Sustainability and Social Justice

Social Learning Through Technological Inventions in Low-Impact Individual Mobility: The Cases of Sparrow and Gizmo

Document Type

Book Chapter


This chapter examines two cases of technological innovation in individual mobility that is driven by purely entrepreneurial spirit. While the producers of Sparrow and Gizmo understand well the technical and infrastructure issues related to the successful introduction of the vehicles, they have little understanding of, or appreciation for, the influence of the social context on diffusion of technological innovations. Interest in innovative technologies for individual mobility that can lower our dependence on the automobile is high. Society thus faces a dilemma—the dominant sociotechnical regime of the automobile, with its associated cultural, industrial, built and institutional structure, resists the changes necessary for a more sustainable individual mobility solution. The paradox extends to other social dimensions of individual mobility. Both vehicles suffer from the classification problem, being neither a car nor a motorcycle. Such initiatives could create a fruitful discourse and generate new ideas about the role of sustainable individual mobility solutions.

Publication Title

The Business of Sustainable Mobility: From Vision to Reality

Publication Date


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