In a post-crisis world, innovation may be the single most important driver of economic growth and competitiveness. The authors share their thoughts on how to mobilize innovative solutions to reduce poverty smarter, better, faster, and differently. As Sanjay Pradhan, Vice President of the World Bank Institute, points out, the time is right to move development forward through creative and integrated uses of technology and social theory. In his guest editorial, Aleem Walji argues that we now have the capacity to scale up innovative approaches to meet the needs of people at the “bottom of the pyramid” when traditional markets fail to do the job.
Articles from two new books open this issue: Jean-Eric Aubert on innovation policy, and Gordon Conway and Jeff Waage on the role of science and technology. Then Jean-François Rischard looks at how policy must foster a vital creative class that underpins a country’s competitiveness. James Koch opens the section on innovation processes by summarizing Santa Clara University’s framework for bottom-up social entrepreneurship.
Mari Kuraishi of Global Giving takes us back to the creation of the Development Marketplace ten years ago; Iqbal Quadir of MIT shows how mobile technology facilitates power at the grassroots; Marla Capozzi shares highlights of McKinsey’s leadership research on innovative organizations; Tim Brown and Jocelyn Wyatt apply IDEO’s processes to developing country needs; Diana Wells advocates for the power of individual change-makers in today’s world; and Richard Murby and I argue that the merger of social media and communication is transforming innovation processes.
Finally, there are stories about innovation at the ground level—how Development Marketplace winners took their projects to scale; how georeferencing is putting Nairobi’s slums on the map, and how BRAC in Bangladesh became a learning organization.
Edith R. Wilson
Development Outreach is a flagship magazine in the field of global knowledge for development which reflects the learning programs of the World Bank and presents a range of viewpoints by renowned authors and specialists worldwide.