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News / GLOBELICS 2011

The STEPS Centre ran a special session at the 9th Globelics Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 17 November, entitled Innovation for Social Inclusion and Sustainable Development.

Special Session: Innovation for Social Inclusion and Sustainable Development
17th November, 10.45-12.15 hrs


Links to individual videos from the main presentations in the session are below:

Adrian Ely on the New Manifesto
Adrian Smith on innovation and social justice
Dinesh Abrol on social innovation & India (presented by Adrian Ely)
Hernán Thomas on innovation in Latin America
Bengt-Åke Lundvall on Science, Technology, Society
Rasigan Maharajh on Innovation, the future and South Africa
Xiaobo Wu on innovation and development in China

Mariano Fressoli & Hernán Thomas, Instituto de Estudios Sociales – Universidad Nacional de Quilmes & Centro de Economía de la Innovación y el Desarrollo – Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Adrian Ely, STEPS Centre, University of Sussex, United Kingdom

This session is an initiative aimed at encouraging dialogue among diverse theoretical and normative approaches developed at regional levels: Latin America, Europe, South and East Asia and Africa. The session goal is to promote, coordinate and empower strategies of social intervention and public policies on innovation for inclusive and sustainable development.

The session included introductions to the field, highlighting insights from innovation studies that help to understand the role of innovation in fostering social inclusion and sustainable development, and also pointing to the ongoing challenges that innovation scholars face in addressing these vitally important issues.

Such challenges include:

– What do we know about directions of innovation and how they can be supported to contribute to social inclusion and environmental sustainability goals?
– (How) can we, ex ante, identify specific innovations/ niches that address social inclusion or sustainability goals? Is this necessary if we are to support them?
– What (new) market-based tools are available to foster innovation for a) social inclusion and b) environmental sustainability?
– How to transform individual solutions to poverty alleviation into technological systems for social and economic inclusion?
– What political tools are available? How can democratic forces better be brought-to-bear on both innovation policy makers and on the innovation process itself?

The rest of the session was organised around regional presentations, with experts providing short interventions on the similarities and differences between approaches outlined by previous speakers. Each of these was followed by short periods of open discussion, in which others from those same geographical regions were invited to feed in their own perspectives.

Session timing:
10.45-10.55 Introduction to the session, including outline of work on social innovation in Latin America (+ up to 5 minutes questions), Hernán Thomas and Mariano Fressoli, Instituto de Estudios sobre la Ciencia y la Tecnología, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Argentina

10.55-11.05 ‘Innovation, Sustainability, Development: A New Manifesto’ – Insights from an international project (+ up to 5 minutes questions), Adrian Ely, STEPS Centre, University of Sussex

11.05-11.15 Perspectives from India, Dinesh Abrol, National Institute for Science, Technology and Development Studies, New Delhi

11.15-11.25 Perspectives from China, Xiaobo Wu, Zhejiang University, China

11.25-11.35 Perspectives from South Africa, Rasigan Maharaj, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa

11.35-11.45 Response – grassroots innovation, social technologies and sustainable development, Adrian Smith, STEPS Centre, Sussex University

11.45-12.05 Comments from the floor

12.05-12.15 Summing up and discussion, Bengt-Ake Lundvall, Aalborg University

Key publications

>> Innovation, Sustainability, Development and Social Inclusion: Lessons from Latin America (pdf, 1MB)

This Working Paper examines the story of innovation in Latin America, and examines intellectual, social, political and governance changes with an impact on social inclusion and sustainability in the region.

About Globelics

Globelics (the Global Network for the Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems) is an international network of scholars who apply the concept of “learning, innovation, and competence building system” (LICS) as their framework and are dedicated to the strengthening of LICS in developing countries, emerging economies and societies in transition.

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