Common People’s Sustainability – Connectivity within a Food System Rhizome

They say that sustainable development has been around for about 20 years and not very much progress has been achieved. However, this view may refer to difficulties in identifying sustainable developments in everyday business activities without particularly visible publicity. Currently, new serious activity towards sustainable food systems, starting from retailing, processing industries and farmers as well as other food system actors seem to strive to connect the supply chains for sustainable food. This paper makes use of the notion of ‘social rhizomes’ structured as different networks to identify sustainable developments in actors’ lived experience. Furthermore, the notion of connectivity, as the ability to activate heterogenous ideas, persons, materials and spaces for sustainability within a ’social rhizome’ is used to explain the progress towards sustainability within local, national and global food system. Empirically, the paper is based on two presentations given on the Finnish Organic Conference 2008. The presentations were analysed for the progress towards sustainability within social rhizomes structured as chanceworks, meshworks, strategic networks and socially overlaid networks. Results suggest, that connectivity between different networks leads to transformations between the networks towards more shared economic, environmental and socio-cultural benefits, which can be identified as common people’s sustainability.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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