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The Past, the Present and the Future of RRI

The Past, the Present and the Future of RRI

Written by Nina Peitler | Reviewed by Angelo Spörk

Created on: 22 Dec 2020 | Updated on: 22 Dec 2020

News category: "News on Living Innovation"

Richard Owen, Professor in Innovation Management on the Future of RRI

Our guest in this week's Responsible Innovation Story is the perfect interview partner to reflect upon the foundations of RRI. Richard Owen, Professor at the University of Bristol's School of Economics, Finance and Management, is one of the authors of the groundbreaking publication “Developing a framework for responsible innovation”. With more than 1,500 citations, it is one of the most often quoted publications on RRI. For Richard Owen, RRI is about a shared responsibility for the future.

“Research and Innovation create our future. It is incumbent upon us to shape technologies in ways that are responsible.”

However, we cannot predict the future – especially in the area of potentially disruptive, digital technologies.

“The future is highly unpredictable. However, RRI helps to do research and innovation under conditions of great uncertainty.”


What are the main challenges for RRI in the years to come?

“First, we need to translate the concept for the corporate sector and integrate it into organizational practice. Second, we need to strengthen RRI on a systemic level.”

Our most important insights from this interview with Richard Owen:

·      Drawing on the groundbreaking conceptualization of Richard Owen and his colleagues, RRI created a strong community of scholars and practitioners over the past years.

·      However, there is still a lot of work ahead if we want to integrate RRI into the corporate world.

·      If we actively engage with innovators and entrepreneurs – especially in the aftermath of the Covid-19 crisis – we can take shared responsibility for our future.

Enjoy watching the full interview with Richard Owen at

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