Chapter 1: Towards a sustainable, circular, innovative and socially fair economy: an introduction
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Following a notion of innovation that supports a transition to a sustainable, circular and socially fair and inclusive economy, this chapter presents the overall conceptual framework behind the Handbook. The overall transition towards a low-carbon, circular and fair economy requires consideration of how socio-economic and environmental dynamic paths evolve and interconnect with each other. Among others, demographic trends, with the important ageing and migration issues, public finances, private financial flows and techno-organizational trajectories are key dimensions which public policy and business strategies should take into account for sound and effective sustainability policies. The achievement of environmental aims, together with the enhancement of wellbeing, requires a very large diffusion of the wealth generated by globalization by country, region and sector, in order to minimize the emergence of 'forgotten territories', which create the basis for economic, social and, finally, political instability. To avoid trade-offs between green growth and human development societies needs a continuous investment in 'capabilities', mainly through the enhancement of access to education, training and health services. Sustainability is therefore largely built on a knowledge-based society where innovation opens opportunities and access to development resources for all. The chapter also presents the different chapters included in this Handbook.