NOvation: Critical Studies of Innovation http://www.novation.inrs.ca/index.php/novation <p>This journal aims to contribute to rethink and debunking narratives of innovation in STS and STI. We need to look critically at studies of innovation to get better pictures of innovation. The journal questions the current narratives of innovation and offers a forum to discuss a different interpretation of innovation. The journal publishes articles in the following areas:</p> <ol> <li class="show">Critical analyzes of innovation and of studies of innovation;</li> <li class="show">Discourse analysis: deconstructing actors’ rhetoric, policy-makers’ frameworks and scholars’ argumentation;</li> <li class="show">Conceptual history: studying the concepts used in the field, the traveling of concepts among fields (academic and public) and their transformation into catchwords;</li> <li class="show">Intellectual history: documenting and revisiting scholars’ theories;</li> <li class="show">Case studies helping to understand the dynamics and processes of innovation and to rethink current narratives;</li> <li class="show">Contributions to alternative modeling of innovation;</li> <li class="show">Other possibilities will be received by the Editors according to compelling argumentation.</li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>What topics will the journal seek to cover?</h2> <p>Mainly critical studies, a label that should be understood as wide and plural as possible, which could be unfolded in the next topics:</p> <ul> <li class="show">Conceptual history;</li> <li class="show">Intellectual history;</li> <li class="show">Politics and policies;</li> <li class="show">Science and technology;</li> <li class="show">Economics of innovation;</li> <li class="show">Frameworks and Narratives.</li> </ul> This Journal is hosted by INRS - Institut national de la recherche scientifique en-US NOvation: Critical Studies of Innovation 2562-7147 <div class="_1qH62_aIXP">This Open Access journal is under a Creative Commons License – CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0,&nbsp;that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.</div> User theory for inclusion or exclusion? http://www.novation.inrs.ca/index.php/novation/article/view/35 <p>Innovation Studies (IS) and Science, Technology and Society studies (STS) explored the role of users in socio-technological change: from their role as consumers, adopters or experimenters to maximize profit, to exploring the mutual shaping of users and technologies and the power relations embedded into the process of use. By the turn of the century, amidst broader claims to democratize Science and Technology, scholars and practitioners explored the ways technologies may contribute to overcome social, material, and political restrictions in structural inequality scenarios. While discursively praising user inclusion as a ‘good practice’, ‘technologies for inclusive development’ (TID) ranged from processes of distributed decision-making and empowerment to paternalistic schemes and unwanted effects that reinforce exclusion patterns. This paper aims to revisit user theories through the lens of inclusion/exclusion to explore user engagement in TID initiatives to understand the relation between user involvement and ‘inclusive’ outcomes. We argue that diverse theoretical views on user-centeredness, which we systematize in 5 types, are tied to different normative assumptions about what user-centeredness is for, with implications for technology practice and STS theory. In interaction between literature review and instrumental TID case studies (in water, health, nutrition, and recycling), we examine how these differences lead to differential outcomes in terms of inclusion (e.g., exclusion problem-solving, distribution of benefits, social learning). In turn, we analyze how bringing the inclusiveness/exclusion dimension may help to reveal user literature blind spots that need to be addressed, and how unveiling user theory may contribute to deepen our understanding of inclusion in technology making.</p> Gabriela Bortz Hernan Thomas Copyright (c) 2022 Gabriela Bortz, Hernan Thomas https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2022-09-05 2022-09-05 III 36 36 Cultivating the Innovative Region http://www.novation.inrs.ca/index.php/novation/article/view/32 <p>Innovation is becoming more and more participatory. Discourses insisting on the desirable involvement of users and lay citizens in innovation-making processes are burgeoning around the globe. This burgeoning is often fostered and supported by innovation scholars whose studies on, and calls for more open and participatory forms of innovation have recently gained traction among public authorities. However, as the appropriation of such scholarly work by public authorities is a recent phenomenon, much remains to be discovered about the interactions between participatory innovation models and the political contexts in which they emerge. In particular, this article offers an analysis of the relationships and allocation of power between the State and citizens that develop through participatory innovation policies. By developing a context-sensitive approach to study the case of Wallonia, one of the federal regions of Belgium, I analyze participatory innovation as a particular mode of government through which public authorities (re)invent themselves and the society they govern. I show that what matters for Walloon public authorities when they promote and set up participatory innovation practices is not only the results of such practices in terms of innovation products, but also and perhaps more importantly the shaping of entrepreneurial citizens as well as the Region that is expected to develop accordingly. Ultimately, this approach allows for critical scrutiny of the politics of innovation and the democratic order it contributes to produce in an economically peripheral region looking for quickly (re)developing itself in order to exist in the global economic competition.