Literature review week 4: Innovation politics post-Rio+20: hybrid pathways to sustainability?

Innovation politics post-Rio+20: hybrid pathways to sustainability?

Reviewed by Tatiana Armijos Moya


“States should cooperate to strengthen endogenous capacity-building for sustainable development by improving scientific understanding through exchanges of scientific and technological knowledge, and by enhancing the development, adaptation, diffusion and transfer of technologies, including new and innovative technologies.” “Principle 9(UN, 1992)



Within the article named “Innovation politics post-Rio+21:Hybrid pathways to sustainability?” it was stated that during last decades there have been some key moments of global reflection about the future of the mankind and its environment such as Stockholm 1972, Rio 1992 or Johannesburg 2002. After these important meetings some important principles were established. Actually, after the analysis of these global reflections it was inferred that nowadays innovation concept should interact with social, technological and ecological systems in order to make an important influence in different levels. Furthermore it was established that nowadays three key issues are being developed and studied regarding hybrid politics of innovation for sustainability that try to link and integrate global and local levels. Firstly, the direction of the progress of the innovation and development; secondly, the distribution of the costs, benefits, and risks; and third, all the possible approaches of innovation that contribute to global transitions to sustainability. What is more, it is mentioned that during the last two decades the global political agenda has been focused on creating an economy and regulations that are going to allow a sustainable industrial development.


Besides, It was mentioned the green economy concept as a tool for a sustainable development. It was stated that green economy is the result of the improvement of human well being and social equity, and at the same time it aims to decrease environmental risks and ecological insufficiencies. Thus, reducing CO2 emissions, improving resource efficiency and social inclusion. In fact, within the article, it was stated that one of the global goals is to close the technological gap between developing and developed countries.


In one side, green industrialization proposes “an inclusive green growth” and development in developing countries regarding consumption, innovation and environment. In fact, it proposes new institutional mechanisms to promote Eco innovation and cleaner technologies. On the other side, grassroots initiatives promote a reorientation and renovations of sociotechnical systems within local situations taking in account the values and interests of the community.


The aim is to develop a hybrid system that is going to be able to combine the social values and at the same time it promotes business values and industrial technologies within a green and social enterprise. (Ely, Smith, & Stirling, 2013)





UN. (1992). Rio Declaration on Environment and Development 1992. United Nations , 1-9.

Ely, A., Smith, A., & Stirling, A. (2013). Innovation politics post-Rio+20: hybrid pathways to sustainability? Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 2013 , 1063 – 1081.



Tatiana Armijos Moya

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