Decolonising Neo-Liberal Innovation: Using the Andean Philosophy of ‘Buen Vivir’ to Reimagine Innovation Hubs

  • Andrea JimenezEmail author
  • Tony Roberts
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 552)


Innovation is increasingly portrayed as central to social and economic development. Models of innovation from the global North are often applied uncritically in the global South. Doing so may unwittingly silence indigenous knowledge, ways of knowing, and cultural values. Santos (2014) has argued that this form of epistemic violence is committed when actors from the global North are insufficiently mindful of ‘Epistemologies of the South’. Neither Santos nor the authors of this paper believe that there is nothing of value to be learned from the global North – only that there is as much to be learned from the global South – and everything to be gained from a skillful combination of different ways of knowing. This theoretical paper proposes a future line of research to examine in what ways Epistemologies of the South might inform innovation processes to produce different outcomes. We use the example of innovation hubs and although we might have used the philosophies of Ubuntu from Southern Africa or Swaraj from India, in this paper we use the lens of Buen Vivir (living well) from Andean and Amazonian communities in South America to suggest that another innovation is possible.


Innovation Epistemologies of the South Decolonising Buen Vivir 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  2. 2.Institute of Development StudiesUniversity of SussexBrightonUK

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