Breaking Barriers: The Vital Role of Addressing Inequality in Sustainable Innovation

GRIP recently hosted a thought-provoking presentation on sustainable innovation, which was delivered by Wesley Maraire from GRIP. The lecture was part of the course CET201 that focussed on Sustainable Innovation and organised by the Collaboratory at the Geography Department (UiB). The lecture aimed to encourage students to face critical questions around who we innovate for and how we can ensure our innovations are inclusive and equitable.


The lecture explored the six dimensions of inequality – economic, social, political, cultural, environmental, and knowledge-based – and how they relate to the innovation process. Wesley outlined that if we want to create truly sustainable and equitable innovations, we need to be aware of the potential for bias and exclusion as well as work actively to address these issues in our research and development phases. This was especially relevant to the students enrolled in the course who were seized with the task of solving real-word business and societal challenges through case studies provided by businesses in Bergen, Norway.


One of the key takeaways from the lecture was the need to be open to learning from a diverse range of knowledge systems and perspectives. Wesley emphasised the importance of collaborating with local communities, seeking out local knowledge and practices as well as being open to exploring alternative ways of thinking about sustainability and innovation. By doing so, the students can leverage the wealth of knowledge that exists outside of their own perspectives and create more inclusive and sustainable innovations.


Overall, Wesley’s lecture served as a valuable reminder of the importance of considering issues of inequality, race, and gender in the innovation process. The lecture enabled students to appreciate how they can create innovations that are truly sustainable and equitable, and that benefit everyone in society.


GRIP is happy to be engaging in the educational activities at UIB, expanding students’ understanding of inequality and contributing to building knowledge on  how to address inequality in their practical learning processes. GRIP is also happy to extend its collaboration with CET (Centre for Energy Transformation) on addressing inequalities in the work towards more sustainable futures.