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Institutions for Global Innovation Governance

Faith in existing international institutions (including those associated with trade) to act in the interests of the poor and to address global challenges is diminishing. In addition, international shifts in power demand radical changes to many of these formal structures. There are widespread calls for new institutions that adopt a more inclusive and accountable system of innovation governance, many of which would involve strong representation from the global South and the active participation of civil society groups.

Resources on this CD

  1. Mayra Ortega, The Hague roundtable: "The United Nations, as an empowered entity, should open the doors to fair trade and commerce from developing countries, because a lot of subsidies from the United states and Europe are blocking the economic prosperity of these countries"

  2. Elizabeth Okoro, TWAS Bangalore roundtable: "Developed countries do not want developing countries to develop. They for instance give grants to developing countries and then they increase the tariffs. And there are all these trade barriers that should be removed"

  3. Prof Lan Xue, Beijing roundtable: Prof Lan Xue called for a permanent secretariat to the G20 and also an International Science Foundation.

  4. 'UN Debates’ Shah, E. (2009) Manifesting Utopia: History and Philosophy of UN Debates on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development, STEPS Working Paper 25, Brighton: STEPS Centre

Additional online resources

(Internet connection required)
  1. United Nations Commission on Science, Technology and Development, a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council, already undertakes important work in this area, although this is restricted, advisory and the involvement of civil society is limited.
  2. There have previously been several calls for international institutions of various kinds, each with the objective of more equitable and sustainable governance of science, technology and innovation. For example, civil society groups working on nanotechnology have called for a UN-based International Convention on the Evaluation on New Technologies (ICENT)
  3. Jolly, R., Emmerij, L. & Weiss, T. (2009) 'UN Ideas that changed the world’ Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis. The United Nations has not only provided a focus for international governance but also acted as a source of ideas for progressive change.

We welcome examples of innovation for development.
Email us at steps-centre@ids.ac.uk