At one point early in our conversation, I agreed with Karl-Erik that it was mainly innovation that had got the world into the mess its in today. To which he replied "Well if innovation got us into this mess what makes us think that more innovation will get us out of it?" An interesting point. Sounds like a potential great knowledge cafe conversation.
The problem with innovation is that there are often long term unintended and unforeseen consequences of that innovation. I am sure, for example, that the early technological pioneers of the industrial revolution did not think for one moment about the possibility of global warming.
You might also be interested in this paper of Karl-Erik's Unintended and Undesirable Consequences of Innovation
What is really interesting is what inspired Karl-Erik to think about this in the first place. It was his research into Aboriginal culture when he lived in Australia that resulted in an earlier book of his Travelling Lightly. He learnt that the Australian Aborigines knew very well the risks and advantages of innovation and that there was a darker side - the environmental and society; consequences of new products. Partly as a result of this awareness and taking responsibility for their community and those of other their civilisation lasted 40,000 years or more.
Here are some articles by Karl-Erik inspired by Aboriginal thought and also a video playlist I have created on his work on innovation.