Transformative innovation policy has recently emerged at the intersection of innovation and socio-technical transition research. It has provided valuable heuristics to guide policy; but it has also led to the recognition of major challenges in the management of uncertainty and complexity. In this paper, we address these challenges by linking transformative innovation policy with research perspectives from (i) complex adaptive systems, (ii) ecosystems, and (iii) adaptive and participatory governance. Specifically, we develop a conceptual framework for transformative governance, which seeks to improve the adaptiveness and resilience of the ecosystem and orchestrates socio-technical transformation based on the balanced presence of diversity, connectivity, polycentricity, redundancy and directionality. We also present an illustrative example by applying the framework to a Finnish policy reform in which the lack of balanced attention to the ecosystem features catalysed major shortcomings in an emerging innovation mobility ecosystem. Finally, we explore the implications for the design of individual policies and policy mixes which arise from the recognition of complexity and the holistic policy impacts on the ecosystem and society at large.
- Adaptive governance
- Complex adaptive system
- Socio-technical transition
- Transformative innovation policy