How can diplomacy foster sustainable innovations? A case study of Finnish policies

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Business | Master's thesis
Date
2020
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management
Language
en
Pages
144
Series
Abstract
As sustainable development and innovation diplomacy remain key topics in foreign economic, trade and security policies nowadays, innovation is increasingly linked closely with sustainable development into a compiled concept of sustainable innovation. My thesis addresses the question of how diplomacy can foster these sustainable innovations. The context is that global challenges with regard to sustainable development is a central issue in diplomacy, which call for joint actions and changes in policy in order to address them and achieve sustainable development goals under the Agenda 2030. Examining Finland as the case study, qualitative research method is applied, and data collection and analysis draw upon official reports presenting Finnish, EU and Nordic policies of sustainable development and innovation diplomacy in addition to virtual interviews with Finnish policy advisors and specialists of the fields. In total, there are 10 reports reviewed, including Finnish Voluntary National Review, Policy brief, Policy report, and Global Competitiveness Report published by Finnish Prime Minister's Office, Nordic Council of Ministers, OECD, Taloustieto Oy, Sitra, World Economic Forum, World Bank Publications, United Nations, and Research.fi from 2009-2020, all that provide data of policy overviews and strategies, national and regional plans, progress and performance evaluation. There are 7 interviewees who are Ministerial Adviser, Senior Advisor, Senior Specialist and Programme Manager that can provide valid insights due to their knowledge and expertise working for Helsinki EU Office, the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Nordic Innovation, and Nordic Development Fund. I argue that dimensions of sustainable development be put into the centre of innovation diplomacy policies and hence, the policies can enable global stakeholders to cope with challenges by advanced sustainable innovations generated from the soft power and diplomatic approaches. The outcome of thorough literature reviews and intensive empirical work of this thesis is a framework of diplomacy policies categorised into the domains of innovation diplomacy and sustainable development diplomacy at local, national and regional levels, whose interventions can advance sustainable innovations and simultaneously address key policy challenges of sustainable innovations: balance private sector needs and market dynamics with the global public good; and identify, evaluate and address economic, social or environmental trade-offs among stakeholders doing sustainable innovations. As a result, the findings from the EU, Nordic and Finland works will proliferate the framework further, complementing the theoretical concepts of international relations and innovation policy, the theory of system thinking in improving mechanism of operation between actors in innovation ecosystems, and adding examples of diplomatic approaches in governance of sustainable innovation from the field work- all together supplementing the previous studies of sustainable innovation, innovation diplomacy and sustainable development diplomacy. In conclusion, the thesis reinforces diplomacy as one strategic governance model that fosters sustainable innovations and comprehensively enables global stakeholders to address sustainable development goals at all levels.
Description
Thesis advisor
Salmivaara, Virva
Keywords
sustainable innovation, innovation diplomacy, sustainable development diplomacy, innovation policy
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