Nov 13

Global Knowledge Initiative

“The Global Knowledge Initiative’s (GKI) guiding objective is to stimulate fruitful science, technology, and knowledge partnerships for development. According their definition, a fruitful partnership is “a partnership that builds the capacity of people and organizations globally to generate new knowledge or transfer existing knowledge from those who have it to those who need it.

The GKI builds global knowledge partnerships between individuals and institutions of higher education and research. We help partners access the global knowledge, technology, and human resources needed to sustain growth and achieve prosperity for all. With developing countries as a priority, we broker knowledge partnerships – partnerships between two or more people or institutions that generate new knowledge or transfer knowledge from where it is to where it is needed. Our approach is systemic in that we work across the entire ecosystem of actors that enable innovation, including academia, private sector, and the public sector. We prioritize local development goals and demand-led processes for priority setting.

We draw strength from our extensive network of institutions involved in open and higher education, research, training, international development, and public policy. Our location at the nexus of these networks enables us to work toward our goal of enhancing the development and transfer of knowledge, technology, and human capacity needed to sustain growth and achieve prosperity for all.”




Nov 13

Regional Inclusive Innovation Policy Forum in Beijing: Inclusive Innovation for Sustainable Growth

“What is inclusive innovation? In China, scientists developed a multi-functional diagnosis table, which integrates diverse healthcare checks into one bed. And it only costs $5,000, significantly lower than other medical equipments with similar functions. In the Philippines, a contact center has been set up for farmers and fishermen to get professional advices in agriculture and fisheries technologies, marketing and sales, pest and disease management, etc., through phone calls, SMS, online live chat, online forum or email. In Thailand, a lifelong education and development center is open for all, where the tuition fee is 400 hours of community service and planting 400 trees. Those cases are examples of Inclusive Innovation.

China has been keen on promoting innovation to sustain its growth. The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012 ranked China 29th out of 142 economies in its innovation index, which is the top ranking among BRICS. But this has, so far, much focused on innovations at the technological frontier. The Ministry of Finance of China and the World Bank Group recently organized the Regional Inclusive Innovation Policy Forum in Beijing, to share international and China’s experiences in “inclusive innovation” and discuss how to incorporate the idea into the government’s innovation-led growth strategy.

“Innovation could be a key driver not only for increasing productivity and competitiveness, but for reducing inequality and poverty,” said Hamid Alavi, a senior private sector development specialist at the World Bank.
With the rapid growth of emerging economies, disparities have also increased in these countries. “Inclusive innovation is about utilizing innovation to serve the needs of people at the economic base of the pyramid,” said Kurt Larsen, a senior education specialist with the World Bank Institute (WBI), “giving them access to basic goods, services and livelihood opportunities.””


Nov 11

Social Frontiers Research Conference: The Next Edge of Social Innovation Reserach


social_frontiers_conference_1“The first Social Frontiers Research Conference took place at Glasgow Caledonian University London campus in Shoreditch, East London on the 14 and 15 of November 2013. Over the two days, Social Frontiers brought together 120 individuals from across the world with the aim of strengthening the community of social innovation researchers. The conference itself was organised through a collaboration of Nesta, TEPSIE (The Young Foundation), The Rockefeller Foundation and Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). The conference also had support from the Social Innovation Exchange (SIX), DESIS Network and the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford.”

The aim of Social Frontiers, was to build and strengthen the community of social innovation researchers. By bringing together a multiplicity of voices and perspectives on social innovation we wanted to strengthen and extend existing networks, share learning, promote collaboration, identify gaps in knowledge and work together to build a common research agenda for the next decade. Our goal for Social Frontiers was to begin to develop a more robust empirical and theoretical foundation for social innovation, understood as the generation, experimentation and application of new practices for addressing societal challenges.”


Sep 01

GRIID Meeting in Ankara

The Group for Research on innovation for Inclusive Development will meet next at the Globelics annual meeting in Ankara, Turkey. We will meet Thursday, September 12, at lunch. A special room will be designated in the general area of the conference lunch. Look for further details in the meeting program. This will be a business meeting, with updates on GRIID-related workshops, projects, and funding opportunities, and discussion of next steps for the network.Owl cropjpg

Sep 01

“New Models of Innovation for Development” Workshop

Innovation has been moving up the strategic agendas of business, government and international agencies working in developing countries.  New markets for innovative goods and services among those at the base of the pyramid, and new technologies – particularly information and communication technologies – are inducing and enabling new actors to become involved in innovation for development.  This is creating new contexts and new locations for innovation.  And, as a result, new models of innovation are emerging.

The “New Models of Innovation for Development” international workshop was held at the University of Manchester, UK on 4-5 July 2013, and shared and explored some of these new models with 16 papers presented (see below) on topics including “inclusive innovation”, “base-of-the-pyramid innovation”, “grassroots innovation”, “responsible innovation”, “jugaad innovation”, “pro-poor innovation” and “innovation platforms” .


Author(s) Title Author(s) Title
Hannes Toivanen Invisible innovation: base of the pyramid ICT service ecology and pro-poor strategies Lesego Nkhumise, Gillian Marcelle and Shahid Vawda Innovation in water management: making science relevant for poor communities
Maria Clara C. Soares and José E. Cassiolato Innovation systems and inclusive development: some evidence based on empirical work Kees Swaans, Birgit Boogaard, Ramkumar Bendapudi, Hailemichael Taye Beyene and Saskia Hendrickx The use of innovation platforms to increase income and food security: experiences from India and Mozambique
Dinesh Abrol, Elisa Arond, Mariano Fressoli, Adrian Smith and Adrian Ely Renewing inclusive models of innovation: grassroots innovation in historical and comparative perspective Beth Cullen , Josephine Tucker, Alan Duncan, Katherine Snyder, Zelalem Lema, Aberra Adie, Eva Ludi, Aklilu Amsalu Innovation platforms, power and representation: lessons from the Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia
Roald Suurs, Fernando J. Diaz Lopez, Jenny de Boer and Matilde Miedema A systems-based model for successful upscaling of sustainable innovation at the bottom of the pyramid Theo Papaioannou How inclusive can innovation and development be in the 21st Century?
Jaap Voeten & Wim Naudé Responsible innovation in small producers’ clusters in Vietnam: the policy implications of a societal process approach Mario Pansera Is there space for non-conventional innovation in mainstream theory? Towards a framework to explain heterodox innovation
Christopher Foster Nurturing user-producer interaction: innovation flows in a low income mobile phone market Adrian Ely, Adrian Smith, Melissa Leach, Andy Stirling, Ian Scoones Globally-linked local innovation for sustainable development: implications for a new hybrid politics post-Rio+20
Diana Akullo & Haaro Maat The public private partnership: a case of agricultural innovation in Uganda Rukmal Weerasinghe, Jaywardene & Ronnie Ramlogan Innovative capabilities of Sri Lankan SMEs to face global competition
Pankaj Sekhsaria Technological jugaad as a ‘culture of innovation’ in India Judith Sutz & Cecilia Tomassini Knowledge, innovation, social inclusion and their elusive articulation: when isolated policies are not enough.

Links to draft versions of the presented papers can be found at:

The workshop was a joint initiative of the Centre for Development Informatics, Institute for Development Policy and Management, and Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, all based at the University of Manchester.

* by Richard Heeks, CDI, University of Manchester, UK:

NMI4D Workshop Group Photo 4

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