Whilst a global transition towards sustainability appears to be a pressing challenge, several surveys have shown that sustainable principles and values seem to emerge on a global scale. Various social movements have laid claim to such a transition. An example of these movements is the No TAV movement in the lower part of the Susa Valley in Italy. Since the 1990s, this area has been the scene of a territorial conflict pitting the local inhabitants against the Italian state on a 54km long railway tunnel project under the Alps. By strongly rejecting this project and collective participation in numerous resistance movements, the Low-Valsusans have gradually become a territorialized community whose members seem to share a set of sustainable principles and values. In our research, we have questioned the impact of this very peculiar context on the local small and medium entrepreneurs, trying to find out if they are sharing the sustainable norms of their community, and whether it influences their activities. Are the Low-Valsusan entrepreneurs currently in transition towards a sustainable solidarity economy? We have been able to portray an ongoing social innovation process in the lower part of the Susa Valley through which these entrepreneurs are gradually getting involved in the implementation of the sustainable principles and values of their community. After the introduction of our transdisciplinary theoretical and methodological framework, this paper will describe this peculiar social innovation process that seems to be currently transforming the Low-Valsusan entrepreneurs’ activities.
Keywords: NO TAV, SUSTAINABILITY, SOLIDARITY ECONOMY, ENTREPRENEURS, ECONOMICS OF CONVENTIONS, SOCIAL INNOVATION