266 pages, B/w photos, illus, figs, tabs
Little is known about the social and human processes involved in the rapid technological change typical of our age. Why do some technologies successfully spread while others do not? What are the consequences of top-down diffusion strategies? What is the effect of the private sector? Should the public sector not play a significant role? What are the disadvantages of instant patents and corporate-controlled intellectual property rights? This book is an engrossing account of some of the disaster, and success, stories around technological development and diffusion from both industrial and developing countries. It tells the story of widely divergent technologies - agricultural appliances, wind turbines, Green Revolution high yielding seeds, the Linux computer operating system, and Local Economic Trading Systems. It constructs a highly significant 'how to do it' guide to innovation management that runs counter to many of the top-down, 'big is good', 'private sector is best' assumptions.
If you want to understand the future you must know about the past. Boru Douthwaite has given us a brilliant example of the way in which this can be done. -- Flemming Tranae s, Chairman of the Association of Danish Windturbine Owners
" [This] book is a breath of fresh air. Here is an engineer looking critically and creatively at technological change and raising both practical and philosophical questions about the nature of innovation." -- Mike Cooley
" A brilliant book..." -- Richard Jefferson, Executive Director, Center for Applied Molecular Biology to International Agriculture, Canberra Australia
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