Expansion: innovation for a sustainable society
Innovation is more and more seen as a tool to solve social and environmental problems. Consequently, new societal stakeholder groups are engaged in innovation activities.
The scope has broadened from mere research and development laboratories to often covering our everyday lives – as living labs or as whole urban areas transformed into innovation test beds. There are also a growing number of regions and countries in the developing world, in the global south, that are developing their capacity to innovate. This expansion of innovation activities and policies to foster a sustainable society is of interest here.
A grand night out: African innovators in Finland
In the middle of November, amidst darkness, slush and all, there was a side event of Slush, a major start-up and technology conference in Helsinki. I went to this side-event to increase my understanding where the Southern African start-up scene is going right now. I have attended several start-up events in Southern African countries, so I was able to sort of compare this event in Finland to those ones that took place in Africa.
Guest blog: Responsibility and innovation
We published a guest blog together with the Finnish innovation-oriented software company Orchidea on the current topic of responsibility and innovation. This blog presents the framework of RRI (Responsible Research and Innovation), which is one of the key elements of EU's Horizon 2020 program. The MARIE-project was created to cement responsible practices in regional policy throughout Europe. Tampere was selected as one of the key regions and so the Innovation studies group also got involved. Anna Martikainen and Matias Heikkilä, members of the Innovation studies group, are both employed in the MARIE-project.
I am just now traveling back to Finland from Russia, thinking about one of the many paradoxes the large country has. Russia has for decades invested heavily in its scientific infrastructure and yet has managed to come up with a very limited number of innovations. The country’s academic impact is also rather limited. Neither has it been able to modernize its economy after the Soviet period to a considerable extent. Why is it so?