20/09/2022 – “Comprehensive Innovation for Sustainable Development”, a BIG IDEAS Dialogue with Prof Dr Bartel Van de Walle

On 20 September 2022, UNU will host “Comprehensive Innovation for Sustainable Development“, a BIG IDEAS Dialogue with Dr Bartel Van de Walle, Director of the UNU Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT). This event will be held via Zoom webinar at 18:00 JST (UTC+9).

UNU-MERIT is developing an ambitious institutional agenda focused on innovation as a key driver for sustainable development from an integrated, comprehensive, social-economic-technological perspective. Clearly, societal policy innovations can either drive or hinder technological innovation and accentuate or diminish the positive and negative economic effects of technological innovation. The institute’s ambition is to clarify the complex interactions and feedback loops that intersperse the social, economic, and technological dimensions of innovation in society — and to influence policies accordingly.

The pace of innovation and its ultimate impact on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is highly dependent on the broader system in which innovation takes place. UNU-MERIT is pushing the development of a novel, integrated, and holistic approach to studying the drivers and impacts of social, economic, and technological innovation. This approach should adopt a systemic perspective to identify and understand the complexity of innovation and its policymakers, citizens, and academic communities.

In this dialogue session, Prof Dr Van de Walle will join UNU Senior Vice-Rector Sawako Shirahase to discuss the need for a new research agenda around the concept of Comprehensive Innovation for Sustainable Development (CI4SD) — an agenda that is multidisciplinary, academically rigorous, policy and societally-relevant, and that has significant potential for impact.

Please note this event will be in English; Japanese interpretation will not be provided. Advance registration by 19 September is required. Registrants will receive an email on the day of the event with a link to attend via Zoom webinar.

About the series

The BIG IDEAS: SDGs Dialogue Series introduces the people, projects, and organisations behind shared efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each event features leading representatives and researchers from international organisations, UN agencies, and UNU institutes to stimulate discussion on sustainable development issues and initiatives. The events provide a unique opportunity for young researchers, graduate students, and civil society to become more familiar with SDG-related topics, ask questions, and learn how they can contribute to local and global SDG progress.

About the speaker

Prof Dr Bartel Van de Walle is a Professor of Policy Analysis. Before joining UNU-MERIT he was Head of the Department of Multi-Actor Systems in the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at the Technical University of Delft, the Netherlands. He has also held faculty positions at Tilburg University, the Netherlands and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA and was a researcher at the Nuclear Research Centre SCK·CEN, Belgium.

Dr Van de Walle was previously a senior fellow with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, USA, and has worked extensively with humanitarian organisations, most notably the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Prof. Van de Walle holds a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Ghent, Belgium (1996). He has authored around 150 peer-reviewed papers in international journals and proceedings of international conferences on issues related to information systems, decision-making and policy analysis, often in the context of humanitarian response.

For more information, click here.