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Shawn Cunningham

Shawn Cunningham
Mesopartner

PhD, MBA

About

17
Publications
37,054
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52
Citations
Introduction
I am currently conducting research into complexity sciences and cognitive sciences and how we can use these insights to strengthen innovation in industries and regions. I take a innovation systems approach, but with an emphasis on discovery, evolution and knowledge.
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - December 2013
Vaal University of Technology
Position
  • Post Doctorol Research Fellow

Publications

Publications (17)
Book
Full-text available
This book introduces the fundamental principles of understanding, diagnosing and improving innovation systems. The book is not about innovation within a business as such, but is about the innovation system around firms, within regions or between industry sectors. The technological progress of a society or a specific industry is very dependent on kn...
Book
Full-text available
Many development practitioners are familiar with the phrase "market failure". However, not many people relate to the topic in a practical sense. Many remember boring lectures in universities where market failures were presented as abstract theoretical concepts in economics 101. In this book, Dr Shawn Cunningham takes a perspective that the clues t...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In this discussion paper, we look at recent changes in the understanding of the role of countries like Germany in the global science, technology and innovation debate. In the last decade there is a strong shift from a narrow science and technology perspective to a broader innovation systems logic. We reflect on what Germany has to offer developing...
Research
Full-text available
This report investigates how an innovation systems approach can support metropolitan regions to foster a regional dynamic that is reflexive and that lays a foundation for future growth and development. Three important concepts are discussed. The first is the phenomenon of the emergence of metropolitan regions and how it differs between developed an...
Article
Full-text available
This case study is about an attempt to make the meso system more visible in the South African Bio-trade sector. The article describes the process followed to make the system components more visible and to assist stakeholders to clarify their expectations and dependencies on other organisations.
Article
Full-text available
The meso space is a systemic entry point to improve the resilience and competitiveness of an economy. We identify four areas of intervention, namely strengthening the system awareness and dynamics, deepening the capabilities in the system to respond to change, improving the design of programmes and functions to enable innovation, and catalysing a f...
Article
Full-text available
This article provides a short overview of the Systemic Insight process. It is an alternative to linear process and execution which allows stakeholders to respond to the uncertainty and complexity faced by stakeholders in economic development.
Technical Report
Full-text available
The report provides a critique of the World Economic Forum’s country readiness assessment of South Africa. It provides a brief summary of the main elements of the so-called fourth industrial revolution, with a specific emphasis on the role of government. It unpacks how South Africa was assessed by the WEF in 2018 and highlights some key insights pr...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This working paper is focused on meso level, especially those policies, organisations, and programmes that affect the performance of the manufacturing sector, and especially those that support or promote technological change.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This literature study is the first paper in a series to enable the dti to prepare for future production technologies and the expected technological change brought about by the fourth industrial revolution.
Article
Full-text available
Private sector development is dominated by the use of ‘good practice’ solutions, driven by a desire of the development donors to control the outcome of development initiatives – with limited success. Bottom-up participatory approaches are more appropriate to find solutions for the complex challenge of market and private sector development. Theory-b...
Conference Paper
span> Two rapid assessments of foundries in the automotive supply chain were conducted in 2012 and 2013 on behalf of the National Foundry Technology Network (NFTN), an initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry (dti). The investigation was not an academic or econometric study; but to identify areas where assistance was required by the foun...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Advanced manufacturing has been recognised globally as important to reverse de-industrialisation and to create decent, well-paying jobs. However, lingering perceptions regarding the negative correlation of advanced manufacturing and technological advancement on employment creates resistance to the adoption of advanced manufacturing practices by ind...
Article
Full-text available
For the last 3 years Mesopartner has been purposefully experimenting with complexity and systems theories in our practice. Not only did we change our company logo and strapline based on our new learning, we started to dismantle and question almost every aspect of our instruments, tools and theories. This was a steep learning curve for us and for ou...
Article
Full-text available
Promoting local economic development (LED) has become a growth sector in the international technical assistance industry, both in transformation economies and in developing countries. The experience of the 1990s reinforced the observation that active measures are necessary to promote economic development in low- and middle-income economies. From th...

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Projects

Projects (8)
Project
This project is about improving our understanding of how the resilience and performance of organisations and programmes in the meso space can be improved. The research is self-funded or included in development projects and combines academic research, field application and engagement with experts.
Project
During 2018 I was commissioned by Trade and Industry Policy Strategies (TIPS) to assist a new chief directorate focused on production technologies to develop a strategy, portfolio of interventions and some conceptual frameworks. This work is set to continue in 2019.