Building capacity for Responsible Innovation workshop

Daniel Bronitt is a fourth-year student at the Australian National University, studying Biotechnology and Agricultural Innovation. He told CEAT Innovation News about his experience attending the recent Responsible Innovation (RI) training course delivered by CEAT in partnership with CSIRO and Athena Education.

In early February I was fortunate to take part in the training course Building Capacity for Responsible Ag Innovation. As a fourth-year student focused on biotechnology and agricultural innovation, I was initially sceptical of how much I could learn from a three-day short course, having already covered the concept of RI in my university studies. However, the course surpassed my expectations.

Whereas the content of my degree has taught me much about the concept of RI, this workshop gave me a far greater insight into how it can be applied and adapted to create effective solutions for a whole range of unique challenges in agriculture and other fields.

The course designers deserve commendation for being able to cover such a large concept while also giving it the depth of teaching it deserves. Splitting the course up into four modules, the course introduced RI from its bare foundations of “do’s and don’ts” before teaching the AIRR framework (anticipation, reflexivity, inclusion, and responsiveness). Spread within these modules were discussions about responsible disruption and the need for social license to operate.

Once we had covered the theoretical frameworks behind RI, we applied them to real world situations, including the controversial Robodebt scheme, to see how we could use RI to identify the strengths and weaknesses of such a solution before it was implemented. Subsequently, using what we had learnt, we were led to develop our own RI framework relevant to our own backgrounds.  

I came away with a greater appreciation of RI and how it can guide deeper engagement with stakeholders, and predict and soften the impact of disruptive innovation for overall social, economic, and environmental benefit. The primary educator of the course, Janelle Allison, was engaging and created an interactive and open space for all attendees to deeply engage in the discussion of ideas. I found the experience of meeting and learning about other people and their walks of life invaluable.

Overall, the course on Responsible Ag Innovation has given me a deeper understanding of the practical application of RI and its importance in shaping responsible innovation in agriculture and beyond. If you have the opportunity, I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in further developing their understanding of and ability to apply RI concepts.

CSIRO supported the places for participants to be involved in this training

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