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Society & Innovation

The thematic area "Society & Innovation" works on the following three main topics. Studying these topics we apply various approaches, theoretical and conceptual frameworks: Knowledge exchange, Innovation processes, Motivations, Governance and Policy, Power and Justice.

1. Urban food systems and urban-rural relationships; producer-consumer relationships

In close collaboration with cities, we study policies and governance models of urban food systems and urban-rural relationships, and analyse local food flows. Sustainability assessment of urban food systems is provided in collaboration with the respective thematic area. The methods applied are continuously further developed.

2. Farm, Rural and Regional development; supply chains

We work on developing innovative models for food governance at regional (and city) level, including new food and farming business models. These new models can cover business models for single farms as well as wider producer-consumer networks, involving new actors, such as gastronomy. The basis for the development of these new food governance models are studies on perceptions, meanings, motivations, networks and roles of the involved actors.

3. Organic 3.0: role of different stakeholders in implementing it

We contribute to the debate on the further development of organic agriculture (Organic 3.0) by including social and societal aspects, by studying actors’ visions on the development of the organic movement, and from this learn what is needed to achieve a shift in the current vision of the organic concept. Topics we are particularly interested in range from the challenges of digitalisation to potential new ways for securing compliance with the principles of organic agriculture (such as participatory guarantee systems).

Further information

Urban areas


Heidrun Moschitz