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Benoît Godin

Innovation is a concept that everyone understands spontaneously, or thinks they understand; that every theorist talks about and every government espouses. Yet, it has not always been so. For the last five hundred years, the concept innovation has been a dirty word. The history of the concept of innovation is an untold story. It is a story of myths and conceptual confusions. In this chapter, I study the ways in which thoughts on innovation of early modern society gave rise to innovation theory in the twentieth century. Namely, how, when and why a pejorative and morally connoted word shifted to a much-valued concept. I offer a history of the concept of innovation, going back to antiquity. A history that takes the use of the concept seriously: from polemical to instrumental to theoretical.

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Conclusion: The two faces of innovation

Promises and Limits of Democratic Participation in Latin America

Leonardo Avritzer

In the conclusion, the author systematizes the 11 cases on political innovation approached in the book. He has attempted to answer both sets of questions in the book through the analysis of empirical cases. He analysed six cases of participatory budgeting; three cases of accountability and two cases of judicial innovation. These cases showed a large variation in results. In some cases participatory innovation has been successfully expanded both in Brazil and Argentina and in other cases innovation was halted by the new form of relation with the political system. The political system is the main variable in the generation of success or failure in the process of innovation. The author also worked with the cases of innovation in the judicial cases in both Brazil and Colombia. He argued that the Colombian case is the one that could be considered successful precisely because it kept in mind a core of rights and norms that innovation cannot go beyond without endangering the deepening of democracy. The 11 cases of innovation in the book can throw a new light on the desirability of innovation. The distinction the author proposed in the introduction allowed us to establish a bar among the different cases. The book narrowed the concept to the cases of democratic innovation in order to assess innovations according to their role in deepening democracy and rights. This allowed him to differentiate cases of participatory budgeting, cases of participatory accountability and cases of judicial innovation. In the end, he came up with a more cautious view on innovation that does not diminish its importance. On the contrary, the book tried to closely bind innovation, rights and the deepening of democracy. Its main trust is that by being more selective deliberative democrats can better contribute to sponsor experiences of innovation.

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Councils and monitoring in Latin America as forms of participatory accountability

Promises and Limits of Democratic Participation in Latin America

Leonardo Avritzer

Chapter 4 is looks at councils in Latin America and involves what the author calls participatory accountability: the relational mechanism that connects the state and social actors in one specific dimension, namely, the implementation of public policies by elected officials and the bureaucracy. Three cases of participatory accountability are described in the chapter: policy councils in Brazil, comités de vigilancia in Bolivia and electoral councillors in Mexico. The emergence of policy councils in Brazil was the result of the infraconstitutional regulation on social and urban policies. Policy councils proliferated in the areas of health, social assistance, urban policies and child and teenager issues during the 1990s. They were initially implemented in large cities that had strong social movements and professional support for these policies. They were later expanded to most Brazilian cities. The second case is Bolivia and the process of the creation of institutions of popular participation from the bottom up. The Popular Participation Law (Ley de Participaci—n Popular – LPP) of 1994 was enacted and was the result of decades of political debate. The LPP decentralized 20 per cent of all central government revenues to local government, making the Bolivian state present in some communities for the first time since independence.

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Janet Merkel

In the aftermath of the financial and economic crisis of 2007 and 2008, a new type of collaboratively oriented workplace has emerged in cities. These coworking spaces and the associated practice of coworking exemplify new ways of organizing labor in project-based and largely freelance occupations as found in the creative industries. The focus of the chapter is to introduce the rise of freelancers as independent economic agents to contextualize the emergence of coworking spaces as a collective coping strategy to deal the with uncertainties and risks associated with freelance work. The chapter combines sociological perspectives with recent research in economic geography on the social dynamics of knowledge creation, proximity and the spatialities of creative and innovative processes in order to discuss coworking spaces as new knowledge sites in creative urban economies.

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David H. Cropley

Malevolent creativity has been established as a distinct area of interest in the wider field of creativity research. The construct builds on earlier concepts of negative creativity that sought to acknowledge the possibility of harmful outcomes in the production of novelty. With a particular focus on the intentional production of harmful, novel outputs, malevolent creativity has particular relevance to fields such as criminal justice, policing and counter-terrorism. There is a growing theoretical foundation for malevolent creativity, and an expanding body of empirical work that continues to develop an understanding of the relevant variables and the relationships between them. Most recently, empirical work is beginning to shift towards cause-and-effect, and practical work is focusing more and more on the application of the concept to practical policing and security applications.

