Schäfer, M., Dantas de Figueiredo, M., Iran, S., Jaeger-Erben, M., Silva, M:E. Lazaro, J.C., Meißner, M. (2020): Imitation, adaptation, or local emergency? - A cross-country comparison of social innovation for sustainable consumption in Brazil, Germany, and Iran. November 2020. Journal of Cleaner Production, DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.124740
Social innovations for sustainable consumption have attracted policymakers' attention internationally as a possible means to reach sustainability and climate change goals. So far, most of the research on the emergence and potential of social innovations has been carried out in the Global North. This paper explores similarities and differences in the emergence and development process of social innovations for sustainable consumption in different cultural and geographical contexts. It undertakes an explorative qualitative cross-country analysis of innovations for sustainable consumption in diverse sectors, using a sample of 87 cases collected by desk research in Brazil, Germany, and Iran. The analysis is based on a procedural perspective on innovation and refers to the three phases problematization, experimentation, and restabilization. The research shows that, in the problematization phase, the initiatives differ in taking up "globalized" challenges affecting most countries worldwide versus "locally emerged" ones, more connected to socioeconomic , cultural, or political specifics. Experimentation with possible solutions differentiates between "imported" versus "locally" invented or appropriated context-specific approaches. Forms and degrees of restabilization depend mainly on framings for start-ups or non-governmental organizations and the local government's openness for innovative approaches.