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Tans Lecture

 

Maastricht Reflections on Innovation - Tans Lecture

Thursday 10 November, 20h00 • Lecture Hall Tongersestraat 53 • Free entry • Prof. L. Soete, Professor of International Economics, Maastricht University, Director of UNU-MERIT and Director-Dean of the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance.

"Innovation is good for you" appears actually the common feature of most science, technology and innovation studies over the last decades. This appears, however surprising given the fact that innovation failure rather than innovation success appears a much more common feature. Hence the simple, but straightforward question which will be central in this Tans lecture: could it be that innovation is not always good for you?

A frequently heard argument is that at a societal level, innovation is renewing society’s dynamics and hence leading to higher levels of economic development and welfare. A process of creative destruction destroying maybe a few incumbents to the benefit though of many newcomers. However, sometimes the exact opposite pattern: a process of destructive innovation, benefiting a few at the expense of many, will occur.

In this period of "crises" examples abound of such destructive creation processes. In this Tanslecture some typical examples will be highlighted: our unsustainable fossil-fuel based economic growth at the global level; European monetary integration at the European level; financial innovation at the sectoral level.

The Tans Lecture is organized every year to honor dr. J. Tans (1912-1993), the founding father of Maastricht University.


Information on lecturer / artist(s)

Luc Soete (Brussels, 1950) is founder of the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT). In 2006 MERIT merged with the UNU Institute for New Technologies to become UNU-MERIT. In 2010 he became Director-Dean of the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance.

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