The SONNET project
SONNET brought diverse groups together to make sense of how social innovation can bring about a more sustainable energy system in Europe. How has social innovation contributed to making our energy sources, use, and production cleaner? How can social change help reduce our carbon footprint in the future?
Six cities and six research institutions in Europe made use of techniques – like ‘City Labs’, case studies, citizen surveys and more – to figure out how we can help make sure that social innovations accelerate the transition from the use of fossil fuels to a more sustainable energy system. By bringing together designated academic and local government partners, expertise of all kinds came together to co-create knowledge and solutions.
In addition to its research, SONNET hosted several regional, national, and European events to spread and co-create knowledge on social innovation and the energy transition.
SONNET is supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme.
...But what is "SOCIAL INNOVATION" anyway?
People around the world are trying out new social practices – or reviving practices from the past – in the hope that those meet our needs better than existing solutions do. Those new (or revived) practices are social innovations. In the energy sector this can look like: energy cooperatives; new funding schemes for energy retrofits; crowdfunding for energy saving projects; etc.
For examples of social innovations in the energy transition, check out what our City Labs worked on here.