Sustainability, Development, Social Justice:Towards a new politics of innovation Professor Melissa LeachSTEPS CentreInstit...
Scientific and technological advance, but deepening crises for people and environment – in a complex, dynamic world<br />
The promise of science, technology and innovation<br />I:  Competing in a global economy<br />Growth                  pove...
Winners – and losers<br />I<br />I<br />India and China shining; peri-urban dwellers struggling <br />Africa connected; ma...
II: Tackling poverty and environmental 	challenges directly<br />Public-private partnerships<br />Focused technologies and...
Winners – and losers<br />I<br />I<br />Drought tolerant maize as part of Africa’s green revolution; but resilience may me...
Innovation:<br />Towards a 3D Agenda<br />Diversity, Directionality, Distribution<br />Politics<br />Broadening the scope ...
Some working definitions<br />Science – the process of generating knowledge<br /> <br />Technology – the application of sc...
Beyond a linear model:<br />research - translational research - product development – consumption or 								application<b...
Not just R and D but also D and E
Not just technologies but also their social meanings and arrangements
Involving a wide set of actors and interactions (labs, firms, funders, civil society organisations, users as innovators….)
Embedded learning, capabilities and experimentation throughout system
And wider institutional environments: policies, regulation, institutions, finance, IPRs etc
Extending across local and global scales</li></ul>Broadening the scope ofInnovation<br />
space of technologicalpossibilities<br />time<br />Innovation as a scalar (more is better)<br />Innovation as optimisation...
space of technologicalpossibilities<br />time<br />But there is always directionality – and this is political<br />eg: 	in...
space of technologicalpossibilities<br />time<br />Importance of diversity in innovative activity and systems:<br /><ul><l...
Enables pursuit of multiple directions</li></ul>-    Accommodates plurality of contexts, priorities, values <br />-    Fos...
Innovation pathways: three mutually-supporting Ds, and politics everywhere<br />Debating which…<br />Challenging dominant ...
Pursuing a 3D innovation agenda - some examples<br />Community-led total sanitation: <br />bottom-up innovation to address...
Scojo: Social Entrepreneurs in health-related markets in South Asia<br />Broadening the scope ofInnovation<br />Further in...
Participatory plant breeding in marginal environments<br />Broadening the scope ofInnovation<br />Further information: Mil...
Multi-criteria mapping (MCM) to explore “pathways in and out of maize” in Kenya <br />Broadening the scope ofInnovation<br...
Opening research allocations at the African Technology Policy Studies (ATPS) Network <br />Broadening the scope ofInnovati...
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Sustainability, Development, Social Justice: Towards a new politics of innovation

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Presentation by Melissa Leach, STEPS Centre Director, at the UNESCO EPFL Conference on ‘Technologies for Development’, Lausanne, 8-10 February 2010

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  • Great promise of science, technology and innovation in this context. Two arguments/link/races/routes:In the first, Science, technology and innovation is seen to support national economic growth and successful participation in an increasingly globalised economy; a cluster of attributes and processes central to this; assumes poverty reduced through trickle down and sustainability addressed as countries acquire the means to do so
  • Many successes and exciting promisesBut also losers:Rapid economic growth in China and India on the back of hi-tech knowledge industries, yet poor peri-urban populations of the new shining cities must struggle for livelihood and health, often amidst polluted land, air and wastewaterFantastic promise of connecting Africa with fibre-optic cables, Seacom project stimulated by the FIFA world cup but ushering in a new era of connectivity and investment, won’t directly help the poorest, those who remain isolated, or those who don’t speak a global languageNot saying that anything intrinsically wrong with this route – but it and its consequences follow and support a lock-in…. From which other people and problems are excluded or lose out
  • So what about the second route – science, technology and innovation geared directly to meeting the environment and development challenge that affect the poor?STI to meet specific technical challenges around environment and developmentHere also, a cluster of attributes and processes seen as centralOften geared to targets – e.g. those around the MDGs, or Co2 reductionsAnd we are in promising times – just last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos the Gates Foundation committed an unprecedented £6.24 billion investment in vaccines for children geared to saving 8 million lives by 2020.Today’s era of philanthrocapitalism and PPPs is massively expanding the scope for science, technology and innovation geared to challenges that were once neglected because unprofitable.
