Social Innovation, a dynamic and sustainable social-ecological asset for regional development? Challenges and possibilities in Costa Rica.

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    This paper elaborates on and examines the connections between social innovation and governance of social-ecological systems. The aim is to develop a conceptual framework to analyse the significance of social innovations for regional development. It is argued that in social-ecological systems the emergence of new practices and social arrangements have the potential to enhance adaptive capacity, which allow regions and their governance to use crises and conflicts into opportunities to develop and evolve. Within the governance of social-ecological systems, new social practices develop and interact at different territorial levels, giving rise to multi-layered processes and spatial dynamics affecting and transforming the management and decision-making over common resources. Discussion is guided by: How does social innovation and governance of social-ecological systems relate in regional development? Does this relation bring adaptive capacity to a region? These questions are discussed from a theoretical perspective while empirical illustrations from Huetar North Region in Costa Rica give examples of what can be analysed through the proposed conceptual framework. It is intended to draw attention to social innovations that are being developed to foster regional sustainability. Moreover, the interest is to determine if these dynamics could contribute to an adaptive development of the region, and how.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages15
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventAESOP 2014 From control to co-evolution - Utrecht, The Netherlands, Netherlands
    Duration: 9-Jul-201412-Jul-2014


    ConferenceAESOP 2014 From control to co-evolution
    CityUtrecht, The Netherlands


    • governance of social-ecological systems
    • regional adaptive capacity
    • regional sustainable development
    • social innovation
    • socio-spatial transformations

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