SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

World in Transition Keynote

SPRU’s Director, Professor Johan Schot, has delivered a thought-provoking keynote on the pressing research challenges that face a ‘World in Transition’.

In his speech to over 120 invited guests comprising academics and representatives from non-governmental organisations, businesses and the private sector attending a workshop at the Royal Society, Professor Schot highlighted the pertinence for a ‘World in Transition’ to develop ‘a new innovation engine’ to drive growth and development.

“Today we are seeing that the modern way of provisioning our basic needs is not sustainable in the long run, and is already causing climate change on an unprecedented scale. Science and technology are hugely implicated in these problems. However, by transforming innovation we can reconfigure the entire economy and society, as well as the processes of innovation governance, to allow new ideas to develop outside of current power structures and in socially desirable directions from the outset”-said Professor Schot.

The workshop was hosted jointly by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Department for International Development (DFID), as part of the scoping for a new £2.5 million research call, which is part of the Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research. The workshop was organised to inform the final decisions on both the scientific scope of the call and the process through which it will be commissioned.

This programme of research, with the theme 'Developing Frontiers' seeks to examine the intersections between sustainability, poverty, conflict and fragility to seek a reframing of thinking that helps meet new global challenges.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, one key goal for SPRU is to expand on its world-class interdisciplinary research in innovation studies. It will do this through long-term research partnerships that are trans-disciplinary, deeply academic and practical, and that seek to bridge the divide between the qualitative and the quantitative so that radical, transformative change can be achieved. 

Learn more about SPRU’s 50th anniversary conference

More information on the fund

Twitter debate: #devfrontiers