Innovation as if people mattered: The ethics of innovation for sustainable development
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInnovation and Development. 2017, 7 (1), 101-118. 10.1080/2157930X.2017.1281208
Innovation policies’ normative foundations have been little discussed in the academic literature, despite these foundations’ impact on the priorities and consequences of innovation. Especially, the aim of sustainable development calls for discussion about innovation’s normative foundations. This article discusses ethical principles drawn from ideas about Triple Bottom Line (TBL) accounting, human rights, and the New Sussex Manifesto. It discusses implications that these ethical principles have for innovation systems design and for innovation policies. Based on that discussion, the authors outline a principle of a human rights-based TBL in innovation. This principle implies that innovation systems, especially those involving vital resources, should look beyond science, technology, and competitiveness, and consider the needs and rights of those whose livelihoods depend on the resources in question. The article concludes with a set of general principles for the design of innovation systems in natural resource-based economies.