Exploring connections between social innovation, grassroots processes and human development: an analysis of alternative food networks in the city of Valencia (Spain)

Victoria Pellicer Sifres, Sergio Belda Miquel, Aurora López Fogués, Alejandra Boni Aristizábal
This paper explores the contribution that the Capability Approach (CA) and Grassroots
Innovation (GI) literature can make to the area of Social Innovation (SI). The paper takes four concurrent dimensions of the SI literature (agents, purposes, drivers and processes) and crossfertilises them with the bottom‐up, people‐driven character of GI, and the concepts of agency, deliberative democracy and conversion factors from the CA. The result is the creation of a novel framework that we call grassroots social innovation for human development. The paper uses a case study, organic food buying groups in the city of Valencia, and examines them from an additional normative and evaluative perspective provided by the framework. The analysis shows the potentiality of the grassroots social innovation for human development framework to illustrate the elements that an SI process should include in order to contribute to human development.