Knowledge dynamics in a green economy
This paper aims to develop the understanding of knowledge dynamics processes developed in the European research project ‘Regional trajectories to the knowledge economy’ (EURODITE) applied on knowledge dynamics processes in a green economy.
Demands for conversions into ecological sustainable production of goods and services calls for the generation and processing of new knowledge. To address the challenges of an ecological sustainable production, the furthering of knowledge within single scientific disciplines is not sufficient for driving innovations to tackle these challenges. On the contrary, different types of knowledge such as analytic, synthetic and symbolic, as well as knowledge from diverse disciplines have to come together to develop new knowledge needed for solving problems to advance a green economy. Hence, the generation and development of new knowledge takes place in complex relationships between different types of actors located in different places. Actors involved in knowledge generation and development range from micro businesses to transnational firms, higher education and research institutions and public actors and agencies of different kinds. Increasingly, also users and consumers are identified as playing important roles with regards to knowledge dynamics. Knowledge interactions across sectors, scales and actors can be called knowledge dynamics. An important aspect of knowledge dynamics is that changes in knowledge are driving innovation. In addition, policy actors can play a role in taking action to promote and support knowledge dynamic processes and remove obstacles obstructing such processes.
The paper explores knowledge dynamics in a green economy with an empirical focus on Lake Vänern in western Sweden. Lake Vänern is the largest lake within the EU and with its surrounding area provides a multifaceted region where many of the green economy challenges and opportunities are present. The lake has a unique fauna and flora and is the fresh water source for the 300 000 inhabitants in the region. It is also Sweden’s largest hydroelectric power dam and is used for transportation, commercial fishing and recreational purposes for the local population as well as for the tourism industry. With regards to local planning, the lake provides an attractive setting for waterside developments. Lake Vänern administratively affects thirteen local and two regional authorities, in addition to regulations at national and EU levels that are affecting the lake and its surroundings. Through the many competing demands on the resource of Lake Vänern, the region provides a valuable case to study knowledge dynamics in a green economy.
The 32nd International Geographical Congress: 'Down to earth', Cologne, Germany, 26-30 August 2012