Mapping out Practices of Innovation Outside of Metropolitan Areas

Monday, 16 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Theresa MARTENS, Institut für Sozialinnovation e.V., Germany
René JOHN, Institut für Sozialinnovation, Germany
Within the field of (social) innovation research, metropolitan areas are often seen as the only spatial arrangement where innovative ideas can be developed and implemented. In order to deconstruct this spatial deterministic assumption, the research project “Broadening Horizons – Changing Perspectives” focuses on areas outside of metropolitan areas. The first goal within the project has already been carried out. It has been the creation of a catalogue of criteria for identifying successful agglomeration distant (instead of so-called rural) regions. We define agglomeration distant region by using a three dimensional continuum. The three assessment dimensions were built upon the three theoretical perspectives: space, innovation and governance. The first dimension refers to the spatial perspective and gives information about the distance to the ideal agglomeration. The second dimension is based upon the innovation perspective and gives information about how resilient in terms of preserving the potential course of actions a region is. The third dimension is based upon the governance perspective and describes the functionality of the regional governance regime. The second goal of the project will be the description of success stories through tales of overcoming failures as “small losses” (Sitkin 1992) of two agglomeration distant regions in Germany which will be identified using the catalogue of criteria. Qualitative data collection based on fieldtrips including semi structured interviews and ethnographic data collection will be conducted in the next two years. The focus will be on the identification of endogenous regional potential along the three perspectives. The outcome of the research project will contribute to a better understanding of practices of innovations outside of metropolitan areas as well as identifying methods to support endogenous innovative potentials in agglomeration distant areas. This will be presented as an outline of an ongoing project.