University of Oulu

Simo Sarkki, Andrej Ficko, David Miller, Carla Barlagne, Mariana Melnykovych, Mikko Jokinen, Ihor Soloviy, Maria Nijnik, Human values as catalysts and consequences of social innovations, Forest Policy and Economics, Volume 104, 2019, Pages 33-44, ISSN 1389-9341,

Human values as catalysts and consequences of social innovations

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Author: Sarkki, Simo1; Ficko, Andrej2; MIller, David3;
Organizations: 1Cultural Anthropology, University of Oulu, PO Box 1000, 90014, Finland
2Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Vecna pot 83, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
3Information and Computation Sciences Group, The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, United Kingdom
4Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Group, The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, United Kingdom
5Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Group, The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, UK
6Institute of Ecological Economics and Management, Ukrainian National Forestry University, Gen. Chuprynky St. 103, Lviv 79057, Ukraine
7European Forest Institute, St. Pau Art Nouveau Site - St. Leopold Pavilion, St. Antoni Maria Claret, 167, 08025 Barcelona, Spain
8Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE). Eteläranta 55, 96300 Rovaniemi, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-09-27


We studied the role of human values in social innovations (SIs) in four forest-dependent communities (FDCs) in Europe. We draw on 71 semi-structured interviews with FDC members in Finland, Slovenia, the UK and Ukraine, and a survey of householders (n = 150) and focus group interviews with related stakeholders in Ukraine. The material collected was analyzed with mixed methods with respect to relational values as catalysts and consequences of SI. Relational values, which are derivative of the relationships between human and non-human world, and responsibilities towards these relationships, were divided into three categories: Doing, Belonging and Respecting. Doing encompasses the individual’s perspective of the opportunities offered by nature to individuals. Belonging encompasses a communal dimension of values manifested as the experience of “being at home” in social collectives and landscapes. Respecting addresses environmental and social justice. Common cause for SI was the need of FDCs to sustain or enhance relational values linked to forests while, once emerged, SIs also have potential to become global game-changers. SI encompasses the reconfiguration of: i) forest management and use, ii) decision-making structures and processes, and iii) stakeholder’s perceptions of sustainability. Examples include the co-management arrangement between a State forestry enterprise and the local community, buying woodland from the State by the FDCs to enable community forestry, reinvention of traditional forest management, and the active involvement of FDC members in halting illegal logging. As a conclusion, we developed a general value hierarchy accounting for value plurality in which relational, instrumental and intrinsic values can be interpreted from any perspective.

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Series: Forest policy and economics
ISSN: 1389-9341
ISSN-E: 1872-7050
ISSN-L: 1389-9341
Volume: 104
Pages: 33 - 44
DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2019.03.006
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 520 Other social sciences
Funding: The authors are grateful to the European Commission for support to the project on Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA) provided from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 677622, and to the Scottish Government, which supported this research through their Rural Affairs and the Environment Strategic Research Programme. The Finnish case study was supported by ReiGN “Reindeer Husbandry in a Globalizing North – Resilience, Adaptations and Pathways for Actions”, which is a Nordforsk-funded “Nordic Centre of Excellence” (project number 76915). The Ukrainian case was analyzed within the EU ENPI-FLEG Programme support.
EU Grant Number: (677622) SIMRA - Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas
Copyright information: © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (