Tuesday, 6 July 2010

NEW MANIFESTO: INTENTIONS INTO ACTION

By Satchida Rana, MA Science, Society and Development student.

At the launch of the New Manifesto on 15 June, there were some great discussions about the future of innovation for development. But if the New Manifesto is to work for people who are in need, then these good intentions need to be translated into action in the coming days, in line with the Manifesto’s "3D agenda" (Direction, Distribution and Diversity).

So what is needed? Here are some of the key points that I took away from the day:

>> Voices and choices that are heard: we need bottom-up, participatory, pluralist and democratic approaches with increased transparency and better accountability.

>> For the people, by the people: The country’s science and technology research and innovations have to be firmly grounded to the grassroots reality in addressing the real social issues and challenges.

>> Think global, act local: Science & Technology must encourage and promote entrepreneurship and local knowledge. Research needs to target and harness community-based innovations for development.

>> Nurturing a new innovation politics: Research writing from community-based entrepreneurs on their innovations doesn’t always meet peer-review standards, or isn’t appealing to a Western audience. We need some measures or mechanisms to promote and reward these people and their innovations and writings, both at the national and at the international level.

>> Linking local to global: Science for excellence cannot be achieved until we harness and acknowledge local expertise, innovations and initiatives, along with creating local science centres.

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