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ES 425: Innovation for Sustainable Development

Course Title

Innovation for Sustainable Development

Course Code

EAS 425

Course Type




Year / Semester


Instructor’s Name

 Konstantinos Kleovoulou (Lead Instructror), Fabio Maria Montagnino , Nicos Rossides



Lectures / week

 1 (3 hr)

Laboratories / week


Course Purpose and Objectives

This course will expand student’s possibilities to become agents of change and support sustainable development, both at local and global level.

It introduces innovation as a discipline, presenting models, frameworks and structured approaches that may be applied to promote, design and manage innovation. It focuses upon the way innovation is generated, and the explores the possible approaches, that can foster sustainable development in human communities and offer solution for the most pressing global challenges.

It addresses the open innovation model, offering a first insight about the potential role of the different players in multi-stakeholder dynamics. Through practical examples, it shows how innovative ideas can be generated and supported in the journey towards an effective exploitation, from small and local, to large-scale deployment.

Theoretical contents will be interlinked with real-life experiences and implementation. Students will acquire element methodology for the conceptual representation of business models, as well as the appropriate communication approaches towards the potential stakeholders.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will:

  • experience, also through real life examples, concepts about sustainable, social and green innovation, and reflect about the contribution of science and technology in this context
  • understand the concept of open innovation and innovation ecosystems
  • assimilate the essential elements of innovation management and the tools that can be employed to boost innovation processes.



Required  None 

Course Content

  •  Innovation and sustainability
    • Sustainable development, economy and innovation
    • Responsible Research and Innovation
    • impact-oriented innovation
  • Innovation theory and models
    • Theory of change and socio-technical systems
    • Innovation ecosystems
    • Innovation processes and tools
  • Innovation strategies
    • Types of innovation
    • Closed and open innovation
    • Innovation inspired by nature
  • Lab to market journey
    • Design thinking
    • (Pre)prototyping
    • The concept of Minimum Viable Product
  • Launching an impactful startup
    • Sustainable business models
    • Team building
    • Go-to-market strategies
    • Access to finance
  • Intellectual property management
    • Intellectual property as an asset
    • How to protect IP
    • How to valorize IP
  • Challenging the Sustainable Development Goals
    • Innovations to reduce emissions and pollution
    • Innovations for sustainable energy
    • Innovations for clean and accessible water

Teaching Methodology

 Lectures, discussion of cases, co-design activities


 Kate Raworth (2018), Doughnut Economics: seven ways to think like a 21st century economist, Chelsea Green Publishing
Larry Keeley (2013), Ten types of innovation, John Wiley & Sons Henry Chesbrough (2006), Open Innovation, Harvard Business School, Peter Drucker (2015), Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Routledge Bill Aulet (2013), Disciplined entrepreneurship, Wiley


 Coursework, Essays, Presentations



Publications & Media