2017-2018 Academic Catalog 
    Nov 26, 2022  
2017-2018 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

IDCE 30398 - Innovation and Societal Transformations Toward Sustainability

This course examines the various forms of scientific, social, technical and political innovation required to drive societal transformations towards sustainability. In particular, we will focus upon the way by which science (and universities in particular) contribute to societal innovation through cross-sector networks with various stakeholders from government, industry and civil society. We begin by examining the evolution of the modern research university and the global emergence of the entrepreneurial university and technology transfer to industry. After identifying trends and problems with traditional forms of technology transfer and university-industry collaboration, we will consider the need for alternative forms of university-stakeholder collaborations for tackling complex sustainability problems. From here our course will explore through case studies various emerging innovation attempts around the world to trigger societal transformations towards sustainability. Various analytical lenses used include “living laboratories”, “climate experiments”, “environmental governance” and “sustainability transitions”, in addition to emerging concepts of “co-design”, “co-production” and “co-creation” for sustainability. The examination of real-life partnerships (particularly in the New England region) for spurring innovation towards sustainability will form a key component of this course. Students will also gain firsthand knowledge via field trips to Boston (University of Boston) and the City of Cambridge (MIT and Harvard) and live SKYPE interviews with key actors in various locations across the USA and Canada.

Anticipated Terms Offered: annually