Thanks to EU funding, the EU-INNOVATE (Sustainable lifestyles 2.0: End user integration, innovation and entrepreneurship) project investigated the active roles of users in influencing sustainable lifestyles and transitioning to a green economy in Europe. To achieve its aims, the project examined new courses of action towards a sustainable society that are more user centred and user driven. It explored the creative, innovative and entrepreneurial roles of users in developing novel sustainable products, services and systems. Work began by analysing the past and present roles of users in order to provide insight into the evolution of unsustainable European lifestyles. Using these findings as a basis, the EU-INNOVATE team tested how simultaneous changes in food, living, mobility and energy may result in sustainable lifestyles in both the short and long term. Project partners focused on the integration of users in company-driven sustainability innovations. These include organisational forms, culture, structures and management styles that promote the integration of users in corporate sustainability innovation processes. They looked into user sustainability inventions, entrepreneurship and introductions, and studied novel business models that are expected to be suitable for easing the transition to future sustainable lifestyles. Researchers measured the impacts of future trends against the background of user sustainability innovation and entrepreneurship. The focus was on the political dimension of user sustainability innovation and entrepreneurship. As such, they assessed current policies and instruments at communal, regional, national and EU levels that influence user integration, invention and entrepreneurship in the context of sustainability. Project members established a comprehensive framework with institutions and actors that affect user integration and user innovation, and could potentially contribute to sustainable development. Lastly, they delivered concrete recommendations for innovators, entrepreneurs, managers, companies and policymakers. EU-INNOVATE shed light on the power of people in sustainable change. Industry and government will benefit from enabling users to exploit their innovative and entrepreneurial potential to foster sustainable transitions.
Sustainable lifestyles, end users, green economy, EU-INNOVATE, entrepreneurship