Innovation has been central to development. Yet most assumptions around innovation stem from values derived by capitalist economies such as growth, individualism, and competition which prove to only widen inequalities and promote unsustainable environmental models of extraction and consumption. This paper explores what values and assumptions would underlie innovation in development if based on an alternative ontological and epistemological stance linked to the Andean cosmovision of Buen Vivir. We focus on the case of an Indigenous-led initiative in the Andes of Peru to highlight the underpinnings of its innovation processes. In doing so, we aim to contribute to both development studies literature and innovation studies by exposing the limitations to the accepted Western approach to innovation and exploring what decolonising innovation in development would look like.
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© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
This project has been funded by the University of Sheffield ‘QR GCRF Pump Priming Award/X/159742’ and received ethics approval by the Geography Department. The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author, AJ, upon reasonable request. We are indebted to the communities at the Potato Park for sharing with us their knowledge, experience, and reflections about their work. Various versions of this paper gained from feedback from Judith Krauss, Ariadne Collins, Dan Brockington, Mario Pansera, Samer Abdelnour, Nigel Ford and Andrew Cox. We are grateful for the encouraging comments from anonymous reviewers. The reviewing process has improved the article, any faults though remain our own.