Elsa Berthet

Elsa Berthet

AgreenSkills session, year: 2nd session, 2014

Receiving laboratory: Sustainable Futures Research Laboratory, McGill University, Canada

Country of origin : France

E-Mail: elsa.berthet@mcgill.ca;elsa.berthet@agroparistech.fr



Mobility project

From ecological modeling to the collective design of sustainable agro-ecosystems

My project first aims to better leverage ecological knowledge for the design of sustainable agro-ecosystems. To that end, I draw upon design sciences to analyse ecological modelling and reasoning. Second, I address the governance challenges of agro-ecosystem design processes. How to bring together stakeholders with diverging interests and help them tackle environmental issues in a creative way? Drawing on comparative case studies in Quebec and France, this research will contribute to a theory of the design of agro-ecosystems. This project should inform new research strategies in ecology, as well as the design of public policies seeking to foster collective agro-ecological innovation.

Biography & research interests

I completed a BA in life sciences at Paris Sud University (2002), an Agricultural Engineer degree at AgroParisTech (2006), and a M.S. in Management of Public Organizations and Policies at Paris Ouest University, Mines ParisTech and ESCP Europe Business School (2010). I hold a PhD in Management Science from Mines ParisTech and INRA (2013).

From 2007 to 2010, I worked as a research engineer at INRA (French National Institute of Agricultural Research), where I contributed to set up a European network coordinating national research programs (20 countries), and to manage national research programs dealing with agriculture and sustainable development.

I am now a postdoctoral fellow at the Sustainable Futures Research Laboratory in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences of McGill University, and an Attachée Scientifique Contractuelle at UMR Sadapt, INRA. I am also an associate research fellow at CGS, Mines ParisTech.

My research focuses on the collective design of sustainable agro-ecosystems (or cultivated ecosystems). Drawing on a design perspective, I study how ecologists work on agro-ecosystems, in order to better leverage ecological knowledge for the design of innovative and sustainable agro-ecosystems. I am also interested in the governance challenges regarding collective agro-ecological design processes: how to make people with diverging interests work together? How to design public policies that foster collective innovation processes?

Selected publications

Berthet E.T.A., Barnaud C., Girard N., Labatut J. & Martin G. (2015) How to foster agroecological innovations? A comparison of participatory design methods. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management (online first)

Berthet E.T.A., Bretagnolle V. & Segrestin B. (2014) Surmonter un blocage de l’innovation par la conception collective. Cas de la réintroduction de luzerne dans une plaine céréalière, Fourrages, 217, 13-21

Berthet E.T.A., Bretagnolle V. & Segrestin B. (2012) Analyzing the Design Process of Farming Practices Ensuring Little Bustard Conservation: Lessons for Collective Landscape Management, Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 36:3, 319-336

Conference presentations

Berthet E., Segrestin B. & Weil B. (2015) Agro-ecosystems as ecological funds: a condition for innovative design? 8th International Workshop on Design Theory, Special Interest Group of the Design Society, 26-27 January 2015

Levillain K., Agogué M. & Berthet E. (2014) Framing a generative common purpose: a critical skill for social entrepreneurs to achieve social innovations. ISPIM Americas Innovation Forum, Montréal, Canada, 5-8 October 2014

Berthet E., Bretagnolle V., Tichit M., Valceschini E. & Segrestin B. (2014) Ecosystem services & common goods: A design perspective to highlight the pitfalls. 7th ESP Conference “Local action for the common good”, San José, Costa Rica, 8-12 September 2014

Agogué, M., Berthet, E., Fredberg, T., Le Masson, P., Segrestin, B., Stoetzel, M., Wiener, M. & Yström, A. (2013) A Contingency Approach to Open Innovation Intermediaries: The Management Principles of the “Intermediary of the Unknown”, 13th Conference of the European Academy of Management (EURAM), “Democratizing Management”, Istanbul, Turkey, 26-29 June 2013

Prost L., Berthet E., Cerf M., Jeuffroy M.-H., Labatut J. & Meynard J.-M. (2013) Specific characteristics of innovative design in agriculture: a distributed design of biotechnical objects. 6th SIG Design Theory Meeting, Paris, 4-5 February 2013

Bretagnolle, V. & Berthet, E. (2012) Managing grasslands biodiversity at a landscape level to foster ecosystem services in intensive cereal systems: from ecological knowledge to collective action, Second International Symposium on Integrated Crop-Livestock Systems. Porto Alegre, Brazil, 8-12 October 2012

Berthet, E., Segrestin, B. & Bretagnolle V. (2012) Governance challenges raised by the design of multiple ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes, Ecosummit, Columbus, OH, USA, 1-5 October 2012

Bretagnolle V., Balent G., Thenail C. & Berthet E. (2012) Gestion de la biodiversité en milieu céréalier intensif : importance des prairies aux échelles locales et régionales [Biodiversity management in an intensive cereal region: importance of grasslands at local and regional scales]. Innovations Agronomiques, 2012, 22, 31-43 (Proceedings of INRA CIAg conference, 24 October 2012)

Berthet, E., Barnaud, C., Girard, N. & Labatut, J. (2012) Toward a reflexive framework to compare collective design methods for farming system innovation. Online proceedings of the 10th European IFSA (International Farming Systems Association) Symposium, Aarhus, Denmark, 1-4 July 2012

Agogué, M., Berthet, E. & Hooge S. (2012) From ecology to management sciences: towards a modeling of the dynamics of stakeholders in an innovating ecosystem, 19TH IPDM (International Product Development Management) Conference, Manchester, UK, 17-19 June 2014

Berthet E. (2011) From common pool resources to collectively designed resources: A need for innovative governance systems. Poster presented at Elinor Ostrom’s doctoral master class, Montpellier, France, 21 June 2011

Berthet E. (2011) Innovative design for common goods: collective strategies and governance. The case of natural ecosystem management. IPDM Doctoral Workshop, Delft, The Netherlands, 5-7 June 2011

Berthet E. (2011) La capacité d’innovation, un enjeu sous-estimé des politiques environnementales? Cas de la mise en œuvre de Natura 2000 en plaine céréalière. Colloque Ecologisation des politiques et des pratiques agricoles – INRA, Avignon, France, 16-18 March 2011

Book and book chapter

Berthet E. (2014) Concevoir l’écosystème, un nouveau défi pour l’agriculture. Presses des Mines, Paris

Berthet E. and Segrestin B. (2014) L’agriculture au défi de la conception innovante, in Conception d’idéotypes de plantes pour une agriculture durable, Dir. : Debaeke P. et Quilot-Turion B. – Ecole-Chercheurs INRA-CIRAD – FormaSciences


Berthet E. (2013) Contribution à une théorie de la conception des agro-écosystèmes – Fonds écologique et inconnu commun. Thèse de doctorat, Mines ParisTech-INRA, Paris https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/pastel-00874630/document

Berthet E. (2010) La conception innovante à l’appui d’une gestion collective des services écosystémiques. Etude d’un cas de mise en oeuvre de Natura 2000 en plaine céréalière. Master 2, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, ESCP, Mines ParisTech

Awards & patents

2015: Nominated for the Thesis Prize of ANDESE (Association Nationale des Docteurs ès Sciences Économiques et en Gestion)



E-Mail: elsa.berthet@mcgill.ca;elsa.berthet@agroparistech.fr

Website(s): http://sustainability-research.mcgill.ca