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Caledon

Sustainable Development: Innovation and the Quality of Life

Published on 01/05/2001

This framework was designed for presentation at a meeting of the federal Interdepartmental Working Group on Sustainable Development. The framework focusses specifically upon the links between sustainable development and work currently and potentially under way with respect to innovation. It does not incorporate all the possible dimensions of sustainable development which are discussed in a Caledon report entitled The Social Dimension of Sustainable Development. The framework also is intended to demonstrate how the social dimension of sustainable development can play an active role in shaping the innovation agenda. Typically, the social dimension is considered as a residual of the environmental and economic domains. Discussions usually focus upon how to measure the impact of economic and environmental change upon human well-being. This framework shows how the social dimension is important not just as a residual (e.g., poor health, poverty) of the two other spheres. It illustrates that active investment in education and skills development (referred to here as ‘human capital’) can help drive the innovation agenda. But the framework also argues that the presence of social capital is a prerequisite to the development of human capital. Within a broader sustainable agenda, social capital is a basic building block or foundation for human capital development, in particular, and for human well-being more generally. Sherri Torjman is Vice-President of the Caledon Institute of Social Policy. David Minns is Special Advisor to the National Research Council, Sustainable Development TechnologyThis report is being distributed through the Caledon Institute website. For a hard copy of this report, please contact the Caledon Institute directly

Summary

This framework was designed for presentation at a meeting of the federal Interdepartmental Working Group on Sustainable Development.

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