On the verge of change: Maverick innovation with mobility scooters



Publication Details

Birtchnell, T., Harada, T. & Waitt, G. (2018). On the verge of change: Maverick innovation with mobility scooters. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 27 118-128.


Mobility scooter users provide a practical means through which to better understand socio-technical mobility and low-carbon transitions. The paper offers insights into how socio-technical low-carbon transitions can be influenced by peripheral, disruptive and unanticipated niche-innovations. The article reports on original empirical work conducted with mobility scooter users in a car dependent city, and the ways they negotiate a fossil-fuelled transport system designed for automobiles. Concepts from the multi-level perspective (MLP) are applied to better understand how the individual efforts of mobility scooter users conceived as 'mavericks' form a consensus of local practices (or 'practice-consensus') in early processes of 'niche' innovations. In doing so, insights are offered into how maverick experimentation and innovation within the automobile transport regime help understand different drivers of transition, specifically 'mobility justice', sustainability and commercial interests.

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