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Seed money for the project festivals as innovative spaces

17 June 2021
Every year ASI awards seed money to promising interdisciplinary projects. Festivals as innovative spaces for sustainability transition is one of the ASI seed money winners 2021

Festivals as innovative spaces for sustainability transition

The urgent need for transition towards a sustainable society calls for novel initiatives to engage and mobilise people. In this research, it is claimed contemporary festivals can provide spaces for sustainability transition.

 Festivals are purposeful (inter)organisational productions that form temporary, ‘liminal’ spaces, set apart from ordinary, everyday settings, in which co-creation and innovation arise, having transformative potential. The research further taps into the notion that festivals are microcosms that can serve as prototypes for wider society. Namely, innovations can be tested in a festival space like a living lab representative of society, after which they can be applied or upscaled beyond the space if proven fruitful. Examples include the (re)design and (re)construction of energy, water, food and waste in a circular and sustainable way, and the formulation of alternative cultural norms, values and practices to raise awareness and shape behaviour towards sustainable communities. 

To explore this, the aim of this qualitative research is to investigate how festivals can be conceptualised and organised as transformational spaces, and the theoretical and societal implications thereof. The expected contribution of this research is the implication that festivals represent new organisational forms and innovative spaces to facilitate sustainability transition.
 

Research team

  • Dr Leonore van den Ende, Assistant Professor, Organization Science, Faculty of Social Science, VU Amsterdam 
  • Prof Alfons van Marrewijk, Associate Professor, Organization Science, Faculty of Social Science, VU Amsterdam | Full Professor, Management in the Built Environment, Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft
  • Dr Ernst Graamans, Assistant Professor, Management and Organization, School of Business and Economics, VU Amsterdam
  • Dr Edina Doci, Associate Professor, Management and Organization, School of Business and Economics, VU Amsterdam