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Next season’s Nordic Horizons Topics

Next season's NH (after the indyref) will be themed Renewing Democracy. Proposals for speakers are very welcome – though we have a fair rake of great surprises already. Here's one excellent suggestion.

"The EU has published its a "league table" of Member State performance in Innovation i.e. who has the best "innovation system"?

A good definition of innovation systems is: “ .. the network of institutions in the public and private sectors whose activities and interactions initiate, import, modify and diffuse new technologies.” (Freeman, 1987)

Really its about interactions between certain parts of the public sector – higher education for example – and certain kinds of private enterprise, to generate innovation in the economy.

So who is doing well? No surprises!

"Denmark (DK), Finland (FI), Germany (DE) and Sweden (SE) are "Innovation Leaders" with innovation performance well above that of the EU average"

The UK is grouped with ""Innovation followers" with innovation performance above or close to that of the EU average."

A good report on that here.

So perhaps not the best fit with the "renewing democracy" theme, but a really critical one for the future – what can we learn from the innovation systems in Sweden and Finland to support Scotland's economy? How can we use the time with the remaining oil and gas to put in place the institutions and approaches that will sustain a dynamic economy based on innovation and not a race to the bottom? To be an innovation leader and not a follower.

Josef Stiglitz has a book on these general issues due out in July.

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