This project (2020-1-SE01-KA203-077872) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Innovation and Sustainable Development

Admission Requirements
Bachelor’s degree in any academic subject, previous courses in the master’s program or similar foundations.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the student can:


  • Explain the relationship between innovation, inclusion and sustainable development under different economic, ecological and social conditions, from different theoretical perspectives


  • Analyse the relationship between innovation, inclusion and sustainable development under different economic, ecological and social conditions, from different theoretical perspectives
  • Analyse the elements, relations and functions in innovation systems from various theoretical approaches
  • Critically review how policies for innovation, entrepreneurship and education are linked to a society’s ecological, environmental, political, economic, cultural and societal conditions
  • Independently produce summaries of scientifically reviewed literature in innovation and development, as well as present scholarly material both orally and in writing


  • Use a critical approach to ethical issues in development of science, technology and innovation from the perspectives of rights, gender and sustainability

This course covers theories,concept and analytical methods for innovation, adapted to the context of Sustainable development. The elements, relations and functions of innovation systems are analyzed for specific countries, regions or for specific technologies and social inovations. Statistical data and their usability for innovation policy and practice are discussed using the global goals for sustainable development as a basis. International cooperation and partnerships focusing on knowledge and technology development are discussed in the context of the ambitions of global sustainability goal 17, “Partnership for the goals”. There is particular examination of the role of innovation in developing agriculture, water and sanitation, as well as energy provision, but also on the basis of changes to working conditions and the environmental consequences of technological and organisational choices. Using these theories, students are provided with tools to analyse how socioeconomic and cultural conditions, human rights, equality and the environment influence and are influenced by innovation policy and practice. These theories need to be supplemented by other perspectives in order to understand how actors can cooperate to solve challenges relating to sustainable development and combatting poverty. The course also includes theories relating to knowledge development and learning and how these can contribute to understanding the opportunities presented by innovation in tackling global challenges.


Mandatory reading

  • Chaminade, C., Lundvall, B.-Åke and Haneef, S. (2018) Advanced Introduction to National Innovation Systems. (Advanced Introductions).
  • Godin, B. (2015) Innovation Contested : The Idea of Innovation over the Centuries. London: Taylor & Francis Group (Routledge Studies in Social and Political Thought Ser).
  • Huntjens, P. (2021) Towards a Natural Social Contract. Cham: Springer Nature.
  • Rogers, E.M. (2003) Diffusion of Innovations, 5th Edition. 5th edn. Riverside: Free Press.

Teaching Methodology
  • The course provides students with recorded Video lectures on the key approaches to innovation and innovation systems, introductions to the literature on the frequently used concepts as well as instructions on exercises;
  • Independent Study on selected literature based on written reading instructions;
  • Seminars on Zoom are used to discuss the literature and its applications to student´s tentative thesis topics;
  • Practical Exercises;

ECTS Credits
7,5 ECTS

III semester

Examination methodology
The course will be examined through a written essay, through active participation in seminars and submission of exercises.

This course follows on the previous courses on systems thinking and provides an underpinning to following courses on design

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