Project

Governance of the Sustainable Economy Transition: Challenges of Exnovation (GOSETE)

Goal: Various network governance constellations are being developed for the stimulation, co-creation and institutional anchorage of sustainability-oriented innovation and grassroots initiatives. Beyond this bright and mobilizing side of transitions governance, this project deliberately targets its crucial but hitherto relatively neglected counterpart of exnovation.
How can the existing governance arrangements and regulatory frameworks in the Brussels Capital Region be supported in dealing with the sustainable economy transition and its exnovation challenges?

To find more information about our research, please follow us on our website https://exnovation.brussels/ or on facebook https://www.facebook.com/GOSETEproject

Date: 1 February 2020

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Ela Callorda Fossati
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The research report presents a case analysis on the transition towards a circular economy in Brussels from an exnovation perspective. It focuses on the governance of the ways out from the linear economy or 'delinearisation'. The objectives of this research consist in: (1) elucidating the shifting place of exnovation in the strategies and debates on the circular economy transition; (2) observing associated conflict dynamics and; (3) revealing gaps in the current governance of the transition towards a circular economy. This case study develops on a framework combining transitions studies concepts and a transdisciplinary research design. It is based on a retrospective-prospective approach articulating three data collection methods: documentary analysis, interviews, and a multi-actor workshop. The main findings are presented below ('Highlights'). Based on these findings, our conclusion emphasises the need for the Region to initiate an inclusive debate on the circular economy transition covering both innovation and exnovation policies and focusing on the conditions for accelerating and making this transition just. ///Highlights/// − The governance of the transition towards a circular economy in Brussels clearly focuses on policy interventions for supporting circular innovations. The Region is currently shifting from a niche stimulation to a niche acceleration strategy. − Despite the government's stated intention to move away from the linear model, exnovation policies are virtually absent from strategies and policy debate for circular economy transition. One noticeable exception to that observation is the removal by 2030 of public support for companies that are not socially and environmentally "exemplary" that is currently debated as part of the development of the future Regional economic transition strategy. − The discussions on exnovation policies engender intense tensions and conflicts among the actors of the transition towards a circular economy. This contrasts with the rather consensual character of the discussions on policies supporting circular innovations. − The discussions on exnovation policies appear to be also deliberately avoided in some political arenas, like elected assemblies or the Economic and Social Council (Brupartners). This silence leads to ignoring many actors, including scientists and social and circular entrepreneurs, who point to the urgency of policy interventions targeting destabilisation and planned decline of the linear economy. − The difficulties in resolving tensions and conflicts and the attempts to avoid discussions on the subject are partly explained by a tendency of actors to focus exclusively on the negative effects of these policies (e.g.: the impacts of taxes, bans or subsidies withdrawal on the competitiveness of enterprises and/or on vulnerable social groups) without considering the possibility of measures for mitigating such effects. Anticipating and mitigating possible unintended consequences of delinearisation policies is however essential to reach a compromise and build societal support and ensure a just transition.
Ela Callorda Fossati
added an update
The GOSETE research team (IGEAT/ULB and Buco/VUB) is pleased to announce that its website on exnovation is online!!!
Exnovation emerged recently as a new concept in the field of Sustainability Transitions Studies.
With this website we want to share our analysis and to stimulate debate on exnovation challenges, addressing specifically local actors of transitions and researchers in the field.
With Solène Sureau , Bonno Pel , Bauler Tom , WMJ Achten , @Regine Feltkamp
 
Ela Callorda Fossati
added a project reference
Bonno Pel
added a project goal
Various network governance constellations are being developed for the stimulation, co-creation and institutional anchorage of sustainability-oriented innovation and grassroots initiatives. Beyond this bright and mobilizing side of transitions governance, this project deliberately targets its crucial but hitherto relatively neglected counterpart of exnovation.
How can the existing governance arrangements and regulatory frameworks in the Brussels Capital Region be supported in dealing with the sustainable economy transition and its exnovation challenges?
To find more information about our research, please follow us on our website https://exnovation.brussels/ or on facebook https://www.facebook.com/GOSETEproject