agriculture, gene editing technology, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and machine learning, which may have pervasive effects on future agriculture and food systems and major transformative pote...
Article
Full-text available
To operate within the safe and just operating space captured by the doughnut metaphor, sustainability transitions are needed in the food system. Niche food systems with highly distinct practices and organization constitute a treasure chest of alternatives from which society can build new futures. Policy has little awareness of niche food systems an...
Article
Full-text available
Growing empirical evidence suggests that innovation platforms can be effective in enhancing agricultural research impact by creating an enabling environment for scaling of innovations such as novel technologies, practices and business models. However, efforts to understand how these innovation platforms operate to scale innovations are insufficient...