The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has recently published a report, the first of a series focusing on enhancing rural innovation. The aim of this document is to unlock the innovative potential of rural places as most of the countries are currently in the midst of a global slowdown in productivity, which translates into lower long-term economic growth and, in turn, lower wages and well-being.

This thematic report provides the latest analysis and research on rural innovation, and proposes ways to overcome the growing gaps between rural and urban places that are contributing to the geographies of discontent.

It first identifies a number of recommendations and takeaways to help unlock the innovation potential of rural regions by rebuilding the scope of policies and programmes for innovation. Then, it proposes alternative indicators beyond the traditional science and technology measures to better capture innovative practices that are already occurring in rural places.

The report also examines the characteristics of entrepreneurs and start-ups as a key component to promoting innovation in rural regions as well as the effects of innovation on several dimensions of well-being including employment, productivity, household income and inequality in rural regions.

This OECD’s document shows the important role that social innovation plays for rural development. Read the full report here.