FLIARA: Female-Led Innovation in Agriculture and Rural Areas
Key contemporary trends, such as climate change, gender inequalities and the COVID-19 pandemic, bring new challenges to European rural areas. Change also brings opportunities to foster more resilient, inclusive and sustainable rural regions, such as created by the digital and ecological transitions. However, there is a need for all individuals and communities to participate in rural innovation. Traditionally, however, rural womenâ€™s employment opportunities and contribution to innovation has been overshadowed, and often suppressed, by for example a patriarchal ethos. FLIARA (Female-Led Innovation in Agriculture and Rural Areas) uniquely proposes a transdisciplinary, innovative methodology to improve understanding, awareness and recognition of womenâ€™s role in a more sustainable rural future, as well as develop proposals for how more effective policy and governance frameworks can support this and enhance womenâ€™s capacity to contribute to it. FLIARA will combine futures and case study methods, alongside network building and policy benchmarking, while being underpinned by a co-created conceptual and assessment framework. Using a unique foresight approach, FLIARA will identify visions for sustainable farm and rural futures and the sustainability innovations needed to realise these visions. Using a thematic case-study approach, project partners will investigate women-led innovations on farms and in wider rural areas looking at their pathways in the innovation ecosystem. Building on the power of social networks, a Community of Practice will be developed with women identified throughout the case studies networking alongside key innovation policy and governance stakeholders. The Community of Practice Network will occur in conjunction with a Campaign of Visibility for women-led rural innovations, spotlighting women as key innovation actors. Project outcomes will result in end-user ready resources, including policy proposals and practical tools supporting women-led innovation.