The PwC/IE Public Center presented ‘Towards a sustainable economy’, a report focused on the role of innovation in promoting a sustainable economy, environment and social well-being.

The report was authored by IE Business School professors Javier Carrillo and Totti Könnölä, and Pablo del Río of CSIC, an included a prologue by Jordi Sevilla, senior advisor for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The report defends the claim that innovation serves as a transversal vector in the three key dimensions of sustainability. It explores how, on an economic level, innovation acts as a catalyst by improving productivity and the creation of new sectors, and how innovation also helps the environment by reducing the impact of production processes and consumption on the planet. Finally, the report examines how innovation provides valuable support for integration and social cohesion. Hence the authors conclude that the sustainable development challenge “demands a transition toward radically different systems and fundamental changes in technological and institutional systems”.

Carrillo and Könnölä believe that technological and institutional innovation play a crucial role in society’s transition toward sustainability. “Sustainable development not only explains current realities, it also provides a basis for defining public policy measures, and a framework based on opportunity and a respect for human values. Innovation means using change to better meet societal needs and values, given the strong link between the two.”