Expanding and evolving geographies of innovation

Event Name Expanding and evolving geographies of innovation
Start Date 8 May 2019 1:00 pm
End Date 8 May 2019 2:00 pm
Duration 1 hour

Professor Lars Coenen, inaugural City of Melbourne Chair of Resilient Cities with the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute.

Despite its engagement with a varied and ever-changing spatial landscape of innovation, research on the geography of innovation has been poorly attuned to the rising diversity in the forms and the ways in which innovation manifests in society, and its consequences. It’s bedevilled by ambiguity and contradiction, and treated as a panacea for many of our grand societal challenges – despite simultaneously conjuring up fear and images of undesirable futures (for example, runaway technologies). In recent years also, there’s been an explosion of literature on ecological, social and grassroots innovation, and in responsible research and innovation. This is both the cause and consequence of a new interest in grand societal challenges, and ‘mission-led’ research and innovation. In this talk, Professor Coenen will explore what the broadening of innovation might imply for its geographies. He’ll explore suggestions for how we can critically engage with a normative turn in innovation studies and practices. And he’ll reflect on empirical work being done on innovation projects aimed at building a more resilient Melbourne, as part of the city’s membership of the Rockerfeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Network.

About Professor Coenen

Professor Lars Coenen is the inaugural City of Melbourne Chair of Resilient Cities at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute. In partnership with Resilient Melbourne, Professor Coenen is working to strengthen Melbourne’s role as a leader in knowledge based urban resilience and to leverage opportunities for collaborative research between universities and cities. Prior to coming to Melbourne, Professor Coenen was a professor in innovation studies at Lund University, Sweden. He is known internationally for his work on regional and urban innovation and – more recently – for his pioneering research on the geography of environmental innovation and sustainability transitions. Professor Coenen is currently working on action-research that analyses the implementation of the Resilient Melbourne Strategy and on the development of a smart specialisation strategy to grow regional resilience in Gippsland.