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Sussex teams up with policy makers on new agenda for global transformation

The Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium, coordinated out of SPRU at the University of Sussex Business School and Utrecht University, organised a week-long series of panels and workshops last month to tackle the international challenges outlined by the Sustainable Development Goals.

The event, co-funded by EU-SPRI and hosted in Spain by INGENIO (CSIC-UPV), laid bare the issues faced by policy makers in implementing ambitious global goals such as ‘net zero’ carbon emissions, and the role of funders and researchers in tackling these.

It brought together scholars from leading global research networks alongside representatives from the European Commission, IDRC Canada, the European Environment Agency, and national agencies or research institutes from Kenya, Senegal, Ghana, South Africa, the UK Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany.

Implementing a new ‘European Green Deal’

The incoming president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has made a ‘European Green Deal’ one of her top priorities. Similar goals have been raised by politicians outside of the EU. But designing policies to meet these targets in a way that is politically and economically sustainable is a huge challenge.

At a panel led by the European Environment Agency, speakers highlighted the desire for policy pathways to head in a new, transformative direction, with innovation, systems change and sustainability transitions at the core.

Learning from the Global South

During the week, members of the TIPC Africa Hub from Ghana, Kenya and Senegal shared case studies on E-waste management, nomadic education and virtual universities.

‘The experimentation in these African countries shows how we can unleash the potential of innovation to transform key systems’ said Dr Bipashyee Ghosh, TIPC Research Fellow.

TIPC Founder Johan Schot stressed the opportunities for policy makers in Europe and beyond to learn from this work. ‘On the SDGs, the Global North is more ‘locked in’ in to the systems hindering global transformation,' he said, arguing that funding agencies should invest in knowledge transfer from the South to address global goals.’

Towards a new research agenda

The event showcased almost 60 projects for transformative change, sharing the learning of scholars and practitioners around Transformative Innovation Policy or as it is known, TIP.

‘As global challenges such as climate change shoot up the political agenda, we are seeing an urgent need for researchers to work more closely with governments, civil society and each other on policy development and implementation,’ said Professor Steven McGuire, Dean of the University of Sussex Business School.

‘We look forward to continued collaboration on this emerging research agenda, and thank all of our partners for their work making this a success.’

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By: Francisco Dominguez
Last updated: Wednesday, 11 December 2019

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