Innovation is a constant feature of our lives. And it is not just an issue of new engineering techniques and digital gadgets. Innovation is a social phenomenon. Societies and their cultural roots determine the incentives that trigger innovation efforts, give direction to these efforts and eventually govern the adoption (or rejection) of innovations in the social, political and economic realm. These cultural roots of innovation dynamics are at the heart of the different development trajectories we observe all over the world and the different socio-political “equilibria” existing on the global map.
A region that has shown exceptional dynamics and innovative strength in recent years and decades is East Asia. Societies in China, Japan and (South) Korea have not only facilitated truly disruptive innovations in a multitude of technology fields, but also in the social and political realms. How can we understand what is happening in East Asia, and is there something we can learn for our own societies?
In this symposium, innovations in electromobility and in urban systems will be examined to better understand how innovation processes are embedded in East-Asian societies. In addition to the technical perspective, the symposium will investigate the social dimension of innovation processes in order to identify the characteristics of national innovation systems.
Discussions will cover not only the similarities and differences between East Asian societies, but also European societies and other countries in an international comparison. Another focus is the study of transnational phenomena, i.e., the question of how innovations, institutions and ideas overcome national boundaries (institutional transfers).
The conference is based on research of the IN-EAST School of Advanced Studies on Innovation in East Asia at the University of Duisburg-Essen funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
The symposium will be held in English.