  • Again, many success stories and promises.But often, apparent winners founder amidst particular local contexts, with their realities, perspectives, priorities, and socio-cultural understandings The biotech-led ‘green revolution for Africa’, such as its manifestation in the scientific search for drought-tolerant maize in East Africa, will not meet the needs of dryland small farmers who see their resilience amidst CC better met through cropping and livelihood diversification, miving in and out of maize.The vaccine-led Global Polio eradication initiative foundered in Northern Nigeria where local priories focused on other diseases and basic health care, and socio-political contexts associated highly-resourced external technology interventions with political terror in a post 9/11 world.The roll-out of bednets – at least partly responsible for massive declines in child mortality in Africa in the last decade – foundered in Western Kenya because they were the colour of the shrouds used to wrap the dead.Such problems and missed targets arise, again, because of concentration and lock-in, this time around big-wib, scale-able tachnologies that are seen to meet grand challenges.But context matters and technologies that work in one place will carry quite different meanings and implications in others.We are almost always dealing with socio-technical systems, where social arrangements shape how a technology works, and for whom.meet the – but also – from vaccines that have eradicated smallpox and nearly eradicated polio; to oral therapies that have saved lives of millions of children with diarrhoea, to breeding of HYVs of rice and wheat that transformed food security in S. Asia in Green Revolution; to mobile phones that enable farmers to access market information for their crops; to water-harvesting technologies and stone lines that have assisted soil conservation; to promises: biofortification, needle-free vaccines, drought-tolerant maize….Rapid economic growth in China and India on the back of hi-tech knowledge industries, yet poor peri-urban populations of the new shining cities must struggle for livelihood and health, often amidst polluted land, air and wastewaterFantastic promise of connecting Africa with fibre-optic cables, Seacom project stimulated by the FIFA world cup but ushering in a new era of connectivity and investment, won’t directly help the poorest, those who remain isolated, or those who don’t speak a global languageNot saying that anything intrinsically wrong with this route – but it and its consequences follow and support a lock-in…. From which other people and problems are excluded or lose out
  • I don’t want to deny any of these successes, or the generic importance of either of these ideas of progress. They need political commitment, and investment. But I will argue that this needs to be thought about and targeted in new ways, that we call a ‘3D agenda’This means fostering three Ds in innovation, which in turn requires far more attention to be accorded to politicsWill elaborate on each of these in a minuteBut first, important to acknowledge why I am not just talking about S and T, but about innovation – and innovation systems, and how these need to be understood.
  • There are of course many possible definitions of science, technology and innovation, but as these basic, working definitions make clear, innovation can make use of science and technology, but goes beyond it.
  • We also need to move our conceptualisation beyond a linear model, to think in terms of innovative activity and innovation systems as involving multiple interactions between a wide array of actors.This broad conceptualisation of an innovation system, in which creativity and learning are dispersed throughout, is an essential basis for the agenda I’m about to propose
  • Mutual complementarity of 3 DsDiversity essential to avoid lock-inEnable recognition of multiple possible directionsAnd responses to different contexts; innovations that work for particular people and environmentsThis is essential to address distribution, which requires (a) challenging those innovation pathways that work against environmental concerns and social justice, and (b) recognizing and building on the perspectives, priorities and strategies of poor people themselvesRequiring political processes, to resist the processes of concentration and lock-in that ‘close down’ the directions taken by innovation pathways and ‘crowd out’ the paths favoured by more marginal groups, and to promote the latter
  • Let’s look at some practical examples where, in different ways, elements of these 3Ds are being pursued – towards innovations that work for particular, poor people and the environments.Bottom-up innovation to address local challenges: community-led total sanitation Sanitation, previously neglected in much development funding, is now enjoying increased support. In contrast to many top-down sanitation projects, community-led total sanitation (CLTS) offers an alternative that takes communities themselves as the point of departure. With the aim of total elimination of open defecation, the emphasis is on facilitation rather than instruction. CLTS highlights how communities, through awareness-raising using participatory methods, are capable of analysing the problems associated with open defecation and the risk of disease spread, and of conceiving of innovative social and technological arrangements to deal with these themselves - rather than outsiders offering prescribed solutions. Massive diversity of technological deisgns emerges, adapted to local conditions. CLTS has so far spread to more than 20 countries with varying degrees of success. Widespread sharing of local innovations and experiences, and ongoing research, are paving the way for further improvement geared towards greater sustainability. This emerging second &amp;apos;wave&amp;apos; of CLTS emphasises greater diversity of CLTS pathways adapted to particular climatic, ecological and cultural settings, and greater attention to distribution within as well as between communities.
