Simona Zollet

Simona Zollet
Hiroshima University | HU · Department of Academia-Government-Industry Collaboration - Startup Initiatives Division

Doctor of Philosophy

About

17
Publications
5,285
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105
Citations
Citations since 2017
17 Research Items
105 Citations
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Introduction
My research focuses on sustainable rural development and sustainability transitions at the community and territorial level. I approach this issue from different angles: agroecological/organic farming transitions (& new entrant farmers), in-migration to marginal rural areas, and entrepreneurship striving to create social and environmental value. I employ qualitative and mixed method approaches and I am seeking to create deeper engagement with communities.

Publications

Publications (17)
Article
Academic literature has so far explored food democracy and citizen participation in agri-food system governance mainly in relation to the ‘food’ end of agri-food systems, and primarily in urban contexts. We argue that this focus can be usefully extended to agricultural production and to wider territorial processes occurring in rural areas. In this...
Article
Full-text available
Individual agroecological farms can act as lighthouses to amplify the uptake of agroecological principles and practices by other farmers. Amplification is critical for the upscaling of agroecological production and socio-political projects emphasizing farmer sovereignty and solidarity. However, territories are contested spaces with historical, soci...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major stress test for the agri-food system. While most research has analysed the impact of the pandemic on mainstream food systems, this article examines how alternative and local food systems (ALFS) in 13 countries responded in the first months of the crisis. Using primary and secondary data and combining the Multi...
Article
Full-text available
The negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have further exposed and exacerbated the structural weaknesses and inequalities embedded in the global industrial agri-food system. While the mainstream narrative continues to emphasise the importance of ensuring the uninterrupted functioning of global supply chains to counter COVID-related disruptions,...
Article
Full-text available
The growing concern for sustainability in agri-food systems and the parallel decrease in the number of people engaged in agriculture, especially in the Global North, is starting to draw attention to new entrant farmers from non-farming backgrounds (“newcomer” farmers). Newcomers, however, especially if interested in sustainable agriculture, face co...
Article
The decline and socioeconomic stagnation of rural communities is a growing concern across the world. To promote community resilience, art-and creativity-based strategies are emerging as important means for rural revitalisation. This study adopts a neo-endogenous perspective to examine how socially engaged art can represent an effective tool for rev...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted everyday living and social practices, prompting questions of whether more sustainable consumption patterns are emerging and the likelihood of their long-term retention. To examine these questions, we apply a practice-based approach to a quantitative study of COVID-driven practice changes in the domains of food, m...
Article
Processes of food re‐localisation and re‐socialisation occurring within Alternative Food Networks (AFNs) are seen as fundamental to fostering sustainability transitions in agri‐food systems. Criticism of the alternative‐conventional dualism typical of much AFN literature, however, has resulted in the emergence of the concept of hybrid food networks...
Article
Full-text available
The discussion around global environmental is-sues such as climate change, as well as changes in societal expectations towards the role of agriculture and food production, have focused attention on sus-tainability transitions in agri-food systems. In parallel, there is a growing recognition of the potential of small-scale, agroecological and territ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Small island communities in the Seto Inland Sea of Japan are undergoing a dramatic demographic and social-economic decline, with many facing the possibility of disappearing over the next decades. Like much of rural Japan, they are characterized by processes of aging and depopulation that result in a stagnating economy, the degradation of public ser...
Article
Full-text available
Many small island destinations owe their spatial character to their entanglements with stakeholders involved in the arts. Space is the dynamic outcome of complex relational processes, which makes it impossible to identify a straightforward development path — including when it comes to the arts and tourism. Using assemblage thinking, we scrutinize t...
Article
Full-text available
The organic movement and the chisan chishō (local production for local consumption) movement are two of the most visible forms of alternative food systems in Japan. Despite having some ideological similarities, however, they have remained largely disconnected. One of the most recent developments in chisan chishō is the increase in number and popula...
Article
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This brief summarizes the preliminary findings of a research project on domestic urban-to-rural migration to the islands of the Seto Inland Sea, Japan. We focus on in-migrants who established small independent businesses on the islands, and particularly those engaged in tourism, creative industries and organic farming. The study explores the motiva...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The consequences of the structural changes in agriculture, such as the socio-economic decline of rural communities and the degradation of rural landscapes, have sparked considerable interest not only in the ways of increasing the number of new entrant farmers, but also in agroecology-based farming. In this respect, the situation of the farming sect...
Article
Full-text available
In India, organic farming is increasingly considered a promising way to increase the income of small-scale farmers, while at the same time protecting ecologically fragile areas. is is especially true for farmers in areas considered “marginal,” such as those in the Himalayan hill areas of the state of Uttarakhand. is research focuses on the current...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
This project focuses on clusters of entrepreneurial lifestyle in-migrants (I-turn) in rural Japan, specifically those containing organic farming clusters. The study builds upon my previous research on in-migrant organic farmers in Japan, and expands it through an exploration of lifestyle entrepreneurship, an emerging concept in the fields of rural geography and sociology. Lifestyle migration and lifestyle entrepreneurship in rural areas are growing societal trends arising from the search for new lifestyles, in connection with the decline of traditional rural jobs in the primary and secondary industries, and the COVID-19 pandemic is contributing to further accelerate these trends. The topic also fills a gap in the literature on rural entrepreneurship, which is relatively under-developed in the context of developed countries. The research investigates a) the motivations driving lifestyle in-migrants to choose specific places and communities (clusters) where to settle; b) social networks and relationships among in-migrants and implications for the creation of rural entrepreneurial ecosystems; c) the implications of these processes for the construction of in-migrants’ quality of life and relationship to place.
Project
This research aims at producing an interdisciplinary nexus on rural revitalization by focusing on rural creative entrepreneurship and on-site education initiatives to revitalize communities in peripheral areas through documentary film as a research method.
Project
This research focuses on people who chose to relocate from urban to rural areas of Japan (I-turners, U-turners) and to create their own business activities. It considers three types of newcomers: those engaged in creativity-based businesses, in tourism businesses and in organic-farming based businesses. The motivation behind this choice is the fact that primary industries (in this case agriculture) and increasingly, tourism and creative industries, are often the main drivers of rural economies. Both organic farming, creativity-based and tourism businesses require an innovative mindset, as they often go against local conventions, especially in Japan (Doi, 2009; Yan, 2009). or have never been attempted before in a specific locality. They are also often interconnected, as people engaged in organic farming may also engage in creativity or tourism-related activities (Markantoni, Koster, Strijker, & Woolvin, 2013). The aim of this research is to illustrate the diversity of motivation and approaches among people who choose to relocate to small island communities in Japan and to make a living there, and the challenges they face in establishing their businesses. In doing so, the study focused especially on in-migrants engaged in organic farming and creative-based tourism businesses. There is another category of newcomers on the island, meaning the workers who are employed by the local industries. These newcomers are not part of the scope of this research. The research will also explore the role of newcomers and long-term in-migrants in community development and revitalization, and the effects that new businesses have on the local community and the local area. Finally, the study will examine how newcomers are engaging with the local culture and heritage (encompassing agricultural practices, landscapes, culture, and the built environment) and potentially shaping them through new practices and outside influences.