Special Session 4: The Green Economy, Knowledge Dynamics and Regional Development Policy

Diverse Regions: Building Resilient Communities and Territories - Izmir, Turkey

Session Organisers:
Margareta Dahlström, Karlstad University, Sweden (margareta.dahlstrom@kau.se)
Ingrid H G Johnsen, Nordregio, Sweden (Ingrid.johnsen@nordregio.se

The green economy, green growth and sustainable development are related concepts that are partly overlapping and not always clearly defined. The green economy is closely linked to innovation of goods, services and processes, e.g. in relation to clean energy and production processes, the reduction of waste, but also to organisational systems and behavioural changes that contribute to sustainable development. The role of policies at all levels from the local to the global also has a strong bearing on the concepts, and green growth and the green economy are significant concepts for the EU, OECD and the UN. The Europe 2020 strategy ‘Smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ is an example of a holistic approach aiming at an integration of ecological and social sustainable goals with goals of economic growth, where the regional level is at the heart of the matter.

An important concept for understanding the green economy is the concept of knowledge dynamics, which stresses that changes in knowledge and learning are driving forces behind innovation. Knowledge dynamics are increasingly cross-sectoral, multi-actor and multi-scalar. A broad perspective on innovation, recognising that innovation relates to goods, services and processes and is not ‘only’ about technology and natural scientific knowledge, is applied. Cross-sectoral knowledge interactions draw on different disciplines, industries and expertise, whereas multi-actor knowledge interactions involve different actors such as researchers, producers, consumers, the civil society and public policy makers. Multi-scalar knowledge interactions highlight the fact that local and regional networks of interactions between actors are not sufficient. Innovation involves knowledge relations between regions, countries and continents. Cross-sectoral, multi-actor and multi-scalar knowledge interactions often play important roles for more radical innovations rather than for incremental changes in goods and services. Radical innovations will likely allow us to achieve sustainability goals such as climate change adaptation. There are strong similarities between the knowledge dynamics literature and that of eco-innovation that stress the diversity that characterises eco-innovation, user-involvement in innovation processes and the need for policy interactions e.g. public-private collaboration and market interactions.

We welcome papers that address green economy issues particularly in relation to knowledge dynamics and regional development matters. Such issues include topics in relation to restructuring of the economy/greening of the economy, policy supporting transitions, and eco-innovations to mention a few. Can climate change challenges act as drivers for innovation of products, services and processes, contributing to sustainable development? Can traditional industries such as the forestry based value chain be transformed to a bio based economy? How can regional development policies be designed to contribute to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth? Are new types of green economy innovation systems being developed through knowledge interactions across sectors, scales and actors?

Submission Guidelines

Anyone interested in participating in the session should register for the conference before April 6th 2014 by clicking here and following the link. Please ensure that your abstracts are no longer than 800 words, text only. If you have any questions regarding this special session, please contact the session organisers on the email addresses provided.

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