What is Globelics?

Globelics is an acronym for the Global Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems.


The network brings together scholars who study innovation and economic development, and involves scholars from all continents and different academic disciplines. Globelics is a platform for North-South and South-South interactive learning. It fosters a culture where serious research discussions take place in an open and friendly atmosphere. The “Menhir” in the logo associates global cooperation with the local village world of the hilarious, but often insightful, fictional characters Asterix and Obelix.

The network’s primary objective is to stimulate and raise the quality of research on innovation and development world-wide.


A specific priority is to help build research capacity in Africa and other regions and to contribute to knowledge infrastructure in those regions. Another priority is to give young scholars from developing countries access to global research resources. A basic assumption behind the formation of the network is that innovation systems perspectives contribute to the design and implementation of better development strategies in the North as in the South.

Learning, innovation and competence building systems are at the heart of Globelics.


The founders of Globelics believe that economic development involves innovation and that successful innovation requires multiple layers of interaction and learning between a wide range of individuals, organizations and institutions. This aspect of the development process is often neglected in the development literature and a principal objective of Globelics is to embed its implications more clearly in research and policy discussions. The Globelics perspective is systemic, socio-economic, institutional and evolutionary.  It aims at theoretical advancement based on three broad observations:

  • Learning and interaction are key to successful innovation and development: Process and outcome are often inseparable and this needs to be built into analysis and policy work.
  • Local context matters: Highly abstract analysis or policy that ignores the specifics of particular environments can only be of limited use in understanding and promoting innovation and Development.
  • Innovation goes beyond Research & Development: Successful innovation often requires a mix of experience based learning and learning from research and development activities and social, organizational and institutional change is often needed to realize the potential of new technologies.

The Globelics concept of innovation is broad. It encompasses both to identify and learn to use effectively productive practices that are new to the context as well as the capacity to develop technologies new for the world. It takes into account that innovation requires both experience-based learning and knowledge emanating from research and development. It is also broad in the sense that organizational and institutional change are seen as fundamental for realizing the potential of new technologies.

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