Research Note: Innovation and the problem of values

Innovation is presented as the solution to address grand societal challenges. Taking this new policy motto seriously requires to renew the dominant imaginary of innovation defined by a series of attributes -technology centeredness, market relatedness, competition, entrepreneurialism, diffusion, exclusivity and creative destruction- and above all by the belief that innovation is always good.

To contribute to such an endeavour, this paper starts with the discussion of five innovation myths. This allows us to identify a set of “handles” that could contribute to a re-opening. The presentation of the three literature streams (Democratising innovation, Responsible innovation, Transformative change) that currently feed the innovation renewal allows consideration of explorations in academia as well as in public policy. A re-imagination and reinvention of innovation is underway, and this dynamic is constituted of different actors from different traditions but still has some limitations.