PGDBA 2017 Question 10

Instructions

Read the passage and answer the questions that follow:
Passage II

Humans are pretty inventive creatures. That might be cause for optimism about the future of global change. We've found solutions to lots of problems in the past. And with a much larger and better-educated population than the world has ever seen — the supply of good ideas can only increase. So innovation will figure out a way to sustainable futures.

But what is innovation? The media and companies routinely equate innovation with shiny new gadgets. In the same spirit, politicians charged with managing economies frequently talk as if all innovation is good. The history of almost any technology, however — from farming to applied nuclear physics — reveals a mixture of good and bad.

The study of the concept of innovation, and of whether it can be steered, is a relatively recent academic effort. There are three ways that scholars have thought about innovation. The first was basically linear: science begets invention that begets innovation. Physics, for instance, gives us lasers, which give us —eventually — compact discs. Result: Growth! Prosperity! Rising living standards for all! From this perspective, it's assumed that science is the basis for long-term growth, and that innovation largely involves commercialisation of scientific discoveries. There is a role for the state, but only in funding the research. The rest can be left to the private sector.

By the 1970s, economists interested in technology and some policy-makers were talking about something more complicated: national systems of innovation competing with each other. Such "systems" included measures to promote transfer of technology out of the lab, especially by building links between centres of discovery and technologists and entrepreneurs.
The key failing of these two approaches is that they treat less desirable outcomes of innovation as externalities and are blind to the possibility that they may call for radically different technological priorities. The environmental effects of energy and materials-intensive industries may turn, out to be more destructive than we can handle.

Radical system change is a third way to think about innovation. Technological trajectories aren't pre-ordained: Some paths arc chosen at the expense of others. And that's harder because it needs more than incremental change. The near future is about transformation. The more complex historical and social understanding of innovation now emerging leads to a richer concept of infrastructure, as part of a system with social and technical elements interwoven.

An emphasis on the new, the experimental, the innovative - and on promoting social and technical solutions to global problems must overcome the sheer inertia of the systems we have already built - and are often still extending. Aiming for transformation leads to another take on creative destruction. It isn't enough to promote innovation as creation, the existing system has to be destabilized as well. System shifts of the radical kind envisaged will call for creation of a new infrastructure. But that won't do the job unless the old systems are deliberately removed on roughly the same time-scale. Achieving that will call for a lot more thought about how to if not destroy the old systems, at least set about dismantling them.

Question 10

From the passage we can conclude that the author believes


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