Sustainability-Oriented Innovation Systems: Managing the Green Transformation
2012 in: Innovation and Development 2 (1), (Special Issue: Sustainability-oriented innovation systems in China and India)
23 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2013 Last revised: 9 Aug 2014
Date Written: April 1, 2012
Global warming and other impending environmental mega-problems call for a new technological paradigm. The urgency of the development and deployment of technological solutions is such that governments will need to make widespread use of ‘carrots and sticks’ to ensure that next-generation technologies are developed and deployed, more demanding standards and regulations are applied and stricter enforcement is guaranteed. To capture the main elements of this paradigm shift, we introduce the concept of Sustainability-oriented Innovation Systems (SoIS). SoIS make particularly high demands on governance, because governments need to disrupt unsustainable technological pathways and encourage alternative technologies long before they reach the stage of commercial viability. This implies picking winners in situations of technological uncertainty and highly disparate stakeholder preferences. SoIS also build on new types of policies that help to internalise environmental costs. The policy-driven nature of technological development may possibly result in a wide divergence of national technological trajectories.
Keywords: sustainability, innovation, low carbon, governance, technological trajectory
JEL Classification: O14, O31, O33, O38, Q28
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation