Innovation for development
We have entered a new era in the history of humanity and of our planet. An era which Paul Crutzen, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, has called the Anthropocene, or the “Age of humans”, to draw attention to the rapid increase in instability and accelerated changes, many of which do not seem to be going in the right direction for the majority.
Innovation and knowledge together constitute one of the greatest accelerators and boosters of economic growth and employment, human development and countries’ wellbeing. It has been amply demonstrated that those countries which invest continuously in R&D&i obtain better returns in these areas than those that do not.
We know too that this new era could lead us to a situation in which life is much better for the majority and in which we make the ideal of human development a reality. And that is why innovation makes so much sense and is so necessary, indeed indispensable, for facing up to the challenges of sustainability.
Innovation appears in Goal 9 of the SDGs, together with Industry and Infrastructure, but innovation runs transversally through many of the goals, since it can contribute to reducing hunger and poverty, improve our wellbeing and health, access to water and sanitation, provide more affordable energy and help to make our cities and communities more sustainable.
To achieve the inescapable transformation required by the SDGs, we need to innovate.
Adrian Smith, Professor of Technology and Society, Science Policy Research Unity and STEPS Centre (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability), University of Sussex, United Kingdom
Member of the Government of Ecuador and former mayor of Quito
Advisor – Climate-KIC, Europe’s leading climate innovation initiative
Professor at the McGill University (Montreal), Senior Fellow at The Young Foundation and Agirre Lehendakaria Center (UPV-EHU)
Professor of Sociology at Columbia University (New York) and Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences 2013
Head of ESG Integration, Senior Portfolio Manager Equities European ESG & Head of Utilities DWS Investment GmbH, Germany
Founder of the Green Belt Movement and President of the Wangari Maathai Foundation