Sam Beechener

PhD Student
Land Economy, Environment & Society

Research interests 

The trajectory of change may be uncertain but global agri-food systems are, nevertheless, in transition.  The prevailing productivist ethos under pressure from powerful, sometimes conflicting, external forces.  For example, raising productivity to feed a growing population; reacting to climate change; addressing greenhouse gas emissions; reducing reliance on scarce natural resources; and responding to market signals.  Each a challenge in its own right.  Together, having all the characteristics of a so-called wicked-problem with the associated risk that potential solutions will give rise to hitherto unforeseen problems.  In this context, innovation is expected to play a key role in enabling the agri-food sector to adjust and adapt.  Such are the over-arching complexities, however, that innovation activities are increasingly reliant on interdisciplinary approaches to co-develop effective responses.

While this can seem remote from the day-to-day management decisions taken by producers at the grass-roots of the industry, farm plans represent a possible intersection between the global and the local.  The introduction of Farm Environment Plans in New Zealand, for example, is seen by some as a mechanism to raise awareness of the interactions between farming and the natural environment, encouraging desirable behaviours and contributing to beneficial outcomes.  To others, these plans represent a threat to their very freedom to farm.  My interest is in the role of co-innovation in the development of a range of farm planning instruments in a New Zealand context.  How this anticipates their subsequent scaling-up, by creating an enabling culture of change; and scaling-out across regions and communities.

PhD title

  • How co-innovation impacts on scaling

PhD supervisors

  • Dr Andrew Barnes
  • Dr Ann Bruce
    University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Laurens Klerkx
  • Dr Neels Botha
  • Dr Chrysa Lamprinopoulou

Sam Beechener

PhD Student

Address: Land Economy, Environment & Society, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG.

Telephone: 01315354184