There are ample examples out there to demonstrate the tremendous capacity we humans have in finding innovative solutions to improve our lives. However, innovation is not always for the better. Aspects of innovation may be driving the world in the wrong direction, directly opposed to a sustainable future.
The challenge we face is to use this innovative capacity to reconnect ourselves with the biosphere and stay within the safe boundaries of the planet in order to safeguard human development in the long term. It is time to introduce innovations that are sensitive to the fundamental bonds between social and ecological systems.
The presentation was done as part of the 3rd Nobel Laureate Symposium which took place in Stockholm in May 2011.
About the Symposium
The Symposium took place in Stockholm between 16-19 May and gathered some 50 of the world's most renowned thinkers and experts on global sustainability. The Symposium concluded with a memorandum signed by key Nobel Laureates and handed over to the High-level Panel on Global Sustainability appointed by the UN Secretary General. Read more about the Memorandum and the Symposium here.
About Frances Westley
Frances Westley is Professor of Social Sciences and holds the J.W. McConnell Chair of Social Innovation at the University of Waterloo, Canada.
Westley is a renowned scholar and consultant in the areas of social innovation, strategies for sustainable development, strategic change, visionary leadership and inter-organizational collaboration.
Her current research focuses on the dynamics of social innovation in complex systems. Frances Westley serves on numerous advisory boards including Resilience Alliance Board of Science, World Conservation Union-Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, the Stockholm Resilience Center and the SARAS Institute.
Between 2005 and 2007 she was Director of Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, institute for innovative and multidisciplinary thinking and environmental problem-solving at the University of Wisconsin- Madison.
She is the recipient of several awards including the Ulysses S. Seal award for innovation in conservation and the Corporate Knights Award.