The Issue of Social Standards

RI 2016: Section 6.4

In this lecture, we will have a critical look at frugal innovation from the standpoint of Responsible Innovation. Just because a technology or service can be offered much cheaper than before does not automatically mean that it is good for that community.

Prof. Peter Knorringa suggests that we must also look at the social standards in the processes that allow for frugal innovations to exist. Social standards may be, for example, explicit laws against child labour, or inversely, irresponsible practices which harm the health and safety of workers handling dangerous chemicals. Both when the social standards are too high or too low, frugal innovations cannot be justified as responsible innovations.

You will find readings and the forum in the next section.