Lessons from the grassroots for inclusive innovation

IMG_1457Last week (20-21 March) Adrian Smith was invited to speak at the OECD Symposium on Innovation and Inclusive Growth. The organiser wanted to learn what lessons our research into grassroots innovation might hold for growing policy interest in promoting inclusive innovation. There was particular interest in methods for scaling-up inclusive innovations, and an aspiration for this to facilitate more democratic innovation processes. Adrian’s talk – published as a blog on the STEPS Centre website – acknowledged grassroots innovations did offer lessons for scaling-up. But he went on to argue that this was asking the wrong question, and that the real lessons from grassroots innovation was that innovation systems had first to be democratised, if meaningful inclusion in innovation was really being sought.