On Thursday 26 and Friday 27 November the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa, in cooperation with the European Association for Development Institutes, organized a two day workshop on Frugal Innovation. The main debate related to the question under which conditions Frugal Innovations are more likely to also become Inclusive Innovations; a claim which is often made but so far has not been sufficiently studied.
During the workshop a mix of early and mid-career researchers presented their findings on a range of topics including the (lack of a) gender perspective in Frugal/Inclusive Innovation studies, a critical assessment of Frugal Innovation’s developmental potential and case studies on mobile money, mango and avocado value chains in Kenya, and Frugal Innovations in the education sector in Brazil. All presentations were followed by interesting discussions that clearly represented the truly multidisciplinary character of Frugal Innovation research with perspectives from industrial design, management, anthropology and development studies.
The two day program was closed with a plenary session which included a presentation on ‘Policy Space for Frugal Innovations in the Global South’ by the recently appointed Prince Claus Chair Prof. Saradindu Bhaduri, and an interactive brainstorm session wherein all participants discussed challenges in the development and/or scaling of four concrete case-studies of Frugal Innovation.
Two clear outcomes of the workshop were the observation that Frugal Innovation studies should include a more critical approach to its developmental potential as one of the dimensions of stimulating inclusiveness, and the fact that to be able to truly scale Frugal Innovations in both the developing and developed world, a more flexible design approach is needed which is able to pivot between different resource and culture related contexts.
As a follow up to the workshop all papers are currently in review and considered for publication in a special issue.
See the videos of all presentations below:
Dr. André Leliveld - Frugal Innovation: A Literature Review. Technology, Entrepreneurship and Development in Innovation Processes
Dr. Kate Meagher - Cannibalizing the Informal Economy: Frugal Innovation and Economic Inclusion
Eugenia Rosca - Does Frugal Innovation Enable Sustainable Development? A Systematic Literature Review
Dr. Christopher Foster - An Integrative Framework Linking Innovations and Value Chains. The Case of the Kenyan Horticulture Sector
Saskia Vossenberg - Understanding Outcomes of Frugal Innovation from a Gender Perspective
Lukas Wellen - Mobile Payments in Africa: is M-pesa in Kenya an Example of a Frugal Innovation?
Dr. Iva Pesa - The ‘Transformational’ Potential of Mobile Money in Zambia: Frugal Innovation, Inclusive Innovation and Mobile Money Agents in Kitwe
Wouter Kersten - Designing Solutions for a Complex World: Unleashing the power of parallel frugality as key to achieve inclusiveness
Dr. Addisu Lashitew - The Role of Business Models in the Adoption of Clean Cooking Stoves in Africa
Premi Wairokpam - Frugal Innovation: A Case of food processing industries in Manipur, India