Innovations are seen to be important for sustainability transformations. Yet what do we mean when we speak of ‘innovation’? Novelties in technology, business models, and product design perhaps come to mind but increasingly we also speak of social, organizational, and political innovations. But are all innovations desirable or constructive? What is the role of responsibility, accountability and ethics?
This panel invites contributions focused on innovation for sustainability transformations. Possible research questions include but are not limited to:
• Why are some innovations taken up while others are abandoned?
• Which innovations are enablers and which are barriers for a sustainability transformations? Why?
• What are the potential benefits, challenges and limitations of harmonization of innovations across countries (e.g. within the EU, countries with different development stages)?
• What innovation narratives enable policy and practice towards sustainability?
• How do innovations in different domains (e.g. business, policy, research) intersect and what impacts do they have?
• What innovations are left out or under-considered? Why?
We believe that by scrutinizing the relationship between innovations and sustainability, much can be learned regarding their prospects, potentials and limitations for sustainability. Conceptual and empirical studies can address both desirable and undesirable aspects of innovative developments and open new thought spaces for academic, political and practitioner debates. We hope that contributions to this panel will direct debates on innovation towards a reconsideration of our values, beliefs and ethical visions for a sustainable future.