EU Science Hub

New Narratives for Innovation

Feb 26 2015
Feb 27 2015

The European Commission entrusts an important role to innovation in order to assist in the exit from the present recession and alleviate the labor market predicaments of several Member States. This salvific role of innovation is under increasing pressure from different strands of academic thought, with questions such as:        

  • Can we improve the way we foresee our technological future?
  • Can we re-think the definition and role of innovation and what innovation is desirable to alleviate present social strains?  
  • Can we produce more democratic and sustainable imaginations of the technological trajectories we want to pursue?

The workshop is an attempt to establish a dialogue between selected scholars and interested EC actors of research and innovation policy, and the aim is to test new narratives in the policy discourse.

There are at present several different narratives with a story to say on innovation. Among these the workshop focuses on those originating from three strands of scholarship:

  • Economics   
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Bioeconomics 

In confronting the prevailing innovation-for-growth narratives with different legitimate alternative stories the workshop will look at the virtues of the free market and competition, at the tension between man and machine, and at the effects of biophysical constraints on economic growth (see the Related content for a JRC discussion paper about this topic).

Video-recording of the workshop:

Day 1: 26 February

Day 2: 27 February



Andrea Saltelli, European Commission, Joint Research Centre
What if … an introduction to the workshop

Mario Giampietro, ICREA Research Professor, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology
Innovation from a bio-economics perspective

Erik Reinert, The Other Canon Foundation, Norway, and Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
Loss of Diversity and Decline: Europe, China and the Future of the Global Economy - Part I

Ting Xu, Queen’s University, Belfast
Loss of Diversity and Decline: Europe, China and the Future of the Global Economy - Part II

Silvio Funtowicz, Centre for the Study of Sciences and Humanities, University of Bergen
Innovation, sustainability and the political economy of science

Alice Benessia, Interdisciplinary Research Institute on Sustainability, University of Turin
Demarcating innovation: optimisation, substitution and the silver bullet approach

Roger Strand, University of Bergen
Socio-technical imaginaries in research and innovation policy

 Joseph Tainter, Utah State University
Resource Sustainability and Innovation