Agriculture is considered to be responsible for environmental degradation. At the same time, the demands for food and non-food products are increasing and the contribution of agriculture to a sustainable development of territories is at stake. All these elements require a shift towards new production systems. In line with Farming Systems Research, farmers and other stakeholders cannot be considered as recipients of inventions, but are actors of innovation processes. We present definitions and applications on how the design of innovative farming systems can be organised. Two approaches, i.e. ‘de novo’ and ‘step-by-step’ design, are described. Innovative design must mobilize a collective and distributed intelligence. We present concrete examples of interactive design processes either with heterogeneous stakeholders or with extension and public bodies, as well as the methodologies that support these processes.
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