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Pascal Le Masson, Armand Hatchuel and Benoit Weil

In this chapter, we analyze the relationship between creativity issues and design theory. Although these two notions seemingly correspond to different academic fields (psychology, cognitive science and management for creativity; engineering science and logic for design theory), they appear to be deeply related when it comes to design methods and design management. Analyzing three historical moments in design theory-building (the 1850s, with the ratio method for industrial upgrading in Germany; the 20th century with systematic design and the 1920s with the Bauhaus theory), we point to the dialectical interplay that links creativity issues and design theory, structured around the notion of “fixation effect”: creativity identifies fixation effects, which become the targets of new design theories; design theories invent models of thought to overcome them; and, in turn, these design theories can also create new fixation effects that will then be designated by creativity studies. This dialectical interplay leads to regular inventions of new ways of managing design, that is, new ways of managing knowledge, processes and organizations for design activities. We use this framework to analyze recent trends in creativity and design theories.

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Yellowlees Douglas and Andrew Hargadon

Contrary to common views of innovations as being profoundly disruptive, the innovations that succeed are those that are evolutionary, not revolutionary. This chapter examines the way in which design domesticates innovation by nudging users incrementally into adopting new practices. In fact, most successful innovations introduce only moderate amounts of novelty, even drawing off features of older, now-obsolete technologies to frame our understandings of new products in terms of the products we are about to abandon. Even as the 1984 Apple Macintosh desktop made inroads toward rendering our paper files and desktops obsolete, its innovative operating system invoked files, file folders, a desktop, and a trash can. Good design domesticates novelty. However, once an innovation has gained acceptance, the purpose of design shifts toward differentiating between competing versions of the same underlying offerings. The best designs are robust enough to withstand the continuing cycle of domestication and differentiation, changing as technologies advance and users’ sophistication follows.

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Giovanni Dosi and Luigi Marengo

In this chapter we analyze the characteristics and dynamics of organizations wherein members diverge in terms of the capabilities and visions they hold, and the interests which they pursue. In particular we examine how different forms of power can achieve coordination among such diverse capabilities, visions and interests while at the same time ensuring control and allowing mutual learning. By means of a simple simulation model of collective decisions by heterogeneous agents, we will examine three different forms of power, ranging from the power to design the organization, to the power to overrule by veto the decisions of others, to the power to shape the very preferences of the members of the organization. We study the efficiency of different balances between the three foregoing mechanisms, within a framework in which organizations indeed “aggregate” and make compatible different pieces of distributed knowledge, but the causation arrow also goes the other way round: organizations shape the characteristics and distribution of knowledge itself, and of the micro “visions” and judgments.

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Edited by Harald Bathelt, Patrick Cohendet, Sebastian Henn and Laurent Simon

This unique Companion provides a comprehensive overview and critical evaluation of existing conceptualizations and new developments in innovation research. It draws on multiple perspectives of innovation, knowledge and creativity from economics, geography, history, management, political science and sociology. The Companion brings together leading scholars to reflect upon innovation as a concept (Part I), innovation and institutions (Part II), innovation and creativity (Part III), innovation, networking and communities (Part IV), innovation in permanent spatial settings (Part V), innovation in temporary, virtual and open settings (Part VI), innovation, entrepreneurship and market making (Part VII), and the governance and management of innovation (Part VIII).
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Alain Rallet and André Torre

This chapter argues that new approaches to the geographical dimension of innovation and its role in localized systems are necessary today, because existing ones either suffer from analytical shortcomings or have failed to take into account changes in the conception of innovation and in the organization of contemporary societies. The first section is devoted to the cluster-oriented approach, which highlights the systemic nature of innovation processes – seen as less and less technology-based – thereby moving closer towards a definition of industrial ecosystems. Then, we discuss the coordination-based approach, highlighting shortcomings in the analysis of the concepts of proximity and their coordination-related dimension. Finally, we discuss the need for a broader conception of innovation, and the necessity to look beyond its technological dimension by considering new forms and new sources of innovation, linked to social and organizational issues as well as environmental questions and the relation with local populations’ desire to express themselves.