The Importance of Innovation

27 February 2015

Innovation is considered to provide the basis of future economic development. Industrialised countries, which do have strong structures in modern industries, a highly skilled labour force and leading edge research, manage to perform well in periods of crises. This helps to understand the future of regions, countries and global division of labour.

A high level two-day-workshop organized by Prof Ulrich Hilpert FAcSS, University of Jena, held at Kellogg College, Oxford, under the umbrella of the Academy of Social Sciences brought together 30 colleagues and practitioners with presentations by colleagues from 11 countries from three continents.

After an introductory presentation by Michael Vassiliadis, president of IndustryAll (nine million European members), further presetaions by the Professors Walter Scherrer (University of Salzburg), Connie McNeely (George Mason University, Arlington, USA), Sunyang Chung (Seoul, Korea), Nicola Bellini FAcSS (Business School La Rochelle) and Gordon Redding (Oxford) provided the basis for a round table discussion which involved all participants. Particular attention paid to the role of systems of skilled labour (university trained and blue collar), divergent cultures, global networks of innovation and creative potential of women and minorties for successful policies.

The workshop benefitted from the excellent hospitality of Kellogg College and, of course, was made possible by substantial funding of the Hans-Böckler-Foundation. A follow-up event is under preparation in Berlin in 2016. The current event will provide the basis for an edited book edited by Ulrich Hilpert on his new approach and will also provide the basis for a special issue of Contemporary Social Sciences edited by Ulrich Hilpert and Jonathan Michie.

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