South Africa moved a step closer to forming a community of practice for Transformative Innovation Policy this month, engaging diverse stakeholder groups for a three-day colloquium to facilitate deep learning and engagement.
The event was developed and hosted by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), the Trilateral Chair in Transformative Innovation, 4IR and Sustainable Development at the University of Johannesburg (UJ-TRCTI), the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators within the Human Sciences Research Council (CESTII), and TIPC’s core global team.
It brought together researchers, project leaders, consulting professionals, and those working to design and evaluate policy in the country and wider region. All sought to reflect on the rich and varied transformative innovation policy currently happening locally, and work towards a community of practice to embed transformative approaches in policy processes and accelerate transitions.
The culmination of a series of participatory workshops on core TIPC concepts and tools, the colloquium opened with a public lecture by Professor Sandra Boni (Ingenio (CSIC-UPV)), which addressed the need to rethink evaluation in order to transform sociotechnical systems.
Highlights from the two days that followed included in-depth reflections from diverse project teams and partners on how TIP was implemented in practice, and the real-world value of utilising transformative outcomes as a ‘compass’ towards transitions and societal change.
A structured participatory process encouraged policy actors to reflect on the challenges of embedding transformative approaches in the local context, addressing co-creation and scaling up.
Professor Erika Kraemer-Mbula (UJ-TRCTI), Professor Glenda Kruss (CESTII) and Imraan Patel (DSI) closed each day by setting out a vision for a community of practice that adopts the role of transformative innovation as a driver of sustainable and inclusive development.
‘Transformative niches are happening and have the potential to add up to something significant at the regime level once the connective tissue is in place’
– Imraan Patel, Deputy Director-General for Socio-economic Innovation Partnerships, Department of Science and Innovation
In our next TIPC Digital Digest, we will share more about the emergence of this community in South Africa.