On September 15, the Latin American HUB (HUBLAYCTIP) kicked off the latest regional event on Advancing Transformative Innovation in Latin America – Implications for public policy. The purpose of this first workshop was to explore the type of initiatives, methodologies, and tools available to facilitate processes of systemic transformations to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals in Latin America.
Matías Ramirez, HUBLAYCTIP director, opened the event by highlighting the importance of public policy developing mechanisms that legitimise and support transformative processes in the region. Recognising that transformative innovation is a long-term process led by a vision of change, Matías identified three important factors: (1) Ability to envision and anticipate the future, (2) Construction of transformative niches and (3) Development of intermediation capacities in innovation systems.
Furthermore, Matias highlighted the relevance of strategic coalitions as mechanisms to “guide policy in supporting niche innovations and experiments that may begin to coalesce around different and viable future alternatives.”
In addition, Ana Milena Osorio from the team Un Valle del Conocimiento (Colombia) and Diego Orozco from the experiment team Universidad Ibero (México), both members of the HUB, presented their experiences and findings applying Transformative Innovation methodology. Ana explained that it is key to create diverse and deep networks that enable fair and sustainable markets for cacao growers in the Valle del Cauca, and went on to emphasise the importance of informing public policies about how to support the development of these communities and their initiatives. Diego presented their results obtained so far, seeking to transform agricultural value chains of Persian Lemon in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and changing the current governance model to be more inclusive and sustainable. The team has delved into the nature of shielding strategies for such initiatives e.g., through capacity building of grassroots groups and fostering the generation of strategic alliances.
Later in the event, discussion was opened to the 224 attendees from Mexico, El Salvador, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, where the following reflections stand out. Transformation processes must keep citizens at the centre, incorporating innovation and ensuring a broad view, beyond productivity. Transformative innovation requires relational governance to open up spaces that enable experimentation between various actors. One of the most important challenges in Transformative Innovation is to be able to build collective capacity that allows creating a common vision and agenda. It is essential to systematise and disseminate previous experiences to contribute to the evolution of learning and evidence the transformation of different communities.
The event finished with the launch of Workshop 2: Implementing Transformative Innovation as a tool to achieving the SDGs. This is a special call for policymakers, regional units and multilateral organizations developing initiatives related to the SDGs in Latin America. Applications will be open from the 17th until the 30th of September. We are asking to those interested to send an email first to email@example.com or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Initiatives selected will be published on the 4th of October. Workshop 2 will be carried out in three theoretical-practical sessions and will take place October 12-14.
HUBLAYCTIP invites all STI ecosystem actors of Latin America to keep participating in these future events which are ideal spaces to develop knowledge that enables the transformation of the region.