Participants of the Egmond Eco Efficiency Conference reviewed a draft list of research topics - see an earlier blog post on this topic - and highlighted a few priorities, such as:
- consumer behaviour; is the 'no pain no change' slogan really true? Can consumers only be forced to behavioral changes, for instance by feeling 'pain' in their wallet?
- is it possible to estimate the potential for eco-innovation, or should the term as such first be better defined?
- how to measure welfare; there are so many concepts developed already, what is their added value, which one to use? And do we have good indicators for resource efficiency?
- how can governments use pricing as an instrument for social change? And how to deal with distributional issues?
- do we know enough about the social dimension, how do learning processes work, story telling? How in general can consumer choices be influenced? What is the role of advertising and green marketing?
- how can we better include concerns and specific charasteristics of developing countries? What are specific bareers and opportunities? What are the best ways for technology transfer, open source dissemination, protecting property rights and patents?
- do we want on top of the specific topics for research more conceptual and broad studies on innovation in general, for instance in a systems perspective, where all actors and flows can be analysed in an integrated way, and the best leverage points can be found for intervention?
- the European Commission, DG Research, has an important research agenda on many of the issues adressed in the conference, and invites proposals, due for the Autumn of this year, and to be granted in 2011.