Having set the landscape and its challenges, it's time to journey across this landscape and see what ways there are to move forward.
We begin this journey with an exploration of the notion of responsibility, and what the underlying values of responsible stagnation (RS) might be. We start by considering the challenge of uncertainty in innovation, and the centrality of process in decision-making. Specifically, we note the importance of allowing sufficient time and of acting with care in our decisionmaking process. We show how, at its core, RS offers a new lens for viewing the relationship between society and science, research, technology and innovation.
We then continue by taking a closer look at how RS interacts with three real-world contexts: social innovation, the Global South and corporations. First, we will look at a range of social innovations which are centred primarily on new ways of creating social value or responding to social needs often not met by standard market-based activities, reflecting a tacit commitment to care and connection as important motivating values.
Next, we turn our attention to the Global South as a way to think more deeply through the political implications of innovation on a wider scale. Starting with an appreciation that technology does not consist of neutral ‘mere’ tools, but can be used as an instrument of persuasion and domination, we discuss how innovation policies and our imagining of what counts as innovation can be (and has been) used as a form of colonial domination. The aspirations of RS, and especially a ‘commitment to care’, are used to reconsider the relationship between innovation and geo-political structures, recognizing that the Global South represents a great reservoir of localized, alternative ways of framing innovation.
Finally, we turn to the possibilities and challenges for RS in guiding corporate behaviour. While innovation policy is generally enacted through universities, research institutes and other state-funded initiatives, much of the research and development (R&D) that drives innovation actually takes place in the private sector. Issues here include the purpose of corporate social responsibility programmes, and demands arising due to shareholder-stakeholder dichotomies and public accountability measures.