The Latin American Experience
Edited by Gabriela Dutrénit and Judith Sutz
Chapter 3: The Brazilian national system of innovation: challenges to sustainability and inclusive development
The financial dimension of the crisis affecting the world economy and society since 2007–2008 is only one aspect of an historical process of greater magnitude. There is, in fact, a structural crisis resulting from the exhaustion of an accumulative regime characterised by mass production, mass consumption and excessive use of natural resources, as well as greater exploitation of labour. A dramatic increase in inequality is an important feature of these developments. It has increased at an unprecedented rate over the last three decades, a period when the extent of knowledge related to the production process and international trade has also grown substantially. Significant disparities in conditions of generation, access and use of knowledge, as well as new technologies, systems and content, are causing novel and more complex inequalities between individuals, social groups, organisations, countries and economic blocs, both rich and poor (Soares and Cassiolato, 2008). At the same time, exacerbated consumerism, an increase in non-rational exploration and use of resources, accelerated loss of biodiversity, high levels of air and water pollution, greenhouse effects and the generation of enormous quantities of waste pollutants have been brought to the fore, contributing to an unprecedented environmental crisis. Maharajh (2012), for instance, points out that the estimated annual environmental cost resulting from global human activity is the equivalent of 11 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP).
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