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Triggering system innovation in agricultural innovation systems: Initial insights from a community for change in New Zealand


This article describes a process for stimulating engagement among change agents to develop a shared understanding of systemic problems in the agricultural innovation system (AIS), challenge prevalent institutional logics and identify actions they might undertake to stimulate system innovation. The process included (i) multiple actors from the AIS, (ii) reflexivity regarding underlying institutional logics, (iii) an iterative process of practical experimentation to challenge current practices and (iv) actions to encourage generative collaboration. Problem structuring supported change agents' development of a shared understanding of systemic problems and the role that interrelationships, perspectives and boundaries play in reinforcing or destabilizing current practices and institutional logics. Involving multiple actors from the AIS in challenging underlying institutional logics and encouraging collaboration appeared to stimulate project-level actions and recognition of wider AIS barriers. Collective system analyses for addressing structural changes, including the potential for system innovation, were beneficial. Simultaneously resolving innovation project actions with AIS actions remains a challenge.

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