SONNET brings diverse groups together to make sense of how social innovation can bring about more sustainable energy systems in Europe. How has social innovation contributed to making our energy, use, and production cleaner? How can social change help reduce our carbon footprint in the future? SONNET cities and academic partners are working together to get to the bottom of these questions and more.
SONNET breaks down divisions: it looks at how technological and social innovations meet to jointly contribute to the energy transition, and it brings together academic and city partners to co-create knowledge collaboratively from ‘day one’
Six cities and six research institutions in Europe are using techniques – like ‘City Labs’, case studies, citizen surveys and more – to figure out how we can help make sure that social innovations accelerate the transition from the use of fossil fuels to a more sustainable energy system. By bringing together designated academic and local government partners, expertise of all kinds will come together to co-create knowledge and solutions.
In addition to its research, SONNET is hosting several regional, national, and European events to spread and co-create knowledge on social innovation and the energy transition.
...But what is "SOCIAL INNOVATION" anyway?
People around the world are trying out new social practices – or reviving practices from the past – in the hope that those meet our needs better than existing solutions do. Those new (or revived) practices are social innovations. In the energy sector this can look like: energy cooperatives; new funding schemes for energy retrofits; crowdfunding for energy saving projects; etc.
For examples of social innovations in the energy transition, check out what the project´s City Labs are working on here.
The SONNET team has identified, analysed and grouped 500 examples of social innovations in energy (SIEs) from across eight European countries. These have been categorised into 18 types – grouped according to social relations (cooperation, exchange, competition, conflict) and the types of energy activities (doing, thinking, organising) they involve
To explore how social innovations in energy (SIEs) can shape, and are shaping, energy transitions, SONNET took on the task of analysing and compiling 18 in-depth Case Studies. These Case Studies span six countries and six ‘SIE-fields’.