Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
PS-4.06: Science, technology, innovation and the sustainable development goals 3
Friday, 14/Oct/2016:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Joe Amadi-Echendu, University of Pretoria
Discussant: Rainer Walz, Fraunhofer ISI
Location: Caesar Room (Homann)

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The Devil Is In The Details: A Critical Discussion On The Definition Of Eco-Innovation

Lourenço Galvão Diniz Faria

Technical University of Denmark, Denmark

In this review paper, I discuss how some imprecisions in the widely accepted concept of eco-innovation may affect the green economy dynamics. Conceptualizing eco-innovation is a useful tool to promote the greening of the economy and requires a closer look to the context which the innovation is generated and implemented, including issues related with technologic, sectoral, and institutional dynamics, as well as timing and the nature of the environmental impacts. The methodology is based on a literature review and bibliometrics. Based on evolutionary economic thinking, I argue that, beyond their individual environmental impacts, the scope of eco-innovation activity should be defined based on the role of such innovations in the overall greening of the economy. I highlight and discuss some of the main problems of the present eco-innovation conceptualization and its consequences to empirical and conceptual research. The paper is relevant methodologically and also as a tool for policy making in both developed and developing countries, since the concept of eco-innovation has been used to define the scope of technologies to be addressed by policies target at promote the greening of the economies.

The Sustainable Development Goals - Pathways to Eco-innovation and the Global Green Economy?

Maj Munch Andersen

Technical University of Denmark, Denmark

This paper offers a critical discussion of the influential UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for 2015-2030. While the goals in many ways represent considerable progress in treating the sustainable development agenda in a comprehensive way this paper argues that the goals are insufficiently linked to the new Green Economy paradigm. I.e. they neglect a consistent alignment of economic and environmental issues. There is some overall reference to achieving such an alignment but this goal is not persistently pursued, nor given enough importance in the specific SDGs. This paper argues that the disjointed thinking underlying the goals is due to a largely neoclassical, static understanding of the economy reigning in a United Nations context and in much environmental and ecological economics literature influencing this. This paper offers a different evolutionary economic understanding of the green economy, arguing that green economic change is real and central for achieving environmental sustainability. The policy implications of this are considerable. The paper suggests revising selected core SDG goals to make them more in line with the green economy paradigm. For developing countries the paper points to the need for policy learning, suggesting these countries could leapfrog the greening of their economies by targeting green economic change through adopting eco-innovation policies for the greening of their companies rather than pursuing a traditional regulatory approach. Such a pathway to a green economy could be strengthened within the context of the SDGs if acknowledged and pursued. Currently, the SDGs only support such a pathway to a green economy to a limited degree but such a perspective could be strengthened within the context of the SDGs if acknowledged and pursued.

Inclusive Upgrading through Participation in Global Value Chain: The Case of Frech Fruit and Vegetable Industry in Kenya

Eunkyung Park1, Martin Kang'ethe Gachukia2

1Aalborg University, Denmark; 2Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology

In this paper, we are directing our focus on the importance of social aspect (especially inclusiveness) of the upgrading process of developing economies in global value chain (GVC) through the case study of fresh fruit and vegetable. We find that, although some local actors were able to upgrade their skills and competences and achieve process/ product/ functional upgrading to a certain degree in compliance to demands and requirements from global buyers, some other actors in the lower tier of local supply chain were excluded in this process of upgrading. We argue that, from the perspective of inclusive development, upgrading needs to incorporate ‘inclusiveness’ of weaker actors in the society, especially for the latecomer economies where income inequality is already a substantial problem. We present some initiatives from Kenyan private and public sector that helped the inclusion and well-being of smallholders in the global value chain of FFV.

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