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What is innovation for social inclusion?

23rd August 2014 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

What is innovation for social inclusion? Grassroots innovation, public policies and the politics of knowledge

A session at the 4S/ESOCITE conference in Buenos Aires, organised by Adrian Smith (STEPS Centre), Mariano Fressoli (Institute for Science and Technology Studies, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes) and Elisa Arond (Clark University).

There is growing interest amongst researchers, civil society actors, and policy-makers internationally in the topic of innovation and social inclusion. Moreover, this interest exists in both the global north and global south: along with growing interest from international institutions like OECD, IDRC, WB and CEPAL, national institutions in Latin America and other parts of the world are already developing programs and projects on science, technology and inclusive innovation. However, as an emergent idea, innovation for social inclusion draws on a diversity of definitions and approaches that while enriching and heterogeneous can also overlap and contradict one another.

The development of innovation for social inclusion shows a complex entanglement of concepts and technologies, frames of knowledge and practices, all operating through heterogeneous networks of international aid agencies, public institutions, social movements and firms. As an already flourishing set of definitions, initiatives and experiences, innovation for social inclusion also calls for empirical analysis and theoretical reflection and policy debate. The field of STS is well-placed to contribute systematic explorations of these issues and challenges.

Full event details in English and Spanish

Abstracts and papers