«OECD Innovation Strategy ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT The OECD is a unique forum where the governments of 30 democracies ...»
Based on these drafts, participants finally review the suggestions made in the initial conceptual paper once more, while the experts may add suggestions or comments. The moderators then prepare a vision paper based on this material and send it to the participants after the Salon is over.
Participants may comment on this paper in writing, adding criticism, opinions or their personal rating. The paper is then handed out together with the ratings and published.
Technology-Salon on the future of RFID Technologies in 2008. There have been serious and controversial discussions on the application of “Radio Frequency Identification” (RFID) during the last years; ending up with a wide scope of different perspectives and unanswered questions. Which political framework would be needed to ensure the use of RFID? How can radio technology be implemented responsibly? On September 25th 2008, these and further questions were discussed at the 1st Berlin TechnologySalon “On the path to a transparent product: The political framework for the future of RFID-Technology” (German: „Auf dem Weg zum gläsernen Produkt: Politische Rahmenbedingungen für die Zukunft der RFIDTechnologie”). The Salon was hosted by the Representation of the federal state of Northrhine-Westphalia and the METRO Group Future Store Initiative. Approximately 40 attendees from politics, economy, science and civil society argued the political framework for the future utilization and development of RFID-technology and reconsidered solutions for aligned challenges. The goal: Formulation of a joint position of all participants. The meeting in the Salon offers ideal conditions for a stimulating discourse about an issue and the collective development of concepts. With various discussions in small subgroups, intensive dialogues, lectures and plenum
hearings, the Berlin Technology-Salon differs from workshops and conferences that are often regarded boring and exhausting.
5. Conclusions and Outlook This chapter presented and analysed the use of different participative processes in Germany, which often stem from (local) direct deliberative democracy, but in the last 15 years have gained much audience and respect in the world of science and innovation policy.
Participative processes are a core element in the strategies to shift innovation policies in different OECD countries towards a type of innovation, which develops solutions for social challenges. In some cases, we need processes to suggest a new distribution between different disciplines, in other cases exploratory methods for the development of new tasks, new combinations of disciplines and schools. Therefore, we need “Meta Matching” methods to select and combine participative tools in order to meet the new policy demands for innovation to meet social challenges.
Not only participative processes but independent institutions and organisations for a participative innovation policy are rapidly gaining more audience, funds and space of manoeuvre in OECD countries. This development will and shall go on in the future.
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FOSTERING INNOVATION TO ADDRESS SOCIAL CHALLENGES
This chapter presents an overview of arguments and ideas to support further reflection on what could be done to foster innovation to address social challenges Several leads and options for follow-up work on innovation for social challenges are proposed. Not all of the proposal may be operational but they serve as a basis for reflection and discussion among stakeholders from the public and private sectors.
Policy’s response to conceptual barriers Proposal 1: Launch an international initiative to agree upon a common definition of social innovation The two OECD workshops have demonstrated the wide variety of activities and notions that fall under the label of social innovation, from new ways – more inclusive, democratic, and less linear – of doing research to new forms of class management in schools or new forms of communication within the political process. Although this variety is to some regards an evidence of the untapped wealth of this form of innovation, it also contributes to the fuzziness of the notion. To focus the definition of social innovation and narrow-down its underlying variety is a first step to better support it.
Proposal 2: Continue research and reflection on the definitions and measurement of innovation based on the Oslo Manual definition, in order to better take into account social innovation efforts and results.
Research could aim to assess the extent to which internationally agreed definitions of innovation, especially the Oslo Manual definition, can better take into account social innovation. A similar endeavour was launched on
FOSTERING INNOVATION TO ADDRESS SOCIAL CHALLENGEShow to better include non-technological innovation in the definition prior to releasing the 3rd edition of the manual. However, non-technological innovation is still limited for the most part to organisational and marketing innovations. This effort should therefore now be extended to social
innovation. A better inclusion of social innovation would:
• allow a more accurate assessment of social innovation investments and results;
• permit better monitoring of the actions that underlie social innovations (hence improving/accelerating policy learning);
• lead to greater recognition of the contribution this form of innovation to growth and social welfare;
• improve legitimacy of actors and initiatives aimed at generating social innovations;
• allow certain expenses to be eligible in several innovation support schemes.
Policy support to social innovators Proposal 3: Design information systems (e.g. through technology scanning and foresight) to be able to detect, characterise and diffuse knowledge on cases of social innovation Social innovations most often derive from isolated experiments that aim to solve local social challenges. There is a huge opportunity cost in not valorising the knowledge stemming from this wealth of experiments that test the different options and configurations of social innovations.
The information system should also include in its “search perimeter” the various policies and initiatives designed to support them. Policy learning through exchange and benchmarking would be very instrumental given that most of these initiatives are implemented at the micro-level.
Proposal 4: Design support scheme dedicated to social entrepreneurs and, more generally, social innovation The OECD workshops have shown that social innovation is still very much at entrepreneurial stage and that R&D and funding system is not adapted to support the so-called social entrepreneurs. A parallel can be drawn with the first “technological innovators” that dominated nascent industries at the outset of the 20th century: social innovation is not yet institutionalised, still relying upon individual initiatives, weakly connected
FOSTERING INNOVATION TO ADDRESS SOCIAL CHALLENGES
and poorly supported. The social entrepreneurs are not recognised and have few financial and cognitive/technical external resources to implement, extend and transfer their initiatives.
• More generally, it is clear that the imperative of solving many social challenges is poorly conveyed by firms when responding to traditional research and innovation incentives (such as call for proposal).
New schemes should be added to common public decision maker
instruments’ portfolio with a view to:
• Provide incentives (through finance, legitimacy) to tackle social challenges. For that purpose the “user-led” nature of social innovation should be acknowledged and innovative instruments (demand-side instruments, or even better “community-based” instruments) should be put in place.