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Hernan Thomas, Lucas Becerra and Santiago Garrido

Innovation studies have, at least until now, neglected to analyse the actions of resistance to technological change. The neo-Schumpeterian and evolutionary economics of innovation focused on a particular range of socio-technical actions: those related to the generation of new products and production systems aimed at maximizing income by generating conditions of market monopoly. That is, the studies on innovation only consider a limited range of possibilities in terms of accumulation models, forms of production and circulation of goods, and problem-solution dynamics. Given these restrictions, it is not surprising that other processes of technological innovation generated by other social actors in other loci (public research and development institutions, public enterprises, non-governmental organizations, grassroots organizations, trade unions, indigenous communities as well as individual users) have not been critically examined. As these actors are key to processes of socio-technical resistance, the forms of rejection or construction of counter-hegemonic alternatives have not been addressed. The chapter aims at uncovering, analytically, resistance actions carried out by actors which have been so far been overlooked by mainstream studies on innovation. The idea is to analyse socio-technical resistance as a resignification of innovation, as a type of reinnovation.

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Hernán Thomas, Lucas Becerra, Mariano Fressoli, Santiago Garrido and Paula Juarez

The relationship between technology, innovation and social inclusion has recently acquired new relevance in social development forums and institutions. Nowadays it is possible to find a diversity of new concepts, approaches and initiatives of inclusive innovation. However, it is not clear how to avoid the failures of previous experiences in the development of technology for social inclusion. Two kinds of common failures in Latin America can be identified as theoretical and policy failures. The former is mainly based on the use of linear models of innovation and old technology transfer conceptions that tend to reduce poverty and social exclusion to a technical problem. The latter is associated with this problem but also adds the difficulties of lack of human resources, discontinuity of funding, and inability of social development institutions to conceive or sustain long-term strategies based on learning improvements. The chapter works on cases from Argentina in the areas of social housing, renewal energy and food production in order to understand: 1) what kinds of theoretical problems practitioners face; 2) how practitioners recognize the limitations and failures of their approaches and policies; and 3) what kinds of strategies practitioners attempt to implement to overcome these emerging issues.