Embedding accountability throughout innovation process in the green economy: the need for an innovative approach

Conference Contribution

Setiawan, A.D., Singh, R. & Romijn, H.A. (2017). Embedding accountability throughout innovation process in the green economy: the need for an innovative approach. In R. Yaya, R. Putra, S. Riyadi, I.A. Rineksane, P. Harsanto, R. Widowati, I. Prabasari & T. Taufik (Eds.), ICoSI 2014 : Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Innovation (pp. 147-158). Singapore: Springer.

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Abstract

 

Innovation in the green economy entails transformative change in society. Vital infrastructure technologies in the fields of energy, water, communication, waste handling, and so on have many interdependencies with other economic sectors. Hence, introducing green innovation in such sectors has complex repercussions and requires many complementary changes to be made elsewhere in the economy as well. Therefore, such innovations come with large uncertainties and risks. They need a long time to be fully developed and assimilated into society, and this is never a smooth journey because many effects were not foreseen at the start. Undesirable social, economic and environmental consequences can easily occur along the way. Therefore, innovation in the green economy introduces the need to foreground issues of accountability more prominently and explicitly throughout the innovation process. This implies that it is necessary to start defining accountability from the beginning of the innovation process—not only toward the end. This can help us to figure out beforehand about what (negative) impacts could possibly emerge and how they can be prevented, in order to lead to satisfactory outcomes for all stakeholders. Therefore, this paper attempts to create an understanding of the importance of embedding accountability throughout innovation process in the green economy by addressing the following questions: How do we define accountability for innovation in the green economy? What kind of approach may help us in embedding accountability throughout the innovation process in the green economy? To answer these questions, the concept of responsible innovation is introduced and the application of the approach is illustrated through a case study. The paper concludes that responsible innovation approach allows the careful scrutinizing of the (emerging) impacts of innovation and provides a clear map of the roles, tasks, and liabilities of innovation actors as the basis for embedding accountability throughout the innovation process.