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Cursus: GEO4-2258
Societal Challenges & Innovation Theory
Cursus informatie
Studiepunten (ECTS)7,5
Categorie / NiveauM (Master)
CursustypeCursorisch onderwijs
Aangeboden doorFaculteit Geowetenschappen; Graduate School Geowetenschappen; M Science and Innovation Management;
Contactpersoonprof. dr. E.H.M. Moors
Telefoon+31 30 2537812
prof. dr. M.P. Hekkert
Overige cursussen docent
B. Hollants, BSc
Overige cursussen docent
Contactpersoon van de cursus
prof. dr. E.H.M. Moors
Overige cursussen docent
3  (03-02-2020 t/m 17-04-2020)
TimeslotA: MA-ochtend, DI-namiddag, WO-ochtend
Cursusinschrijving geopendvanaf 28-10-2019 08:00 t/m 24-11-2019 23:59
Inschrijven via OSIRISJa
Inschrijven voor bijvakkersJa
Na-inschrijving geopendvanaf 20-01-2020 08:00 t/m 21-01-2020 23:59
Please note: the information in the course manual is binding.
After completion of the course the student:
  1. has advanced knowledge and understanding of theories of technical change and innovation in the context of societal challenges (IS degree qualification 1);
  2. has the ability to apply knowledge, and problem-solving abilities related to societal challenges and innovation  (IS degree qualification 3);
  3. has insight into the complex interactions between science, innovative technology and society and is able to reflect critically upon the roles of science and technology in organizations and society; (IS degree qualification 4);
  4. has professional and academic skills (Concise writing, Valuing literature, Argumentation and reasoning, Reflection on science and society, Selection of theories and presentation skills), in particular in relation to societal challenges and innovation; (IS degree qualification 5);
  5. is able to apply knowledge to concrete societal problems (IS degree qualification 6);
  6. is able to communicate conclusions, as well as the knowledge, reasons and considerations underlying these conclusions, to an audience of specialists and non-specialists alike. (IS degree qualification 7).

The analysis of innovation processes is much more powerful when using theories of technical change and innovation. Theories of technical change and innovation can be a powerful tool to understand and help solve some of the grand challenges that our society faces. The course focuses on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), like SDG 3 on Good Health and Wellbeing, SDG7 on Affordable Clean Energy, SDG9 on Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, SDG12 on Responsible Production and Consumption and SDG13 on Climate Action. There is, however, a lack of clear vision and understanding about how science, technology and innovation can contribute to achievement of these goals. This course uses innovation theories to tackle these grand societal challenges, and teaches students to apply these theories in a sensible, logical and practical way.
During this course we will reflect on pros and cons of different theories and assess the applicability of theories for specific research questions. We will do so by first by reflecting on what theories are and how solid theoretical models are built . Next, we review the main strands of theorizing in innovation studies and their role in innovation and transition policy. 
After having reflected on the usefulness of applying theories in a research setting students practice with choosing and applying theories to a practical research question in the area of sustainable energy and transport innovations or food and health related innovations. Different theories that build on the content of Technology Related Venturing and Innovation Systems and Processes are central in this. After thoroughly reflecting on the usefulness, the applicability, the basic assumptions and the effects on outcomes of these theories, students need to use these theories to solve a concrete society oriented research problem.

This course is an entry requirement for: Master’s Thesis IS (GEO4-2239X)

Academic skills: Concise writing, Valuing literature, Argumentation and reasoning, Reflection on science and society, Select theories, Presentations.
Recommended prerequisites:
• Innovation Systems and Processes (GEO4-2257), and
• Technology Related Venturing (GEO4-2268)

Knowledge about Innovation Theory is a prerequisite, because GEO4-2258 is a very theoretically-oriented course. For elective students without theoretical knowledge in the field of innovation studies the course is very difficult.
Verplicht materiaal
Relevant scientific articles will be specified in the course manual.


Voorbereiding bijeenkomsten
Preparation of each tutorial.

Minimum cijfer-

Individual assignment (30%), written exam (50%); and participation during tutorial sessions (20%) will account for the final grade.

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