Inclusive Innovation: Realizing the Options
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The options presented in this chapter address the derelict policy learning capacities in India. With respect to the excluded rural, the cases in Part II can be placed in three groups, (i) where the rural informal actors coevolve, learn and enable innovation, (ii) where they engage with the state and organized knowledge actors to confront prevalent exclusions and enable inclusive innovation and development outcomes and (iii) where the state and its formal knowledge actors learn and work towards inclusion and innovation. This chapter presents options for proactive learning, and institutional and technological innovation among diverse actors. By presenting a platter of options to diverse decision makers, it places the onus of choice and need for interactions and learning on them. The contents and processes of change are then ontologically different from policy makers receiving prescriptions from the S&T actors. Two strategic shifts seem necessary for inclusive innovation: (i) from artefact or input or technological innovation to ways of working, rules, norms and institutional innovation, in all the informal spaces in rural India; and (ii) from the user or beneficiary of the innovation (the rural poor) to the state and formal organized S&T as co-learners, guiders and shapers of both knowledge and the economy (its actors). The theoretically conditioned expectation in development economics and innovation systems, that policy prescriptions based on ex-post evidence will lead to innovation and economic performance, is a twentieth-century construct. Inclusive innovation demands ex-ante engagement and learning, with decentralized innovation capacities and nonhierarchical selection of innovation projects. These are projects that acknowledge and cultivate human resources with local knowledge and socio-cultural systems understandings.
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