Monday, September 23, 2013

Macro-Innov 2: structures of the debate

The point behind this series is that innovation studies has been virtually reduced to a sub-discipline of economics and business. While the growing focus on innovation in all its conventional forms (products, processes, supplies, markets and organisation) is welcomed it reveals an underlying problem - what counts is business / economic success and, in fact, a de facto support of increasing consumerism.

What matters now in innovation studies are flows and turnover. What will be the latest disposable high tech gizmo be? What is the production of new energy technologies? etc etc. The stocks (capital) in the system and the cost of those gizmos is not well accounted for. So:

1. If we rely on the myopic view that innovation only counts at the level of business then there is only limited room for governments to structure innovation and markets in necessary ways to support sustainability;

2. This micro presentation also ignores the growing phenomena of the linkedupness of our technological systems. Discipline of innovation studies needs to be more aware of how connected technological change is to the way we design cities, to way we live etc; and then

3. Innovation policy has concentrated on the production of innovation, we thus need a macro-economic revolution in innovation studies to pay attention to the disruption, adaption and management.

Thus the big themes of this blog series will be.

1. The technosphere;

2. Wealth, growth and Competitiveness;

3. Sustainability; and

4. Innovation policy.

Lets begin ......