3. Developing new models – how CSOs can support the seeds of the new economy

A transition to a sustainable economy requires complex learning processes and fundamental innovations. Due to the inherent path dependencies and the short-term focus of politics and business, this cannot be delivered solely by national politics, international negotiation processes and mainstream industries.

CSOs should get more actively and strategically involved in catalysing bottom-up innovation initiatives as well as supporting and linking up change agents who otherwise remain isolated in their communities and organisations.

Importantly the new practices and models need to support the transition from an economy configured to maximise economic growth to one that operates within ecological limits and maximises societal wellbeing.

Furthermore, innovations need to be scaled up and mainstreamed and be part of a bigger story that tips the system towards the new paradigm.

These processes of innovation, with their phases of experimentation, scaling up and mainstreaming offer a variety of roles that CSOs should take on as an ecosystem of organisations, each fulfilling their particular role and playing to their particular strengths…

Developing new models is a key leverage point for more effective CSO strategies: Read more. 
Further Readings
Civil Society in Sustainable Energy Transitions - Adrian Smith (2010a)
Grassroots Innovations - Adrian Smith (2010b) 
How to support… Collaboration for communities: Giving power to partnership - BASSAC (2010)
Another “Great Transformation”? Social and cultural consequences of climate change - Claus Leggewie and Harald Welzer (2010)
The Post-Copenhagen Roadmap Towards Sustainability Differentiated Geographic Approaches, Integrated Over Goals - Felix S. Creutzig and Daniel M. Kammen (2009)
Beyond the Crisis: Towards a New Urban Paradigm  - Laura Burkhalter and Manuell Castells (2009)
Using Emergence to Take Social Innovation to Scale - Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze (2006)
The new politics of climate change: why we are failing and how we will succeed - Stephen Hale (2010)