  • Scojo: Social Entrepreneurs in health-related markets in South Asia The social enterprise Scojo designs and produces low-cost eyeglasses for people with age-related vision problems, and has also established distribution systems or linked with other organizations that have a local distribution network. In Bangladesh, Scojo is working with BRAC, a very large NGO with a major health programme, which has trained an extensive network of village health volunteers. To motivate continuing involvement, BRAC also identified a need to ensure that this volunteering helps to maintain a livelihood in a context where there are increasingly other opportunities for the volunteers to earn a living. Thus Scojo is filling an important need in rural populations for the distribution of low-cost eyeglasses while also providing income to BRAC’s health volunteers, effectively linking need and demand through an innovative organizational arrangement. 
  • Participatory plant breeding in marginal environments Current large-scale programmes such as the ‘Drought-tolerant Maize for Africa’ (DTMA) and ‘Water-efficient Maize for Africa’ (WEMA) adopt an upstream focus on developing generic technologies for ‘mega environments’. An alternative example is provided by the innovative CIMMYT-led African Maize Stress (AMS) project, which departed from the convention of breeding for optimal environments and developed new methodologies for diverse ‘managed stress’ conditions. The research team employed a participatory varietal-evaluation methodology popularly known as ‘mother-and-baby’ trials. While falling short of the type of demand-led methodologies promoted by ‘farmer first’ advocates, the AMS project did incorporate a secondary stage of farmer participation to follow on-station research. Reference: Agriculture background paper - Millstone, E., Thompson, J. and Brooks, S. (2009) Reforming the Global Food and Agriculture System: Towards a Questioning Agenda for the New Manifesto, STEPS Working Paper 26, Brighton: STEPS Centre
  • Multi-criteria mapping (MCM) to explore “pathways in and out of maize” in Kenya  As a tool for opening up the appraisal of policy or technology options, MCM helps to capture more diverse inputs to decision-making than more aggregative approaches, by allowing non-quantifiable factors to be explored on a par with quantitative measures. MCM exercises can thus provide policy-makers with information that attends to issues of distribution and diverse values, as a route to more democratically accountable decisions. For example the STEPS Centre’s project “Environmental Change and Maize Innovation Pathways in Kenya” is providing MCM-based outputs for decision-makers that identify alternative pathways in and out of maize in risk prone environments. Participatory methods with farmers, with scientists and with decision-makers explore alternative innovation pathways, and distributional implications. References: Forthcoming project outputs on http://www.steps-centre.org/ourresearch/crops,%20kenya.htmlwww.multicriteriamapping.org
  • Opening research allocations at the African Technology Policy Studies (ATPS) Network  The ATPS is a network of researchers, policy-makers, private sector and civil society representatives that serves to link producers and users of STI policy research from across the African continent. The network has begun to adopt an innovation in its resource allocation process that invites quantitative assessment and qualitative comments on proposals presented at its annual meeting. These inputs from different stakeholders are fed to the ATPS science, technology and innovation committee as it decides on a list of funded projects. Whilst some administrative challenges still remain, this represents a step towards opening up and democratising the process of research funding around innovation, sustainability and development in Africa. 
