Ecosocial innovations enabling social work to promote new forms of sustainable economy
Matthies, A.‐L.; Peeters, J.; Hirvilammi, T.; Stamm, I. (2020). Ecosocial innovations enabling social work to promote new forms of sustainable economy. International Journal of Social Welfare, 29 (4), 378-389. DOI: 10.1111/ijsw.12423
Published inInternational Journal of Social Welfare
© 2020 The Authors. International Journal of Social Welfare published by Akademikerförbundet SSR (ASSR) and John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Social work research and practice that address environmental sustainability have already become prominent. However, a change in unsustainable economic structures is also urgently needed. This study explored emerging opportunities in theory and practice for a sustainable economy that are relevant to the aims of social work. As practical examples, our study concerns ‘ecosocial innovations’, i.e., social innovations that combine ecological and social goals. We analysed how these grassroots innovations in the field of social work reflect crucial shared conceptions of alternative economies. The qualitative data set comprised of 50 ecosocial innovations and six case studies in five European countries. The findings show a rich diversity of ecosocial innovations and describe how they reframe economic purposes, value economic diversity and democratise the economy. We suggest that social work might consider these practices as opportunities for collaboration, especially regarding work with people on the margins of the labour market. ...