Call for Papers
Many large organizations have undertaken numerous corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects to face environmental
problems, community development, social innovation and training the unemployed people for job skills, and the like (Campbell,
2007). This while managers of the public and cultural sectors and of non-profit organizations pursue innovation to challenge
the numerous complex social challenges, from conflicts due to ethnic, cultural, and political differences, to knowledge divide
and social exclusion. And political leaders underline the role of innovation for more environmental sustainability, and fight
increasing crime rates, and global jobs shortage (Lee, 2015).
Innovation is indeed increasingly becoming an imperative for policymakers around the globe (Pfotenhauer & Jasanoff, 2017a), several countries have even adopted innovation as their national policy agenda, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development notes in its “Innovation Strategy” that “while no single policy instrument holds all the answers, innovation is the key ingredient of any effort to im-prove people’s quality of life. It is [...] essential for addressing some of society’s most pressing issues, such as climate change, health and poverty” (OECD, 2010), and the European Commission instructively labeled the continent an “Innovation Union”, setting the tone for European self-imagination in the new millennium (European Commission, 2011), thus framing policy problems as problems of innovation.
Moreover, geeks and tech entrepreneurs are now part of the public and economic mainstream, and because of their engagement in societal and environmental challenges are more and more serving as role models for today’s teenage generation.
So, while innovation seems to transform societies – not only through new technological possibilities or economic growth, but also by shaping public discourse, and legitimizing major institutional interventions – it appears as the ultimate goal of innovation has become be the good life and the creation of a better future, where people can more freely and easily access to opportunities to learn and develop, be happy with the workplace and community, be engaged in good relationships, and also have a comfortable and healthy life style (Gallup-Healthways, 2015). Complex social challenges that, a decade ago, might have been framed differently – from low literacy rates to sluggish economic growth, growing inequality, obesity, traffic congestion, environmental degradation, all the way to climate change – now all demand innovation-centered solutions: the call for more innovation has become a panacea policy response that promises to solve problems and achieve the good life almost independently of their specifics (Pfotenhauer & Jasanoff, 2017a).
Creating such a future of good life requires much more than just smart digital technologies, and government support, it requires shared visions and goals (Kramer & Pfitzer, 2016; Porter & Kramer, 2011) and convergence practices, as well as problem setting and decision making methodologies that are available to remove many challenging barriers. Design thinking, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, hackathons, 3D technology, and MOOC and gamification in the learning domain are only few examples of this innovation approaches applied to deal with complex problems and help the process of creating a better future, where the main purpose is often to develop the “common good” through co-creation of shared visions.
But, overall, is there an underlying logic to these approaches maybe suggesting that we are unable to address grand societal challenges and ensure good life to citizens because our societies, institutions, or individual predispositions are not suffciently geared towards innovation? And is this innovation imperative delegating decisions about social change to innovation experts, raising questions of accountability and democratic governance? And is this pro-innovation bias marginalizing other rationales, values, and social knowledge that do not explicitly support innovation? Is therefore emerging a “deficit model” of innovation in which a lack of innovation is routinely invoked as the main obstacle to social progress? Can parallels be drawn to research on the deficit model of public understanding of science, while the need for dialogue and inclusion has made some headway into mainstream policy discourses in science and technology policy (Irwin, 2006), a similar appreciation is currently lacking in innovation policy? Without a dedicated effort to transform innovation policy into a more democratic, inclusive, and explicitly political field, are there risks of significant social and political conflict? How an explicit shift from “innovation policy” to “innovation politics”, and support new forms for democratic deliberation may harness the transformative power of innovation and direct it toward the public good?
In this sub-theme, we call for research papers that investigate the need for reflexive and critical engagement with innovation, and for a more reflexive stance toward innovation systems approaches (Kuhlmann et al., 2012), as witnessed by the emergence of the responsible innovation paradigm (Stilgoe et al., 2013; von Schomberg, 2013).
- Brown, T. (2008): “Design thinking.” Harvard Business Review, 86 (6), 84–92.
- Campbell, J.L. (2007): “Why would corporations behave in socially responsible ways? An institutional theory of corporate social responsibility.” Academy of Management Review, 32 (3), 946–967.
- Caroll, A.B. & Buchholtz, A.K. (2011): Business and Society: Ethics, Sustainability, and Stakeholder Management. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
- Christiansen, C.M., Hall, D., Dillon, K., & Duncan, D.S. (2016): “Know your customers’ ‘job to be done’.” Harvard Business Review, 94 (9), 54–62.