</p> Hadrien Macq Copyright (c) 2022 Hadrien Macq https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2022-09-05 2022-09-05 III 23 23 The Politics of User-Driven Innovation http://www.novation.inrs.ca/index.php/novation/article/view/31 <p>Users play an increasingly important role in European innovation policy. They are commonly seen as drivers of and active co-creators within innovation processes. However, user-driven innovation remains infused with a number of assumptions about users, technology, and “successful” innovation, which (partly) undermine a more democratic, open approach to innovation. In this contribution, I investigate the interplay between broader policy assumptions in the European discourse on user-driven innovation and its practical performance within an innovation project centring on healthcare robotics. Here, I argue that the politics of user-driven innovation harbours particular assumptions that, in effect, restrict the agency of users while also engendering conflict and contradictory outcomes. Hence, user-driven innovation is not simply about users driving innovation but rather about interfacing users and their concerns with (robotics) developers and their technology. For this, I propose an analytics of interfacing, which draws together literatures on the performative dynamics of participatory processes and more recent work on the political economy of participation. Here, I contend that it is not enough to investigate the construction and performance of publics; rather, it is additionally necessary to follow the manifold practices by which those publics are rendered available for certain technological solutions – and vice versa. Such an analytical approach opens up a fruitful avenue to critically enquire into the politics of participation – sitting in between innovation policy and practice.</p> Benjamin Lipp Copyright (c) 2022 Benjamin Lipp https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2022-09-05 2022-09-05 III 25 25 The Configuration of Older Users as Drivers of Innovation in the Design of Digital Technologies http://www.novation.inrs.ca/index.php/novation/article/view/33 <p>This paper develops hypotheses on the discovery of older people as "users" in the publicly funded development of digital technologies and underlying innovation policy motives. We then describe the effects of this innovation policy on the development of products and older people as their users in the context of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL). To this end, we reconstruct the involvement of users in two AAL funding programs, one at the European level and one at the national level (Germany). Based on this, we discuss the resulting consequences by describing how older people are configured as users in technology development with a focus on the concept of user-centered design (UCD) and what this configuration means for the developed technologies as well as for the older users. We describe how the participation of older people in technology development projects is a complex task that is not without controversy in social science research on user participation. We conclude by arguing for alternative technology development strategies and funding practices.</p> Cordula Endter Sebastian Merkel Harald Künemund Copyright (c) 2022 Sebastian Merkel, Cordula Endter, Harald Künemund https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2022-09-05 2022-09-05 III 20 20 Users and non-users in engineering and feminist participatory research on sustainable aviation http://www.novation.inrs.ca/index.php/novation/article/view/34 <p>Within engineering, economics, and the natural sciences, sustainable aviation is often configured as an ecological and economic problem, which can be solved through technological innovation. In contrast to this, we set up a research project centering on social innovation, named <em>Human demands of sustainable aviation</em>. In the project, we combined theories from Feminist Science and Technology Studies (FSTS) with methods from Participatory Design (PD) and practice-based Ontological Design (OD). In this paper, we use our project as a case study to analyze and discuss how users and non-users are configured within different disciplinary contexts. The findings illustrate that conceptualizations and categorizations of users and non-users are not stable. They denote highly situated phenomena that emerge out of different research approaches and understandings of innovation. Power structures that are entangled with the positions researchers take, including specific theories, methods, and (implicit) values, pervade these contexts and understandings. With this in mind, we advocate for power-critical reflections on the performative effects of knowledge making as processes of world making and for inter- and transdisciplinary research to do justice to the different life worlds we inhabit. We further argue that innovation should be based on collectively negotiated visions of how we want to live in the future, instead of predictions that project our current realities into the status quo of tomorrow.</p> Julia Stilke Sandra Buchmüller Copyright (c) 2022 Julia Stilke, Sandra Buchmüller https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2022-09-05 2022-09-05 III 24 24 The Constitution of Boundaries http://www.novation.inrs.ca/index.php/novation/article/view/30 <p>Private and organizational users are widely treated as equal in the literature on the integration of users in innovation projects. Based on a practice-theoretical perspective, we argue in this paper that this equation is inconsistent and inadequate. While users are conceptualized as competent and embedded when it comes to the genesis of their user knowledge, both factors are ignored when their involvement in the innovation process is considered. Drawing on empirical findings on interorganizational knowledge transfer, we show that the social, formal, and material embeddedness of organizational users crucially structures their integration. By elaborating the role of different structural dimensions in detail, we highlight the distinctive features of organizational users. In doing so, we further develop a heuristic that enables a detailed and adequate analysis of their integration.</p> Philip Roth Nadine Diefenbach Copyright (c) 2022 Philip Roth, Nadine Diefenbach https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2022-09-05 2022-09-05 III 29 29