Why focus on eco-innovation?

Historically, changing the way people do things or think about doing them has constituted a source of wealth and improvement. Change, be it technological, social or environmental, is now receiving ever-increasing attention as an answer to many of our most pressing problems such as unemployment, low economic growth, or natural resource depletion. EU countries, for example, have raised innovation to the status of a recognised policy area to be made coherent with all other EU policies.

But the capacity of humans for change has brought about unforeseen consequences and many now see innovation as a source of environmental degradation, social disruption and cultural loss. Accordingly, the main struggle is no longer between humans and a hostile natural environment but rather, between humans and the consequences of the transformations they have brought about.

Sustainable development depends on our capacity to reconcile the utilitarian "production-oriented" approach and the conservationist and social justice agenda. In that view, eco-innovations represent the building blocks of a genuinely sustainable type of development.

Even though eco-innovation is enjoying an ever-rising status in UN and EU policy agenda, its actors face recurrent cross-sectoral and cross-societal barriers that hamper its full realisation. We founded Eco Innovation to better understand and alleviate those barriers.