Knowledge societies, seen from the South: local learning and innovation challenges
KeywordsSociedade da informação
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Together with the apparently infinite possibilities of knowledge diffusion offered by the expansion of information and communication technologies, new forms of social polarisation and economic exclusion are created. The fundamental contradiction of the present mode of knowledge globalisation is that while a few countries, firms and institutions are the main generators of knowledge and innovation, most are being relegated to the role of users. Yet the barriers to the expansion of this mode are precisely the limited capacities to absorb, use and process new knowledge. The article presents and discusses the main currents of thought on this issue, particularly considering the view and the contributions from the South, stressing the need to build a conceptual framework and a political strategy to promote the relations between production and circulation of knowledge and socioeconomic development. This debate is enriched with the results of empirical studies on local knowledge flows and innovation in Brazil. The research focused on local learning and innovation, considering the specific conditions of developing countries. The results point out key elements of these processes: formal and informal communication channels and socially shared codes, values and languages fostering local knowledge flows and favourable socio-cultural, historical and institutional conditions for learning by interacting.
International Social Science Journal, v.60,n.195, 2009. p.97-107.