It is almost universally accepted that we are moving increasingly towards an information society, where knowledge and learning are the new currency of power. This book seeks to challenge this axiom by looking in more detail at the subtle relationships between knowledge and social development. The editors are at pains to differentiate the process of knowledge creation from the simple accumulation of knowledge. The original contributions within this book are aimed at capturing new socio-economic trends and finding policy strategies promoting the learning society in Europe through joint efforts and integrated actions on innovation, competence building and social cohesion.
Introduction - towards a learning society. Part 1 Fostering innovation: introductory note - novelty, knowledge and learning; interactions between policy learning and innovation theory; Manna trajectories and networks - shifting Heuristics in economics of innovation and new technologies; policy integration and action diversification - learning from the Portuguese path. Part 2 Promoting organizational learning: introductory note - innovation and organizational change; understanding technological and organizational change; the flexible firm - new concepts and differences between the Nordic systems of innovation; broadening the analysis of innovation systems - competition, organizational change and employment dynamics in the Danish system. Part 3 Building competences: introductory note - innovation and competence building; on knowledge and learning for the new millennium; low skills - a social problem for Europe; competence building in life-wide learning; trade unions in Western Europe - on overview and prospects for social inclusion and competence building. Part 4 Striving for social cohesion: introductory note - innovation and social cohesion; unemployment, work and welfare; locally based actions to counteract social exclusion - what we may learn from TSER research; globalization, social inequality and the role of country-specific institutions.
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