- European Commission (2011): Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative Innovation Union. Brussels: European Commission.
- European Commission (2016): Why Do We Need an Innovation Union? Brussels: European Commission.
- Gallup-Healthways (2015): Global Well-Being Index. Franklin, TN: Healthways.
- Gilbert, D. (2016): “How Xiaomi Lost $40 bn: Where it All Went Wrong for the ‘Apple of the East’.” International Business Times, August 18, 2016; available at: https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/how-xiaomi-lost-40bn-where-it-all-went-wrong-apple-east-1576781.
- Howkins, J. (2013): Creative Ecologies: Where Thinking is a Proper Job. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishing.
- Kramer, M.R0,. & Pfitzer, M.W. (2016): “The ecosystem of shared value.” Harvard Business Review, 94 (10), 81–89.
- Lee, S.M., & Olson, D. (2010): Convergenomics: Strategic Innovation in the Convergence Era. Aldershot: Gower Publishing.
- Lee, S.M., Olson, D., & Trimi, S. (2012): “Co-innovation: Convergenomics, collaboration, and co-creation for organizational values.” Management Decision, 50 (5), 817–831.
- Lee, S.M. (2015): “The age of quality innovation.” International Journal of Quality Innovation, 1 (1), 1–9.
- Kuhlmann, S., & Rip, A. (2014): The Challenge of Addressing Grand Challenges. A Think Piece on How Innovation Can Be Driven Towards the “Grand Challenges” as Defined Under the Prospective European Union Framework Programme Horizon 2020, European Research and Innovation Area Board (ERIAB), http://dx.doi.org/10.13140/2.1.4757.1841.
- OECD (2010): The OECD Innovation Strategy. Paris: OCED.
- Pfotenhauer, S.M. (2018): “Building Global Innovation Hubs: The MIT Model in Three Start-Up Universities.” In: M. Wisnioski, E.S. Hintz, & M. Stettler Kleine (eds.): Does America Need More Innovators? Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 191–220.
- Pfotenhauer, S.M., & Jasanoff, S. (2017a): “Panacea or diagnosis? Imaginaries of innovation and the “MIT model” in three political cultures.” Social Studies of Science, 47 (6), 783–810.
- Pfotenhauer, S.M., & Jasanoff, S. (2017b): “Traveling imaginaries: the “practice turn” in innovation policy and the global circulation of innovation models.” In: D. Tyfield, R. Lave, S. Randalls & C. Thorpe (eds.): The Routledge Handbook of the Political Economy of Science. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 416–428.
- Pfotenhauer, S.M., & Juhl, J. (2017): “Innovation and the political state: beyond the myth of technologies and markets.” In: B. Godin & D. Vinck (eds.): Critical Studies of Innovation: Alternative Approaches to the Pro-Innovation Bias. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 8–94.
- Pfotenhauer, S.M., Wood, D., Roos, D., & Newman, D. (2016): “Architecting complex international science, technology, and innovation partnerships (CISTIPs): a study of four global MIT collaborations.” Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 104, 38–56.
- Porter, M., & Kramer, M. (2011): “Creating shared value.” Harvard Business Review, 89 (1), 62–77.
- Rigoni, B., & Asplund, J. (2016): “Strengths-based employee development: The business results.” Gallup Business Journal, July, 7, 2016; available at: https://www.gallup.com/workplace/236297/strengths-based-employee-development-business-results.aspx.
- Schonberger, R.J. (2008): Best Practices in Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
- Streitz, N. (2015) “Citizen-centered design for human and sociable hybrid cities.” In: I. Theona & D. Charitos (eds.): Hybrid City 2015—Data to the People, Proceedings ofthe 3rd International Biannual Conference, Leuven, Belgium, September 15–17, 2010. New York: Association for Computing Machinery, 17–20.
- Stilgoe, J., Lock, S.J., & Wilsdon, J. (2014): “Why should we promote public engagement with science?” Public Understanding of Science, 23, 4–15.
- von Schomberg, R. (2013): “A vision of responsible research and innovation.” In: R. Owen, J. Bessant & M. Heintz (eds.): Responsible Innovation: Managing the Responsible Emergence of Science and Innovation in Society. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, 51–75.