Discussion Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Exponential Innovation and Human Rights

| Feb. 27, 2018

Implications for Science and Technology Diplomacy


The international community has historically maintained hope that advances in science and technology offer humanity a wide range of options for improving its well-being. Recently anxieties arising from rapid advancement in science and technology and the emergence of new global business models have re-opened debates on the relations between exponential innovation and human rights. The search for inclusive innovation models has led to the need to rethink traditional views about concepts such as “technology transfer” that continue to underpin international negotiations, especially under the United Nations (UN). This paper explores these themes and proposes alternative ways for emerging economies to expand their human potential without undue reliance on the one-way flow of scientific and technological knowledge from the industrialized countries. It calls on strengthening international science and technology advice, especially in the UN Secretariat, to help support more constructive discussions on the interactions between innovation and human rights.

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For Academic Citation: Juma, Calestous. “Exponential Innovation and Human Rights.” Discussion Paper, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, February 27, 2018.

The Author

Calestous Juma