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[liberationtech] CfP: TECH & INNOVATION FOR GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT

Yosem Companys companys at stanford.edu
Mon Apr 30 19:39:16 PDT 2012


*International Conference on
TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION FOR GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT
Schumpeter and Polymer Research
*3–5 June 2012
Harvard Kennedy School
Cambridge, MA

Co-organized by the
Science, Technology, and Globalization Project, Harvard Kennedy School
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
Agricultural Innovation in Africa Project, Harvard Kennedy School
Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, Harvard Kennedy School
Contact: katherine_gordon at hks.harvard.edu<https://mail.google.com/mail/?view=cm&fs=1&tf=1&to=katherine_gordon@hks.harvard.edu>

Chaired by:
Professor Calestous Juma
Harvard Kennedy School

*Background*
The aim of the "International Conference on Innovation and Development"
(3-5 June, 2012) is to take stock of the relevance of the work of Austrian
economist Joseph Schumpeter for developing countries. The conference
coincides with the centenary of the publication of Schumpeter's seminal
work, *The Theory of Economic Development* (1911). The conference will be
held in conjunction with the annual Innovation for Economic
Development<http://ksgexecprogram.harvard.edu/Programs/ifed/overview.aspx>
executive
program.

Although Schumpeter's work was clearly framed to address the unfolding
nature of economic systems, policymakers and development thinkers in
developing countries are only starting to be exposed to his seminal
thinking. Many of these countries now embrace the idea of innovation in
economic development without recognizing that they are furthering the
legacy of Schumpeter.

For example, a 2005 report entitled *Innovation: Applying Knowledge in
Development*<http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/2098/innovation.html>played
an important role in guiding discussions on the implementation of the
United Nations Millennium Development Goals. But few leaders in developing
countries associated the ideas in the report with work on Schumpeter. The
ideas in the report have been widely adopted among developing countries and
prepared the ground for a commemorative study on Schumpeter's legacy.

*Schumpeter’s intellectual legacy*
Schumpeter left a rich intellectual legacy of relevance to emerging
economies and globalization in general. He is associated with at least four
major ideas (in writings between 1911 and 1942). First, he highlighted the
critical role that innovation (broadly defined plays in economic
transformation), especially through the dynamic process of “creative
destruction”. Secondly, argued that technological innovation as an integral
part of the capitalist enterprise and not changes in resource endowment was
possibly the most powerful driver of economic transformation. Thirdly, he
postulated that expectation of monopoly power was a greater source of
productivity than the mere act of being in a competitive market. Finally,
he stressed the importance of history and outlined the institutional forces
that influence the pace and direction of economic transformation. In a
posthumous paper published in 2005 entitled, *Development*, Schumpeter
provided the clearest articulation of the theory behind his evolutionary
thinking.  He stressed the role of indeterminacy, novelty and discontinuous
leaps.

*Objectives*
The aim of this conference is to convene a commemorative series of
activities on the intellectual legacy of Schumpeter with specific reference
to developing countries. Specific objectives of the initiative are to:

(a) outline the essential features of Schumpeter's ideas of relevance to
development policy and practice;
(b) elaborate the elements into a new study that lays out the policy
implications of Schumpeter's legacy for development policy and practice;
(c) explore the role of innovation in emerging engineering fields,
specifically polymer research, in addressing development challenges such as
agriculture, health, water, shelter and environmental management;
(d) disseminate the results among development policymakers, scholars, and
practitioners; and
(e) identify new research directions on innovation and development.

The conference will also provide opportunities to authors to present
findings in their recent books that build on Schumpeter’s ideas.
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