Grassroots Innovation: Historical and Comparative Perspectives

This project examines inclusive innovation and the present-day programmes and social movements which promote it. It looks at possible strategies and approaches to support and harness inclusive and grassroots innovation.

What is “inclusive innovation”?

Creating new technologies, systems and approaches is crucial to development. But mainstream approaches to innovation have uneven results, the benefits are not always equally spread, and some groups of people are routinely excluded.

As a result, there is growing interest in “inclusive innovation” approaches, including many that operate at a grassroots level. Activists and communities are looking for ways to develop solutions to the problems of those on the margins of economic growth, and who frequently suffer the downsides of mainstream growth.

Project activities

  • Examine Social Technologies initiatives in South America, and Grassroots Innovation activities in India – two notable and different forms of inclusive innovation.
  • Consider these movements in historical context.
  • Explore how “niche” spaces – where small scale innovation is allowed to flourish, protected from wider markets – are created.

Project website