Paradigm shifts and new frameworks for eco-mobility

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Puebla (2016)


We define eco-mobility as the set of “sustainable mobility” solutions, which encompasses all mobility options — individual or collective, public or private — that contribute positively to economic and environmental performance challenges of sustainability (including notably, but not exclusively, energy efficiency and reductions in GHG emissions; cf. Pillot 2011). Eco-mobility is thus a field or class of eco-innovation as defined by Klemmer et al. (1999).

In view of these features, eco-mobility seems necessarily to engage paradigm shifts (at the levels both of end-use and of technologies) and to require new frameworks for the interpretation and analysis of strategies and relations of actors in the sector.

By “paradigm shift” we refer, therefore, as much to changes in attitudes and patterns of use, as to innovations in the technologies themselves. In this, we align with the definition provided by Mackay & Metcalfe (2002) for whom, a disruptive innovation impacts simultaneously on the structure of supply and the patterns of goods/service demand. This is our starting point for our analysis of eco-mobility as eco-innovation and our investigation of the factors contributing to value creation and to the business models that emerge.

However, science and technology do not only appear as being sources of progress, but also as being carriers of new risks, particularly to society. Therefore, it is to consider the consequences of disruptive innovation : users needs should they always be satisfied ? What are the direct and indirect effects of these innovations in particular on society (or for exemple on future generations) ? How to define the responsibility (accountability/liability) of the organization that innovates in eco-mobility (perhaps as the responsibility principle promoted by H. Jonas) ?

This paper deals with the specific nature of eco-innovation and with a management necessarily "responsible" that should accompany the eco-mobility innovation diffusion. The first part analyzes how eco-innovation in mobility sector pursuing economic and environmental purposes may produce environmental and social risks . The second part addresses the management mechanisms including social responsibility that could promote eco-mobility innovation at the firm’s level. In conclusion are mentioned new incentive instruments to promote eco-mobility innovation in a responsible way.

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