Transforming territories Through Better Governance Processes



One of the main challenges of humanity is the reduction of economic and social inequalities. These inequalities have an eminently territorial character, especially in developing countries. This abstract will constitute a doctoral thesis, and focuses on Brazil. It is partly supported by the literature about local productive arrangements and national innovation systems, which advocates that, to reduce inequalities in the national context, it is necessary to look at less dynamic territories in order to integrate them in the economic process.

The comprehension of transformative innovation is linked to the improvement of governance mechanisms focused on territorial development, understood as a central theme for the societal policy agenda, in favor of structured strategies based on the participation of the most diverse social actors (economic agents, governments and organized civil society) so that development goals can reach society as a whole in the territories.

The dynamism of the institutional network is considered, by several theories, as a key factor for the flourishing of innovations and business, as well as, if properly treated, the consideration of social and environmental aspects, whose attendance is essential for long term sustainability.

Several methodologies have been implemented to improve territorial governance. The general diagnosis brought by the studies under consideration refers, mostly, to difficulties linked to the Brazilian institutional heritage. Thus, processes that promote cultural change towards a more systemic, participatory and integrated paradigm have plenty of room for experimentation.

The project aims at three specific objectives in support of the general objective of improving territorial governance:

  1. Evaluation of a public policy for sustainable development in the surrounding areas of large industry or infrastructure projects, that seeks to harness the economic potential and mitigate the negative social and environmental impacts in the territory where these investments were located (case study will be the construction of a complex of hydroelectric plants in the state of Rondonia).
  2. The quantitative approach starts from building or enhancing information systems to dynamically map large-scale masses of economic and social flows across territories and anticipate trends based on predictive methods generated by machine learning.
  3. The qualitative approach is been built based on the “Complex Holographic Assessment of Paradoxal Problems” methodology (CHAP2) developed under the Production Engineering Program of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (PEP/UFRJ). CHAP2 is a systemic methodology of problem structuring, based on metacognitive maps, which help in the management of complex social problems. The use of this tool aims to achieve better standards of institutional interaction, based on greater confidence and collaboration for the sustainable development of territories.

The work is at an early stage. The motivation for sending this abstract to the TIPC Conference is the interest in discussing the CHAP2 methodology in conjunction with the multi-criteria mapping methodology (MCM) in search of mutual learning and eventual establishment of research partnerships between the TIPC network and the UFRJ.

TIPC Related themes:

  1. The role of specific actors in transformative change
  2. Mechanisms and practicalities of TIP
  3. Geographies of transformative innovation policy

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