1st NOvation Forum_September 2021


NOvation Online Forum 2021 | Online event for early career and senior scholars in Critical Studies of Innovation [YouTube Channel]

The event is free of charges, and the three conferences, as well as the Method Lab, are open to the general public, requiring only prior registration through the following LINK (https://forms.gle/Phogu9j3Bm6ha1q19). All sessions will take place through the Zoom platform (address to be disclosed to all previously registered attendees).

Participation Certificates will be available to all attendees.


Call for Participation: NOvation Online Forum 2021 -- 15-17 September

Theme: Governance(s) of Innovation

The governance of innovation has become a central element of national and international policies. By governance, we mean both the development of governing styles and governance practices – overcoming the state as the ultimate paradigm of rationality and the blurring of boundaries between the public and private sectors. (Weber 1922; Stoker 1998; Dryzek 2010). This means that after decades of a historical reliance on public authorities to promote innovative and technological endeavours, nowadays the emphasis seems to be on private, entrepreneurial and corporate initiatives. Nevertheless, technological as well as social innovations are still being hailed around the globe as the prominent solutions to pressing societal challenges.

The first NOvation Online Forum seeks to critically address this pro-innovation imperative (e.g., Godin et al. 2021) and to open a space for discussion among early career and senior scholars. The forum especially addresses early career scholars or scholars with a growing interest in Critical Studies of Innovation. We invite young scholars – including PhD students and post-doc researchers – from all areas of social sciences and humanities who have a keen interest in understanding the problematic causes and effects of innovation policies, the national or international differences in the governance of innovation, and who are willing to share their ideas with a more extensive network. We especially encourage scholars from different global regions to apply, so as to facilitate a broad discussion across countries and diverse understandings and practices of governance. To this end, the NOvation Online Forum offers different formats that target the needs of engaging with Critical Studies of Innovation. It is conceived as a modular setup, where scholars can choose their participation based on their specific interests.


The forum consists of keynote speeches by internationally renowned scholars and thematic labs in which the discussions take place in a workshop atmosphere. Because it will be online only, the aim is to facilitate communication across time zones and to bring together scholars from a wide variety of backgrounds. The online format will be used to maximise interaction among the scholars in the lab sessions. The lab sessions are three hours each, and their timing will be dependent on the time zones of the participants – the morning period in the Americas, afternoon in Europe. Each lab session (workshop kind) is organised and moderated by a senior scholar and can host up to 8 participants.


Keynote addresses will be delivered by Dr. Ngai-Ling Sum (University of Lancaster, UK), Dr. Lee Vinsel (Virginia Tech, US), Dr. Gonzalo Ordóñez-Matamoros (University of Twente, NL and Universidad Externado de Colombia), and Dr. Philippe Zittoun (University of Lyon, FR).

Dr. Ngai-Ling Sum of Lancaster University has critically addressed the notion of ‘competitiveness‘ as policy buzzword with regards to innovation in her work on hegemonic knowledge brands and has studied the theoretical foundations of the concept of critical discourse.

Dr. Lee Vinsel of Virgninia Tech studies ‘human life with technology‘ and is co-author of recent book ‘The Innovation Delusion.‘ Vinsel is also a member of editorial board of NOvation.

Dr. Gonzalo Ordóñez-Matamoros works at the University of Twente as well as the Universidad Externado de Colombia, in Bogotá. He has conducted research, ex-post evaluation and foresight studies of knowledge, science, technology and innovation policies and programmes focusing on emerging economies in the Global South.

Dr. Philippe Zittoun is a Research Professor of Political Science at LAET-ENTPE, University of Lyon, France. His research focuses on understanding the policymaking process and, in particular, on the importance of discursive struggles, argumentative strategies, political aspects and the role of actors.

NEW: you may watch our recorded conferences on our YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC21M1YF-drIdkr4KM2ls7GQ.

METHODS LAB. Innovation research is a cross-disciplinary science that focuses on studying the innovation phenomena with a variety of methodological perspectives. Studies can be performed on different levels using qualitative and quantitative or mixed methods, considering individuals or users, teams or communities, firms, corporations, multiple sectors and industries, countries and international networks, etc. Being usually focused on the analysis of innovation with broader perspectives, e.g., as historical and evolving phenomena, Critical Studies of Innovation face specific methodological challenges. This lab offers support regarding some of the different methodological possibilities to research in the critical studies of innovation. REGISTRATION OVER JULY AND AUGUST.

THEORY LAB. Innovation theories often follow a pro-innovation bias themselves. The theory lab offers a space for discussing how critical thoughts can be integrated into existing theories and ideas, how theoretical perspectives can be fruitfully related to enhance their potential for critical reflection, or how alternative theories of innovation may be crafted. The theory lab is also open for out of the box thinking and can be a testbed for novel perspectives. SUBMISSION UNTIL 15th JULY

PAPER LAB. This session serves the development of papers and offers feedback from experienced scholars. The aim is to develop the papers collectively, to elaborate on ideas in a protected space, and ultimately to increase their chance of acceptance in an internationally renowned journal. All papers will be made available to the participants two weeks before the paper lab. The participants will receive feedback on their work and get in touch with established scholars in the field. SUBMISSION UNTIL 15th JULY

Proposals should be submitted to the following email: novation@ucs.inrs.ca

Method Lab registration will be open from June.


PROPOSALS for the theory lab and the paper lab shall include an abstract of 250-500 word including a short bibliography of 3-5 key literature sources used in the research, a short (5-line)biography and up to 5 keywords. Proposals for these lab shall be submitted to novation@ucs.inrs.ca before 30 June 2021 [EXTENDED DEADLINE 15th JULY]. For the methods lab, no abstract is required. Participants for the methods lab are expected to hand in a short biography only. Registration Deadline for the methods lab is 15th August 2021.


Organising Committee

Carolina Bagattolli (UFPR), Brazil

Cornelius Schubert (University of Twente), Netherlands

Mónica Edwards-Schachter (European School of Social Innovation (ESSI) & External Lecturer at the University of Burgos), Spain

Rick Hölsgens (TU Dortmund), Germany

Tiago Brandão (Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, FCSH), Portugal



Dryzek, John S. (2010) Governance networks. In: Foundations and Frontiers of Deliberative Governance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Godin, Benoît; Gaglio, Gerald; Vinck, Dominique (Eds.) (2021). Handbook on Alternative Theories of Innovation. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Stocker, Gerry (1998). Governance as theory: five propositions. International Social Science Journal 50 (155), 17–28.

Weber, Max. Economia e Sociedade. Fundamentos da sociologia compreensiva [PT - Economy and Society: an Outline of Interpretive Sociology]. São Paulo: UnB; 2004 [1922].