Part IV. What is Innovation? And Why Does it Matter?

Recent posts elaborated the role of adaptation and adaptiveness. Another topic that seems to be gaining increased interest from sustainability science and environmental policy scholars, is ‘innovation’. But what is ‘innovation’ really, and why does it matter? Listen to Frances Westley as she explores the role of social innovation, and Rebecca Hanlin as she elaborates the need for innovations in health. And to round up this post, Jan-Peter Voss explains in a Skype-interview how innovations cascade across levels in governance.

Rebecca Hanlin Dr. Rebecca Hanlin is Lecturer in Development Policy and Practice at the Open University (UK). Rebecca’s work is in the area of innovation and development with a specific focus on health innovation and its implications for the provision of equitable healthcare. She is also one of the key-note speakers on the session on Adaptiveness and Innovation in Earth System Governance.

Interview with Rebecca Hanlin. What is health innovation? And which are the most pressing research challenges? [8:41]

Dr. Jan-Peter Voss is Project Leader for the initiative “Innovation in Governance” at the Centre for Technology and Society (Berlin). He is also the main editor for the book “Reflexive Governance for Sustainable Development”.


Prof. Frances Westley is the JW McConnell Chair in Social Innovation, University of  Waterloo (CA) . Frances is a sociologist with research focus on sources and sinks of  resilience, innovation, and transformation in individuals, organizations, and social systems.  She is also the author of “Getting to Maybe – How the World is Changed”. Interview with Frances Westley. What is social innovation? And which are the most important remaining theoretical puzzles? [14:30]


2 responses to “Part IV. What is Innovation? And Why Does it Matter?

  1. Pingback: On Innovation at Resilience Science

  2. See also this interesting blog post by Adrian Smith at STEPS (UK) on “grassroot innovation”.

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