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Marco Bellandi, Monica Plechero and Erica Santini

The future of many contemporary Italian industrial districts (IDs) strongly relies on the capability of local place leadership (PL) to react to opportunities and threats related to global challenges and crises. IDs might indeed find sustainable solutions in the face of such challenges if PLs take an open and strong approach and drive progressive coalitions of local interests. Taking advantage of a systematic review of contemporary Italian ID case studies and their correlates in terms of local governance, we explore how different types of PLs may influence endogenous rerouting and transition to renewed development paths. Specific attention is given to the risks that either a weak PL or an enclosed strong PL could hamper sustainable solutions.

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Cristina Chaminade, Claudia De Fuentes, Gouya Harirchi and Monica Plechero

The chapter discusses the spatial aspects of the increased globalization of innovation, analysing both the region’s role in influencing the propensity of actors to engage and to play different roles in global innovation networks (GINs). Until now, different concepts such as global value chain (GVC), global production network (GPN) and GIN have been used to explain the increase globalization of innovation activities. The authors provide a critical overview of these concepts. The involvement of new actors (not just multinationals) from different locations (not just from developed economies) reveal the limitations of frameworks such as GVC and GPN in explaining the structure and dynamics of global networks. The chapter highlights how the concept of GIN, when properly addressed, can lead to a better understanding of the micro and meso dynamics of the new phenomena that arise from the globalization of innovation activities.