CommsConsult Director and co-founder Megan Lloyd-Laney was delighted to go back to her professional roots as a science journalist in March 2018.
Megan was asked by the Global Development Network to cover their 2018 Annual Conference which took as its central theme Science, Technology and Innovation for Development (STI). The conference brought together 211 participants from 30 different countries to explore the potential for innovation to address global challenges and specifically to deliver the promises of the SDGs.
Megan’s job was twofold: first to report on the headlines from two days of lively presentations and discussions, with her colleague Nyasha Musandu who was one of the rapporteurs; and second, to produce a strategic document that would inform the organisation’s approach to broader STI policy conversations and development applications happening globally.
The conference concluded that while STI are global public goods, innovation is localized and therefore understanding the context for replication is essential and tricky. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) should be used as a universal framing for STI targets to be set and ‘careful’ policies to guide how they can generate positive development outcomes.
There were eight key takeaways from the conference:
- The past is no indication of the future
- STI is multi-dimensional and multifaceted
- Adaptation to climate change presents unique innovation challenges
- Innovation is a diverse concept
- Scale-up and replication are elusive
- Technology is a social construct
- Digital disruption and data must benefit societies
- Multi-stakeholders and strong institutions are needed for the SDGs
Th below shows images of the strategic document and it’s recommendations.