Rethinking Innovation for Changing Worlds (939N1)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

From rapidly diminishing biocultural diversities and climate crises, to widening inequalities, societies and ecologies are undergoing many alarming crises.

More innovation is routinely promoted as a key to “transforming our world.” But with conventional forms of innovation across modern industries deepening contemporary crises as much as helping to solve them, perhaps a thorough rethink in approach is required?

During this module, you'll work with a suite of key concepts, theories and methods for rethinking innovation.

Our workshop format enables you to explore examples in: food, energy, manufacturing, urbanism, mobility, and energy, foregrounding alternative approaches to innovation found in the creative margins of societies.

These include approaches at the cutting edge of rethinking innovation, such as:

  • grassroots innovations
  • technology-oriented social movements
  • commons-based peer-production
  • innovation for moral economies
  • post-growth innovation.

In each case, we will critically examine their potential for transforming policymaking and business practices for sustainability, particularly in terms of social inclusion and participation of more diverse and marginalised sections of societies and ecologies, in different parts of the world.


100%: Practical (Workshop)


100%: Coursework (Essay, Observation)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 117 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.