This year there have been several series of events celebrating the centenary of Christopher Freeman, one of the founding fathers of the study of innovation systems. The different events highlighted many older ideas that are still relevant while pondering how some new ideas might play out into the future. These events provided the perfect opportunity… Continue reading Series: Promoting innovation systems praxis in Africa
Updated and refined, 12 April 2020 When working to improve the performance of any sector or value chain, we are often confronted with a range of meso organisations or programmes designed to support upgrading, skills development and better decision making in small businesses in the targeted sector. While mapping these organisations is not so difficult,… Continue reading Improving the value proposition of the meso layer to enterprises
Some of the issues that prospective clients that approach me are struggling with around meso and/or technological change
This article is from the Mesopartner Annual Reflection 2019 (Cunningham, 2019). In this article, I explore how one could go about to discover the network of meso organisations in a country that helps the private and the public sector to strengthen technological capability. During the past year, Mesopartner has been working with the Trade and Industrial… Continue reading Identifying the meso organisations that strengthen technological capability
Updated on 18 April 2020, originally published 15 October 2019 In every economy there are organisations that emerge to address all kinds of market, structural and organisational failures. We call these organisations meso organisations – they perform meso functions aimed at improving the economic performance and prosperity of the micro-level. While some meso functions may… Continue reading Meso Institutions as enablers of Self-Discovery, Increasing Learning and resilience
This is the 3rd post that draws from the research and advisory work I am currently busy with to strengthen South Africa’s technological capability to detect and better respond to discontinuous technological change. The citation information for this post is at the bottom of this post, and a link to the research report that I… Continue reading Technological change cycles
I am excited that the Helvetas Eastern European team asked me to write a blog post for their Mosaic newsletter about the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The blog article and many others can be found here. Regular readers will know that I am not so convinced of one big revolution; rather that there are many smaller disruptions.… Continue reading Is the Fourth Industrial Revolution a paradigm shift?
This is a revised edition of a blog post I wrote back in 2011. When working on the improvement of innovation systems in developing countries, we have to work with firms. These firms have several roles, and there are three units of analysis: The firm is an important unit of analysis of innovative practices (product,… Continue reading Identifying firms to work with to induce upgrading of industries
The last few days I have been a participant in a conference about transformative innovation policy. It was quite a treat to be a participant in an event and not to be a moderator or speaker. The Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium is an initiative of the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of… Continue reading Rigid agencies in complex economic change processes
I am often asked whether one person or function in an organization is sufficient to coordinate and manage innovation. The answer is “no”. While I agree that it is very hard to get whole organizations to think about innovation, it certainly is a distributed capability. Let me just recap. Back in 2015 I wrote that… Continue reading Who should be thinking about innovation in your organization?