  • This is only a small selection of many possible examples. Indeed takingthese Ds seriously both endorses and builds on many shifts and exemplars in thinking and practice around innovation in recent years, recognizing and paying greater attention to the significance of things that are already happening, and that people are already doing.These implicate many parts of a (broadly-defined) innovation systemBuilding on these, I argue that we need to move towards practical recommendations…..
  • The STEPS Centre, with colleagues and partners around the world, is in the process of doing this through our ‘New Manifesto’ project.I will conclude by saying just a few words about the process and ways that you might engage in what we see as necessarily an inclusive, global debate.This is the process…
  • Sustainability, Development, Social Justice: Towards a new politics of innovation

    1. 1. Sustainability, Development, Social Justice:Towards a new politics of innovation Professor Melissa LeachSTEPS CentreInstitute of Development Studies, Sussex, UKUNESCO EPFL Conference on ‘Technologies for Development’, Lausanne, 8-10 February 2010<br />
    2. 2. Scientific and technological advance, but deepening crises for people and environment – in a complex, dynamic world<br />
    3. 3. The promise of science, technology and innovation<br />I: Competing in a global economy<br />Growth poverty reduction, capacity to deal with environmental problems<br />Connectivity<br />Infrastructure<br />S & T capacity<br />Innovative activity<br />Markets<br />Investment<br />Economic growth<br />
    4. 4. Winners – and losers<br />I<br />I<br />India and China shining; peri-urban dwellers struggling <br />Africa connected; many rural villagers isolated<br />Broadening the scope ofInnovation<br />Concentration and lock-in: Advanced sectors, places, people<br />Others left out, lose out, suffer fall-out<br />
    5. 5. II: Tackling poverty and environmental challenges directly<br />Public-private partnerships<br />Focused technologies and silver bullets<br />Rolling out, scaling-up<br />Philanthro-capitalism<br />Broadening the scope ofInnovation<br />Targets<br />National and local ‘versioning’ & implementing capacities <br />
    6. 6. Winners – and losers<br />I<br />I<br />Drought tolerant maize as part of Africa’s green revolution; but resilience may mean diverse cropping and livelihoods <br />Polio vaccines to meet eradication targets; but missed priorities and incited anxieties in northern Nigeria<br />Broadening the scope ofInnovation<br />Concentration and lock-in: Scale-able, big-win technologies<br />But local contexts, perspectives, and social dimensions also matter<br />
    7. 7. Innovation:<br />Towards a 3D Agenda<br />Diversity, Directionality, Distribution<br />Politics<br />Broadening the scope ofInnovation<br />
    8. 8. Some working definitions<br />Science – the process of generating knowledge<br /> <br />Technology – the application of scientific knowledge, frequently involving invention – the creation of a novel object, process or technique<br /> <br />Innovation – developing new ways of doing things in a place or by people where they have not been used before. May involve the bringing together of new ideas and technology, or finding novel applications of existing technologies (Conway and Waage 2010). <br /> <br /> <br />Broadening the scope ofInnovation<br />
    9. 9. Beyond a linear model:<br />research - translational research - product development – consumption or application<br /> <br />To (broadly-defined) innovation systems:<br /><ul><li>Interplay between stages; feedbacks
    10. 10. Not just R and D but also D and E
    11. 11. Not just technologies but also their social meanings and arrangements
    12. 12. Involving a wide set of actors and interactions (labs, firms, funders, civil society organisations, users as innovators….)
