Patterns of Rural Innovation in Italy: A Comparison between Two Regional Networks Part of the Wwoof Association
Indeed, we propose a deepening of the WWOOF association - World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms - that from the 70s internationally promotes the organic agriculture through the work-hospitality exchange. In particular, through mixed methods (network analysis and qualitative interviews) we propose a comparative study between two different local areas where the agro-network has developed: the first in Piemonte, North Italy, characterized by the closeness to big urban areas and city markets, in which WWOOF has a long history. The second network is in Basilicata, South Italy, region in which the association increased its members in the last few years, and where there aren’t big urban areas. This comparative methodological choice provides significant added value, because scholars have exclusively focused on case studies. Furthermore, a comparison provides important insights to understand composition of different networks, diversity on ethical-political values and their link with official markets. This research wants to show how these factors influence the patterns of local innovations in the Italian context, where the great differences described above determine different solutions and strategies.