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Innovation for Development in a new societal era

6 June 2019

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This blog is by Professor Theo Papaioannou, political scientist and Director of Innogen, reflecting on the International Development Summer Course in Lisbon 28 -31 May 2019. This was an event organised by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Portuguese Platform of Non-Governmental Development Organizations (NGDO) and the Centre for African, Asian and Latin American Studies of ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Lisbon University (CEsA/ISEG).

The four day course was aimed at NGDO and civil society organization managers, academic researchers, Master students in Development Studies, journalists, and representatives from private sector companies and public institutions working on international development.

Lectures and round table discussions with experts on different aspects of international development explored key factors in facilitating Innovation for Development, the core theme of the course. These included modernizing development itself, creating enabling environments for innovation, creating and reinforcing innovative capacities, planning and implementing innovation policies which work across sectors and economies, and investing in partnerships and organizational development.

After welcoming remarks from António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations (read out on his behalf by Guilherme d’Oliveira Martins, Trustee, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation) the opening session focused on innovation for development in a new societal era. 

In this session moderated by Agostinho Miranda from ProPública, an association that provides legal support to individuals lacking representation, I and José Brito, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cape Verde, discussed how innovation contributes to the today’s international development challenges technologically, socially and economically. 

This was an excellent event that gave us the opportunity to debate what innovation for development is, and how it might work theoretically and practically to contribute to the UN 2030 agenda.  

See the full Summer Course programme here.


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