    13. 13. Embedded learning, capabilities and experimentation throughout system
    14. 14. And wider institutional environments: policies, regulation, institutions, finance, IPRs etc
    15. 15. Extending across local and global scales</li></ul>Broadening the scope ofInnovation<br />
    16. 16. space of technologicalpossibilities<br />time<br />Innovation as a scalar (more is better)<br />Innovation as optimisation (an ideal pathway for any given challenge)<br />no distinctions … no alternatives … no politics … no choice <br />
    17. 17. space of technologicalpossibilities<br />time<br />But there is always directionality – and this is political<br />eg: industrial agriculture / LEISA, marker-assisted breeding centralised thermal power / distributed renewable energy<br />IP-driven pharmaceuticals / preventive open-source public health<br />Determines the distribution of benefits, costs and risks from innovation; winners and losers<br />
    18. 18. space of technologicalpossibilities<br />time<br />Importance of diversity in innovative activity and systems:<br /><ul><li>Mitigates lock-in and concentration
    19. 19. Enables pursuit of multiple directions</li></ul>- Accommodates plurality of contexts, priorities, values <br />- Fosters continuous innovation<br />- Hedges against surprise and the unexpected in a complex, dynamic world<br />
    20. 20. Innovation pathways: three mutually-supporting Ds, and politics everywhere<br />Debating which…<br />Challenging dominant interests…<br />Massively increased DIVERSITY<br />Multiple possible DIRECTIONS<br />Broadening the scope ofInnovation<br />Challenging dominant interests….<br />Recognising and supporting the marginalised….<br />Promoting the pathways that favour marginal people, places, issues and perspectives…..<br />DISTRIBUTION<br />In favour of sustainability and social justice<br />
    21. 21. Pursuing a 3D innovation agenda - some examples<br />Community-led total sanitation: <br />bottom-up innovation to address local challenges<br />Broadening the scope ofInnovation<br />Reference: Movik, S. and Mehta, L. (2009) Going with the Flow? Directions of Innovation in the Water and Sanitation Domain, STEPS Working Paper 29, Brighton: STEPS Centre<br />
    22. 22. Scojo: Social Entrepreneurs in health-related markets in South Asia<br />Broadening the scope ofInnovation<br />Further information: Bloom, G. (2009) Science and Technology for Health: Towards Universal Access in a Changing World, STEPS Working Paper 28, Brighton: STEPS Centre<br />
    23. 23. Participatory plant breeding in marginal environments<br />Broadening the scope ofInnovation<br />Further information: Millstone, E., Thompson, J. and Brooks, S. (2009) Reforming the Global Food and Agriculture System: Towards a Questioning Agenda for the New Manifesto, STEPS Working Paper 26, Brighton: STEPS Centre<br />
    24. 24. Multi-criteria mapping (MCM) to explore “pathways in and out of maize” in Kenya <br />Broadening the scope ofInnovation<br />Further information: http://www.steps-centre.org/ourresearch/crops,%20kenya.html<br />www.multicriteriamapping.org<br />
    25. 25. Opening research allocations at the African Technology Policy Studies (ATPS) Network <br />Broadening the scope ofInnovation<br />Further information:<br />- http://stepscentre-thecrossing.blogspot.com/2009/12/opening-up-research-funding-at-atps.html<br />
    26. 26. Opening up to diversity, fostering directions and distributional outcomes that favour the marginalised <br /><ul><li>Making marginalised priorities, perspectives and values central – recognition, research, voice
    27. 27. Debating alternative directions – methods, fora
    28. 28. Engaging diverse knowledges (formal and informal, technical and social, global and local) – research, collaborative practices, capacity-building and ‘bridging professionals’, adaptive learning processes
    29. 29. Supporting marginalised pathways – funding, capacities, socio-technical and organisational arrangements, building on movements</li></ul>Towards practical recommendations – for international agencies, funders, governments, scientists, civil society<br />Broadening the scope ofInnovation<br />
    30. 30. New Manifesto <br />Process and Activities<br /><ul><li>Background papers
    31. 31. Draft
    32. 32. Recommendations
    33. 33. Round Tables (15 +)
    34. 34. Website & Timeline
    35. 35. ‘Vox Pops’
    36. 36. Multi-media Manifesto
    37. 37. Launch – June 15 2010
    38. 38. Recommendations into </li></ul>action; follow-ups in <br />policy fora<br />Broadening the scope ofInnovation<br />
    39. 39. New Manifesto Round Tables<br />
    40. 40.
    41. 41. WIKI TIMELINE<br />
    42. 42. Video “Vox Pops” posted to STEPS Youtube channel<br />“If you If you had to make one recommendation to the UN, or another global body, about the future of innovation for sustainability and development, what would it be?”<br />
    43. 43. http://www.anewmanifesto.org<br />Join the debate!<br />

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