Category Archives: People Centred Innovation

INVITATION: Workshop on Climate Challenges and Base of the Pyramid

The Great Convergence

INVITATION:

Practitioner workshop on BOP and climate challenges at the Joint Actions on Climate Change Conference in Aalborg, Denmark, on June 10 2009.

Driving forward The Great Convergence between Green Technology and Base of the Pyramid

For the full program and further details, please download the invitation here: BOP WORKSHOP AT JAOCC – JUNE 10 2009

PLEASE NOTE: REGISTRATION DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR JUNE 1ST! COME JOIN US!

Introduction: Setting the Scene for Green Tech and BOP

•    4 billion people at the base of the economic pyramid need basic products and services to escape poverty and build sustainable lives in a reality where the global climate changes is a constant challenge
•    A range of sustainable technological solutions already exists, but they seldom reach the needs and markets in the developing countries

Based on this apparent paradox we invite representatives from private and public sector, NGO’s, and academia to explore the potential of business and cross-sector collaboration to bring innovative and environmentally sustainable solutions to developing countries.

The workshop will build on the work and recommendations from the summit of Cornell Global Forum on Sustainable Enterprise in New York in early June 2009, where 100 international leaders and change agents across sectors meet for 3 days to develop solutions and drive forward The Great Convergence between the fields of green technology and Base of the Pyramid (BOP) strategies for doing business in developing countries (www.cornellglobalforum.org).

As part of the Joint Actions on Climate Change June 10th 2009, Aalborg University (www.jaocc.net) we will take these insights and recommendations further and explore barriers and opportunities to develop and implement business-based solutions for climate challenges in developing countries.

The program includes a cross-sector panel debate on the recommendations from Cornell Global Forum, and workshops on BOP Business models, BOP cross-sector partnerships, and people centred innovation with BOP.

Note that deadline for registration is coming up soon – the 29th of May. We hope to see you there!

The workshop is co-hosted by BOP Learning Lab at Confederation of Danish Industries, access2innovation, and BOP Innovation.

Research perspectives on Base of the Pyramid

Research Workshop at SPIRE

What is the role of privat sector in international development? What has it been over time, and how is it changing with BoP activities?

What are the implications of using terms as customers, consumers, users, bop’s, people, citizens, and more, when talking about people in developing countries, now the target of attention from the concept of Base of the Pyramid?

What would a Scandinavian model of BoP look like?

Can and should we develop some kind of quality standards or ethical guidelines for companies engaging in BoP activities?

Theese were some of the questions on the table at a research workshop at the SPIRE research centre of Participatory Innovation at University of Southern Denmark, which I organized recently. The call of the workshop was:

People Centred Innovation in Developing Countries
– exploring the intersections of participatory innovation
and participatory development Continue reading

Copenhagen moving towards business for a better world

Today was a very special day in Copenhagen for the people looking for ways to make a better world through business, since we had no less than three different events on Base of the Pyramid and Social Business, and with prominent people like the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Dr. Muhammad Yunus. Let me hear tell you a bit about the conferences and this interesting field that is developing in the intersection of business, development and humanity.

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Doing good or Doing well?

Again, this post has been underway for some time, but now here..

This year we had the EPIC conference (Ethnographic Practice in Industry Conference) in Copenhagen with more than 300 participants from across the world sharing methods, ideas and insights about doing ethnograpy in all kinds of industrial and commercial settings. It was great to be part of this community of likeminded people and to actually meet the people who has been the drivers of this field in the US for two decades, and who have been the inspiration for a lot of what is going on in Denmark now in relation to ethnographic practice, user centred innovation and design research. Also great to be part of the Danish ‘tribe’ in userdriven innovation, who gathering for the exhibition at the Design School the day before. More than being an imagined community, this is a community of practice.

Unfortunately, I had several deadlines and proposals falling at the same time, so I couldn’t participate as much as I wanted to. But I did get to attend the session about “Doing good or Doing well” facilitated by Mikkel Brok-Christensen from Red Associates (together with Bo Wesley from Novo Nordisk, who unfortunately had to leave the minute before). Mikkel was deliberately raising the question whether business can make business of doing good – which is the underlying premise of the concept of Base of the Pyramid business.

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Base of the Pyramid at EPIC Conference

At the EPIC conference (Ethnographic Practice in Industry) in Copenhagen, I was hosting an “Open House” event at our office space Republikken together with my former partner Rikke Ulk and her crew from antropologerne.com, and Sofie Widding from People and Product.

The guests were around 80 EPIC participants from all over the world, having an experience of Danish Hygge with candle lights on the table, and not least presentations of what’s cooking with Rikke, Sofie, Karen and I.

I had the opportunity to present my research and consultancy project about People Centred Innovation with Base of the Pyramid, which I am at present deeply involved with since I am sitting in my hotel in Delhi writing this blog-post. It felt good to ‘go public’ with our vision, and not least to hear the interested questions and comments from the audience. My favorite one was: “It is so good that you are bringing idealism and visions back into the practice of anthropology. That has been missing a bit in designresearch and user studies for som years…” Thank you! I appreciate that.

Louise Koch

Let me give the last words to Margaret Mead:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful
and committed citizens can change the world
– in fact, that’s all that ever has….

People Centred Innovation with Base of the Pyramid

Sitting in the restaurant in a fancy Delhi hotel enjoying the cosmopolitan life around me must be the best ambience for sparking my path as a blog poster. And actually this post was supposed to be published long time ago, but alash… time flies. So here we go.

Innovating for a better future

Innovating for a better future

I am very excited to embark on this new combined research and consultancy project about People Centred Innovation with Base of the Pyramid. For the next six months I will be exploring how we can create new products and business models to improve the life of the half of the world’s population who is getting by on less than 4 usd a day (in comparative purchasing power as if they were living in the US), and how we can put people first and include their needs and aspirations, and their knowledge and resources in this. The UN calls it Growing Inclusive Markets. Continue reading