Co-Chairs: Ricardo Hausmann (Director, Center for International Development and Professor of the Practice of Economic Development, Harvard Kennedy School of Government) and José Domínguez (Professor of Structural Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Seville).
The application of complexity science tools to the study of society allows for the analysis of phenomena that have been hard to identify and analyze with more traditional tools, especially in the field of Economics, which in the absence of these tools has tended to work with relatively low dimensional representations of reality. But the increasing availability of more detailed information of social phenomena makes it particularly useful to use tools that can exploit this informational richness. This opens up fascinating new horizons on almost all fields of knowledge in the social sciences.
In economics, it is widely accepted that technology is the key driver of economic growth of countries, regions and cities. Technological progress allows for the more efficient production of more and better goods and services, which is what prosperity depends on.
However, the mechanisms through which technology is developed, adopted and used in production are complex. Their more detailed analysis can allow for new findings that could have important impacts in many areas of policy, including science policy, research and development, industrial policy, and both national and regional development policies. In fact, the concept of technology itself as well as the individual and social capabilities required for its development ca now be studied at a much more fine-grained level leading to potential contributions that may impact higher education, job creation and economic growth. Clearly, there are links between education, research and development, innovation and economic activity that are part of the process we aim to uncover.
The recent shift towards open innovation has resulted in increased flows of knowledge and new types of cooperation between education institutions, research organizations and business. Top corporate R&D investors worldwide lead the development of many emerging technologies. This is evident from an examination of the technology fields in which these companies intensified their inventive activities in the recent years and the contribution of top R&D investors to the overall development of these fields. Top corporate R&D investors accelerated their inventive activities in areas such as engines, automated driving systems, big data, artificial intelligence, 3-D printing and information and communication technologies.
It is necessary to remember that the two main ingredients for the development of new technology are codified knowledge in the form of theories, frameworks, scientific papers, patents, recipes, protocols, routines and instruction manuals and tacit knowledge or knowhow, which is acquired through learning by doing in a long process of imitation and repetition and which exists only in brains. The development of science, technology, innovation and production require both codified and tacit knowledge but the codifiable component of science and technology get registered, respectively, in the form of scientific publications and patents, and these are grouped into categories. Scientific publications, patents, industries, occupations and products are proxies of scientific knowledge, technological development, economic activity and human skills.
They form what is known as a multiplex network with six kinds of nodes where geographic location represents the last one. Understanding relations within each layer, e.g., the knowledge space, the patent space, the industry space, the occupation space, the product space and the country (or location space); and across layers should shed light on the foundations of countries economic development and the policies to be implemented in all of these areas to promote it.
Policies towards science, technology and innovation (STI) would benefit enormously from a deeper and more detailed understanding of the 6-fold multiplex that this research wants to uncover. What are the detailed connections between areas of science, as captured by journal publications and patents. What forms of human collaboration are necessary for the authorship of papers and patents? And for national and local authorities: What are the connections between a local effort in science and local innovation? What are the backward linkages of industrial diversification on the local capacity to create patents and scientific papers? Which occupations are key to facilitate the diffusion of industries to particular locations and what are the educational profiles of those occupations? What is the role of human mobility and the attraction of talent in the successful development of STI?
To sum up, this study group pursues three purposes:
The General Assembly ,
Noting that scientific and technological progress has become one of the most important factors in the development of human society,
Taking into consideration that, while scientific and technological developments provide ever increasing opportunities to better the conditions of life of peoples and nations, in a number of instances they can give rise to social problems, as well as threaten the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the individual,
Noting with concern that scientific and technological achievements can be used to intensify the arms race, suppress national liberation movements and deprive individuals and peoples of their human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Also noting with concern that scientific and technological achievements can entail dangers for the civil and political rights of the individual or of the group and for human dignity,
Noting the urgent need to make full use of scientific and technological developments for the welfare of man and to neutralize the present and possible future harmful consequences of certain scientific and technological achievements,
Recognizing that scientific and technological progress is of great importance in accelerating the social and economic development of developing countries,
Aware that the transfer of science and technology is one of the principal ways of accelerating the economic development of developing countries,
Reaffirming the right of peoples to self-determination and the need to respect human rights and freedoms and the dignity of the human person in the conditions of scientific and technological progress,
Desiring to promote the realization of the principles which form the basis of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights, the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the Declaration on Social Progress and Development, and the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States;
Solemnly proclaims that:
1. All States shall promote international co-operation to ensure that the results of scientific and technological developments are used in the interests of strengthening international peace and security, freedom and independence, and also for the purpose of the economic and social development of peoples and the realization of human rights and freedoms in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
2. All States shall take appropriate measures to prevent the use of scientific and technological developments, particularly by the State organs, to limit or interfere with the enjoyment of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the individual as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other relevant international instruments.
3. All States shall take measures to ensure that scientific and technological achievements satisfy the material and spiritual needs for all sectors of the population.
4. All States shall refrain from any acts involving the use of scientific and technological achievements for the purposes of violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other States, interfering in their internal affairs, waging aggressive wars, suppressing national liberation movements or pursuing a policy of racial discrimination. Such acts are not only a flagrant violation of the Charter of the United Nations and principles of international law, but constitute an inadmissible distortion of the purposes that should guide scientific and technological developments for the benefit of mankind.
5. All States shall co-operate in the establishment, strengthening and development of the scientific and technological capacity of developing countries with a view to accelerating the realization of the social and economic rights of the peoples of those countries.
6. All States shall take measures to extend the benefits of science and technology to all strata of the population and to protect them, both socially and materially, from possible harmful effects of the misuse of scientific and technological developments, including their misuse to infringe upon the rights of the individual or of the group, particularly with regard to respect for privacy and the protection of the human personality and its physical and intellectual integrity.
7. All States shall take the necessary measures, including legislative measures, to ensure that the utilization of scientific and technological achievements promotes the fullest realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms without any discrimination whatsoever on grounds of race, sex, language or religious beliefs.
8. All States shall take effective measures, including legislative measures, to prevent and preclude the utilization of scientific and technological achievements to the detriment of human rights and fundamental freedoms and the dignity of the human person.
9. All States shall, whenever necessary, take action to ensure compliance with legislation guaranteeing human rights and freedoms in the conditions of scientific and technological developments.